‘I study in a rural school. There are about 160 pupils in it. The school’s name is Ban Noen Suwan. It is located in Ban Dong sub-district, Chat Trakan district, Phitsanulok province. I have studied here since I was in kindergarten 2. Now I’m in grade 6. What I like the most about my school is that every Tuesday we’ll learn about the sufficiency economy through the actual agricultural and animal raising activities. I’m proud of my school. I will use and scale up the knowledge I’ve gained at home’, Nana expressed her impression towards her school.
Nana and all of the pupils are school-age children, whose bodies and brains are developing. Lunch at school is another essential meal of the day. Incomplete and insufficient daily nutrients may adversely impact children’s memory and abilities to focus and learn in the classroom.
Mr Jatuphong Sai-aroon, Ban Noen Suwan School Director, said that earlier, due to the insufficient budget allocated to the school, the agricultural skills training at school had been suspended. The majority of the pupils, who are poor, had no access to quality lunch.
The integrated agricultural skills training at school based on the sufficiency economy is supported by the Child Sponsorship Programme, World Vision Foundation of Thailand carried out under Chat Trakan Project, has an objective to support the school with a quality food resource and supply lunch for all school pupils. The training has also cultivated among pupils how to live sufficiently and maintain self-reliance. Children have also gained life skills, self-discipline, and good health from various activities.
The agriculture class amidst the delightful garden at Ban Noen Suwan School comprises an oyster mushroom culture house, a catfish raising cage, a frog pond; all of them serve as outdoor learning resources for the 1st to 6th graders. Likewise, the 7th to 9th graders are responsible for growing limes, eggplants, papayas, chilli peppers, and Acacia pennata, as well as other home-grown vegetables. The School Lunch Project will take all of the produce, which is the fruit of all pupils’ cooperation. The rest of it will be sold to parents and community members. The agricultural activities have created food security for the school and the community alike.
‘Thanks to World Vision Foundation of Thailand for different types of support given to the school. The livelihood-promoting activities based on the sufficiency economy have given children a good agricultural foundation, life skills, and knowledge that they may adopt to use at home and generate family supplementary income’, Mr Jatuphong mentioned the good things happening.
‘I’ve practised self-reliance and learnt the value of money, integrity, and sharing with others’ Maen, a 6th-grade classmate of Nana’s, said.
‘I’m in charge of mushroom culture. When lots of mushrooms bloom, I’ll sell them and keep records of incomes and expenses. I’ve gained mushroom culture knowledge and practised sales skills. I would like to thank my sponsor for not only helping my family and me but also supporting such good activities’, Nana thanked with a crystal-clear voice.