Being just a small school located remotely, Ban Na Poe School, Chat Trakan district, Phitsanulok province does not receive sufficient budget for maintaining or renovating its facilities to the standard, especially for the small-scaled cafeteria that was totally damaged in a fire accident caused by a short circuit; everything, including kitchen utensils and equipment, electric fans, cafeteria tables and chairs, was lost in the fire.
After the fire incident, all 72 Ban Na Poe School pupils, from kindergarteners to 6 graders, as well as the school teachers and staff, were adversely impacted by a lack of a proper, hygienic dining facility.
Pluem, a 6th-grade boy, said: ‘My friends and I had to eat under a tree. On a rainy day, we would eat under the school building, where we were bothered by cats and dogs’.
Although the school received some budget from the Office of the Basic Education Commission that supported the new cafeteria construction, the subsidy was not enough. As such, Child Sponsorship Programme, World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) joined hands with sponsors of the school pupils in Chat Trakan Project and organised an Imjai Trip and raised a hundred thousand baht. The construction budget was matched by kind parents and community members, all are just poor rice and cassava farmers, who organised a local fundraising event and managed to match the budget of the cafeteria construction for their children. The total budget received was sufficient to afford the new cafeteria building, kitchen utensils and equipment, water filtration system, and cafeteria tables and chairs that will promote children’s hygienic eating practices.
The construction of the new cafeteria of Ban Na Poe School has already finished and opened for service. ‘On the first day that the kids got to use the cafeteria, they were thrilled to sit on the chairs and have lunch on the tables. It was a lot more comfortable for them. One after another pupil had visited the facility to sneak a peek on the new sets of tables and chairs before the new cafeteria opened. Thank you all sponsors. Thanks to WVFT and all relevant organisations, as well as every generosity that has fulfilled pupils’ happiness. Today, they have a perfect cafeteria to use’, Miss Nongyao Janthakun, Ban Na Poe School Director, expressed her thankfulness with a smile.
Besides the development work that urgently responds to pressing problems impacting children in the field area, WVFT has also carried out the Child Sponsorship Programme in Chat Trakan Project. Pluem is among many other children whose life has been transformed by the Child Sponsorship Programme. ‘I am a sponsored child of WVFT. I have received stationery, school supplies, school bags, shoes and socks, and sweaters. Many thanks to my sponsor. Thank you for building our new cafeteria, too. I am really happy that we have a nice and clean cafeteria to eat lunch at school now’.
Recently, the sponsors have visited the school to hand over the cafeteria amidst the atmosphere filled with loving and happiness.
The Child Sponsorship Programme in Chat Trakan Project has improved quality of life of pupils at Ban Na Poe School and other educational institutes alike through educational and life skills development, health and sanitation promotion, farming activities for lunch, and child rights development camp, resulting in the improved well-being of pupils.