Because life skills are ones of the development assets essential for children in the 21st Century, World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) prioritises the promotion and development of life skills of children and adolescents to prepare them at the pivotal period of their life to become physically and mentally strong and be able to reach adulthood with quality.
‘I’ve never imagined myself brave enough to grab a microphone and talk in front of such a crowd’, said A-ngoon or Phorncharoen, an 18-year-old girl. Although she is tiny, big things come in small packages. She is full of creativity, able to lead fun games, and share knowledge as a speaker at the Youth Life Skills Camp, an activity under WVFT’s Positive Youth Development Project, attended by more than 77 sponsored children and youth from Thong Pha Phum and Sangkhla Buri Projects, Kanchanaburi province. It was held at Baanrai River Kwai Resort, Kanchanaburi province in late June.
Besides gaining knowledge to develop their life skills in co-existing with others and boost confidence to become outspoken and express themselves constructively, the youth joining the life skills camp have built resilience to keep away from drugs, dangers of the online media, and having early sexual relationships. Instead, they learn how to treat friends of the opposite sex appropriately and address the problem of domestic aggression and violence against children. World Vision youth core leaders from Thong Pha Phum and Sangkhla Buri Projects have been the facilitators of the whole event with the support from WVFT staff as their advisors and mentors.
‘We had around 1 month to prepare for the camp ahead, from establishing a working team to preparing the materials and equipment to be used during the camp. We spent the evening after school discussing our plan at WVFT’s Office in Sangkhla Buri district. On weekends, we ran through our recreational activities and practiced our coaching speeches. I’m glad to have served as the sharer of life skills with the younger kids and to see their smiles. The youth enjoyed the activities while absorbing the knowledge we passed on. I wish they can apply the knowledge in their daily life appropriately’, A-ngoon explained.
After this, the youth joining the camp will carry out extended activities in their communities. Those from Thong Pha Phum district will conduct a campaign on dangers of drug abuse. For Sangkha Buri district, A-ngoon said: ‘As the key problem found is teen moms, we’ve planned to drive the solution by collaborating with teachers, local police officers, and hospitals. We’ll have a walk to campaign for sex education, proper ways for teenagers to express their affection, and self-protection. Parents will be encouraged to closely monitor their children as the precaution. But if something goes wrong, they should not scold their kids but, instead, give them consultations, recommendations, and emotional support’.
‘I thank WVFT and my sponsor for getting me to where I am today. I’ve developed my capacity and changed for the better. I’d like to be a social worker, to be like the WVFT staff who have constantly helped children and developed my hometown’, said A-ngoon with a big smile.