Quarterly Report – Higher Education Fund

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NatDanai

May 3, 2021

Moving forward – in School and Online

High School grades 2018 – Jaa-Aop-Mint-Naan-Yim

Chiang Mai is back in pandemic lockdown as of May 1, but school plans and tuitions are still moving forward. Our high school and university students are finishing up their terms online and preparing for the start of the new school year.  We will have close to 30 students in higher education – 21 girls and 8 boys.

University Updates

We are proud to announce two more university graduates! Soda graduated in December in Public Health from Rajabhat University and has taken over the Warm Heart Project Access program full time. Faa graduated from Maejo University in Public Administration and is working in Phrao while studying for the government civil service exam

The pandemic restrictions have slowed the college acceptance process and so far two out of three high school graduates have been accepted.  Jaa was accepted in Science and Math at the Teacher’s College at Rajabhat University in Chiang Mai.  Naan will start orientation at Payap Nursing School, also in Chiang Mai, in mid-May. 

Naan has been one of our top students. She was the first girl in her village to be allowed to go to school past six grade.  After long negotiations with her father, who is the village headman and has 7 children, Naan was allowed to come to Warm Heart and she has made the most of the time here.  She has been at the top of her class in the math and science track at the Phrao High School, joined the high school border police reserve (like ROTC in the US) and was the leader of the volleyball team.  Sensitive to the stigma of being from the hill tribes, she worked through school breaks in our kitchen to earn money for braces.

Jaa was ambivalent about what to do after high school but changed her outlook after visiting Yim, our student currently in the science teacher program at Rajabhat.  Jaa has become a good role model for the younger kids at Warm heart and we are delighted by her decision to continue on to university.

Tanqua, in nursing school, and Earn, in her last term in environmental sciences,  are both at Warm Heart, finishing their terms online.  Joy is here for the summer term and is doing research for the biochar program.

We will have three boys in university.  Danai finished his first year in Computer Science at Rajabhat and his brother JJ will start this summer.  Somphong just graduated in Electronics from Metro Vo-tech high school and will continue in their university-level program.

High School

This is a big year for high school, with eight students graduating from 9th grade and all continuing.  Three of the girls will attend vocational high schools in Chiang Mai, studying marketing and hospitality.  The other girls are waiting to see which track they will be accepted in and the boys will attend the vocational-technical program.

Thank you for standing by us as we coach these young ones on their way!

Jiu-Little Suda with Naan
Somphong and Somkit at Metro Vo-Tech College

January 3, 2021

A Year to make us stronger

Our visit home to vote

2020 was a year of obstacles to be overcome, but we did succeed in our higher education goals. With your enduring support, we have a total of 21 students studying at high schools and universities.

Graduations

We started out looking forward to five of our young women graduating from vocational colleges and universities. We were able to attend the celebration for the graduation for three of them at the end of February, before the first lockdown. All five formally graduated by June and have found jobs to support themselves while they wait for the pandemic to ease and the economy to slink back.

New Schools

Luckily the school year finished in March, so our four younger graduates from middle school were able to prepare for high school. Two went to our District High School and two got scholarships to go to Vocational college in Chiang Mai, studying to be electricians

Planning for University

Our three high school seniors are applying to university in nursing, teaching, and sports education.

Thanks to you, their dreams are becoming reality.  Together we are nurturing the future leaders of our communities.

Tanqua in her Nurse’s Cap with Nit
Our future electrician and her first light fixture

September 8, 2020

Growing, Learning, Adapting

New arrives at Warm Heart, age 10

From being “afraid to cross the busy streets” – according to her friends – to charting a path for herself in tourism, New has had quite a journey since she joined the Warm Heart family 11 years ago, in 2009. 

New was born in a remote village – inaccessible during the summer rainy season – to two subsistence farmers. Her parents had no education themselves but wanted their two daughters to have every opportunity possible; they wanted them to get an education and find careers outside the village. 

With no school within the village, New, when old enough, started studying in a one-room schoolhouse 30 minutes away. The teacher, teaching in his/her native Karen dialect, did the best they could but the children fell behind. And, the only hope they had for an effective education was to learn Thai and attend the primary school in the valley. 

