The Make A Difference team have enjoyed lots of charity and fundraising projects over the course of Term 2. Here is an overview of the brilliant achievements they’ve made…
Overall expected funds raises:
● World Book Day: 13,708 baht
● RST MAD Run: 12,092 baht
● Mook’s Bracelet fundraiser for Chonburi cancer unit: approximately 4000 baht (waiting for final confirmation)
● Songkran colourful shirt fundraising:approximately 15,000 baht (TBC)
On the 17th of March we were fortunate to have received an eye-opening presentation brought to us by Dean Madeira, a representative from Operation Smile, a world-wide non-profit organisation that operates across 34 countries to treat cleft lip and cleft palate. It is estimated that millions of children do not have the resources to receive the medical care they need, and can grow up with health problems such as infections, hearing loss, and malnourishment due to difficulty feeding from a young age. Children growing up with cleft lips and palates are likely to face social, behavioural, and emotional problems due differences in their appearance and stress from regular hospital visits. As well as this, the cost of operating puts pressure on parents, who may not have the resources to pay for cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries. Operation Smile provides free surgeries those who cannot afford it, run by volunteer workers and surgeons, in addition to collaborating with schools to provide insight into medicine and charity work for students, who will have the opportunity to help with making the waiting rooms a less stressful place for the parents and children, creating meaningful bonds that would not have otherwise been in place.
As a whole, we were very touched and inspired by Dean’s presentation and plan to, in the upcoming academic years, support Operation Smile by sending volunteer prospective medical students to their operations in Thailand, as well as raising awareness about their organisation within the school community.
The RST MAD students have helped Falko Duwe in his dog shelter this term. Falko Duwe has been helping dogs all over Pattaya area in the last 10 years. He supports injured dogs who live on the streets and cares for his own 77 dogs that he has rescued from the street. Falko has also worked extremely hard to sterilise as many dogs as possible over the last few years. Up to date the total number of sterilised dogs is now 6,762. He uploads daily reports and more information on each animal on his blog here. We were able to donate 10,000 baht to support him in the amazing work he does and we look forward to going to visit again next term.
You can read a more detailed report on one of the visits to Falko Duwe here: “A Mad A MAD Trip to The Dog Shelter”
RST MAD Run 2021
On Sunday 7 March accompanied by the sounds of the local cockerel the first three RST MAD runners set off to tackle the inaugural RST MAD run (not a race). This challenge saw a total of 26 members of staff take on either the FULLY MAD (25 km) or the HALF MAD (15 km) routes.
The RST MAD run (not a race) was a new type of challenge. To enter, participants wrote a poem expressing their desire to complete this MAD challenge and generously donated 500 baht in support of the Baan Jing Jai Foundation. To make it even more interesting, runners and hikers did not know the routes until 30 minutes before their start time.
In the spirit of community (and strictly keeping with COVID protocol) runners and hikers were set off in groups of two to three from a starting line that read: ‘Let the madness begin!’. Navigating wild trails, concrete paths and the Khao Mae Kaew jungle, participants had to locate three checkpoints, where they were rewarded with an ice-cold drink and a souvenir.
It was a great effort from the entire on-site community, with volunteers on bikes to help navigate the trickier areas where the risk of getting lost or being chased by soi dogs was high. Upon surviving the morning heat and making it back to RST everyone was rewarded with a homemade South African braaied burger and a cold drink. A fantastic event which saw over 12,000 baht raised for charity!
The Baan Jing Jai Foundation
The major project of the RST MAD team in Term 2 involved the Baan Jing Jai Foundation, home to more than 80 children in the local community. In researching this amazing children’s home, our students realised that almost none of the children there had ever visited a dentist before. Fund-raising events in the RST community and a massive Toiletries Appeal amongst the student body allowed us to directly support the dental health of children at Baan Jing Jai.
● In total, RST students and staff donated 641 toothbrushes and 543 tubes of toothpaste, along with many other toiletries.
● We then donated 25 000 baht towards dental checks for many of the children at Baan Jing Jai.
● Our students were invited to the children’s home, where we delivered boxes of toiletries and demonstrated sensible tooth brushing methods.
There is much more work to be done at Baan Jing Jai and our RST MAD team are already planning the next phase of our intervention.