The girl nicknamed “Eye”, a student at Banwangben School (Patronized by Bhuthorn), is having a delicious school lunch. The non-toxic menus served on the table today are “Sour & spicy soup with frog meat” and “Stir fried vegetables with pork” which are the clean and fresh products from farming plots in the school and are fully complied with the nutritional principles of the school lunch.
“Banwangben School (Patronized by Bhuthorn) has 101 students, and there are 31 children sponsored by WVFT's Child Sponsorship Programme. Most of them are children from farmer families and half of their parents are separated. Previously, the kids have health problems and lack of nutritious food. In addition, when the students graduated in grade 9, some of them don’t have a chance to have higher education. Therefore, the school has responded the policy of the Ministry of Education, “Moderate Class, More Knowledge” to develop vocational skills to the kids for the sake of their daily life and future career,” Bhuchit Maming, a teacher at Banwangben School, summarized the problems that have happened to the school.
The Child Sponsorship Programme of World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT), operated under Thong Saen Khan Area Development Programme in Uttaradit province, has supported impoverished students in remote areas to learn professional skills in natural agriculture to be their knowledge assets. Banwangben School has the natural classroom since August last year which is the organic vegetable garden for the plantation of morning glory, kale, green onion, chili, etc. The students from grade 6 to grade 9 have rotated to look after vegetable garden for soil preparation, seed sowing, watering and harvesting. The school farming also raises frogs, climbing perch fish in floating basket, pigs and grows oyster mushrooms. All the products are made for lunch. If there are the excessive farming products, the goods will be sold to student’s family at a cheaper price than the market.
Students will be involved in every step of farming. They will gradually learn and absorb those knowledge and be able to do the farm at home. Students also learn the cooperative system of purchasing, selling, accounting and stock control. And money saving is a by-product of this activity.
“Children earn money during schooling and also gain life experiences to learn about professional work, discipline, and also help to sustain food resources in school. Thanks to sponsors for seeing the importance of faraway schools and help children have better education and quality of life,” Teacher “Bhuchit” thanked from his heart.
“It’s very easy to look after oyster mushrooms. Just watering in the morning,” a grade 9 schoolgirl named “Patcharadee” or nicknamed “Eye” said cheerfully.
“Pipop”, the father of the girl nicknamed “Eye”, added that the family has received help on the burden of daughter’s education such as the provision of school uniform, stationery, backpack and the knowledge to grow oyster mushrooms, “My daughter asked me to grow oyster mushrooms at home. Then we’ve started growing oyster mushrooms. The mushrooms bloom everyday and be our food with no need to spend money. When there are a lot of blooming mushrooms, my daughter put mushrooms into the bags to sell to get some pocket money to go to school. Thanks to the sponsor who has supported my daughter for a long time. Thank you very much,” Pipop said and smiled honestly.