24 September - 1 October 2016
On 24 September 2016 VSP was pleased to welcome back Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College from Australia for their fourth year here at Traidhos. This year we had 34 Grade 8 and 9 students join us along with five teachers ready to embark on a week of adventures and experiences that would hopefully leave lasting impressions on both the students and all those they would work with over the week. This year Monte had two new locations added to their itinerary where they did community service.
First up was Wildflower Home, which provides safe shelter, care and education for young mothers who are either pregnant or have young children. After a quick introduction to the history and work of the Wildflower Foundation the group got to work moving stones and gravel from an enormously large pile down to the other end of the garden. Our aim was to create a new path that would provide a more comfortable and clean passage between buildings after heavy rain.
It was hard work in the heat but in just under two hours and with the help of Monte Sant’ Angelo teachers and Wildflower residents, the group had a good base layer down along the entire length of path before lunch.
At the end of the day residents of the home set up a popular station selling some of the many sustainable goods they make onsite. As it came to goodbyes, Monte surprised Wildflower with a huge donation of gifts varying from baby products to clothes and toys. The Wildflower residents were overwhelmed with the donations and the impressive hard work that went into finishing the new path. Monte certainly went home that day knowing they made a big difference to the lives of the Wildflower residents.
The following morning Monte made a visit to their second new destination at Ram Perng School in Mae Tang. Ram Perng is a government school with over 260 students and 20 staff. We were greeted with a wonderful, traditional Thai performance from some of the Ram Perng School students, which Monte followed with a rendition of some of their school songs . After the exchange of performances, students from both Monte and Ram Perng gave brief introductions to their schools and school life. After some well-earned food and rest the girls split into three groups and began the service work – a big mural and helping to build a flower garden.
It’s incredible the friendships that can form in just a short amount of time, and I have to hand it to the Monte girls for being so enthusiastic and getting stuck in with every activity they took part in.