St Andrews International School & Habitat for Humanity Support Local Community Learning Center

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As part of the IB, CAS plays an integral role in involving our St Andrews students in community based projects. The CAS students have been working hard raising funds to support many worthy causes during the past 10 months. We have donated 60,000 baht to Habitat for Humanities ‘Rebuild the Philippines’ Appeal following cyclone Haiyan and 120,000 baht to Operation Smile, Thailand. We endeavor, when we can, to have a hands-on role in helping others and encourage students to get involved, such as the Habitat builds or Operation Smile Medical Missions.

One of our ongoing partnerships has been with Habitat for Humanity, Thailand. Last year we built a new home for one of our local residents who was struggling to maintain a home, suitable for her family. This year we had a really exciting request from Habitat to assist in establishing a Community Learning Centre in Ban Chang.

The build will took place on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th April in a small village, near St Andrews.

The following is an excerpt from our mission:

Sumnakthorn sub-district is one of the 3 sub-districts in Ban Chang District where originally the majority of the population were agriculturists. This area gradually became a well-known industrial estate where most of the young generation turned their backs to the traditional skills and values of the community’s ways.  We have found recently that the older generation stays home, raises their grandchildren, while the working generation works in the factories.

This has caused a lack of connection within families and the community.

The Administrative Office of Sumnakthorn Sub-district has been trying hard to develop the efficiency of the local youth by seeking cooperation from 6 local schools to participate in the “Rice Cultural Center”. This is designed to be a center which teaches youth about the importance of rice farming and the traditional methods of farming.

At the moment, the community owns a piece of land which happens to have one of the last rice fields in Ban Chang district and they would like to develop it for the benefit of all generations for learning about community culture.

At the moment they have to use temporary shelters or tents to accommodate students while they do the learning activities. Students in the community could have a proper venue for learning and the community leaders could use this facility to teach the young generation about how to grow rice and the original ways of farming, but there are also no toilets or bathrooms.

Therefore, Habitat for Humanity Thailand and St Andrews International School would like to co-operate with the local community in order to raise funds and allocate volunteers to help build a Learning Center and the toilet/bathroom facilities.

The students toiled in the searing heat for two days to dig an enormous pit that measured approximately 5m long by 2m wide and 2m deep – that’s a whopping 20m3 of dirt that was dug!

After two days of digging, mixing cement, bricklaying, building sewerage tanks and lots and lots of sweat, we were finished and the Sumnakthorn Community Center finally has a building where they can teach the invaluable agricultural skills that have been neglected for so long.

Year 12 students working hard to build the St Andrews International School & Habitat for Humanity Support Local Community Learning Center.Year 12 students working hard to build the St Andrews International School & Habitat for Humanity Support Local Community Learning Center.