For her betterment, her parents agreed to let her come live at Warm Heart and New started school in the valley. Her parents also asked a relative in the village to come as a house mother for her and two other village children, to make sure they were all well cared for. Over a decade later, there are 40 children who call Warm Heart their home and the house mother is still here ensuring that it remains one.

When New finished high school in Phrao, she had majored in languages – English and French and a bit of Chinese. Having been very shy and lacking in confidence her entire life, New was still unsure of the path she wanted to chart for herself – however, she was learning towards becoming a tour guide. 

Then tragedy struck and her father died after a short illness, thus leaving her mother to tend the crops and care for their farm animals alone. Torn and conflicted, New turned to her Warm Heart family to guide her. Warm Heart came together with key village members and found a way for New to continue on to further her education. A cousin of hers decided that his wife and child could come live and work at the Children’s Home while he went to assist New’s mother. 

New then applied to the state university in Chiang Mai, was accepted, and went on to major in languages and tourism.

As much as she had always been a leader of the younger ones at Warm Heart, she had not been out on her own ever before. At first, the city of Chiang Mai terrified her. But getting out into the world was the challenge she needed to find her confidence and chart a path for herself. 

She built a network of friends who helped her get a range of part-time positions in local restaurants and hotels – and realized that what she deeply wanted was to be a tour guide. 

Then she faced another trial. Scheduled to graduate in June 2020, New was set to start an internship at a large hotel, when COVID-19 struck. Hotels started closing and her internship and job prospects started fading. She found a few days of work as a tour guide intern before that closed as well. Luckily, she had the credits she needed to graduate, but the future looked uncertain.

So, she decided to come back home. She came back to Warm Heart and has been helping us translate content from Thai to English for our volunteers and supporters around the world. She is also teaching English to the Children’s Home students and spending time with the elderly and disabled in our community.

She just received word from a hostel in the city that she can start as soon as they have some guests, but till she starts her next adventure we could not be happier to have her back home.

New with her father, younger sister, and granny
New at University
New visits with the mother of disabled neighbor

May 11, 2020

Dreams Stalled But Still Strong!

Three of our recent graduates

We were thrilled to be able to tell you that your investment had resulted in four new graduates from vocational-technical colleges. When they arrived at Warm Heart 6-8 years ago, they all had to catch-up with their Thai peers. They came from one-room schoolhouses in remote hill tribe villages. Their Thai was not “Central, Proper Thai” but a Northern dialect, they were behind in reading and math and science. With steady, hard work and afterschool tutors, they graduated from high school and were admitted to vocational colleges – a two-year program aimed at preparing them for careers in the city. 

One studied nutrition and had an internship at a Sizzler restaurant, which buys local, organic vegetables for its menu. She is applying for training programs with chefs in major hotels in Chiang Mai. Two others studied retail marketing. A fourth studied tourism/ hospitality. She interned in various departments of a local hotel and has an initial offer in a training program at a four-star hotel group 

They had just graduated in March. And then the COVID19 virus locked down the city. So, they are adapting and finding work as safely as possible. One is working at a major chain of convenience stores, another in the kitchen of a restaurant turned take-away, a third at a large service station. The fourth has come home to help with projects at Warm Heart and tutor the children while she waits to learn what is opening up. They have learned how to navigate city life and are ready to step up when the world re-opens. 

In the meantime, our college students are back at Warm Heart, studying online to finish the school year. The new school year is expected to start in July and tuitions are due now. 

Thank you for all you have accomplished with us! We still have more to go! 

Take good care and stay well!


January 14, 2020

In Her Own Words

Ann at local Marathon

I am called Ann (not my real name)

I’m studying Public Administration at the School of Administrative Studies, at a large university in Thailand. I’m in my 3rd-year of an undergraduate degree. I am very happy to have the opportunity to study the goals of my life.

Since I was enrolled in university, I have been given the opportunity to serve as the female branch president of the model and applied to be a student club committee from the first year I studied to the present. I like to do student activities because I believe that activities can be applied to the disciplines I study. Therefore, I am committed to activities and learning together.

In the future, when I graduate, I aim to work in local government or community development. I have made a lot of effort in studying this matter. And all I have written tells this story.

I want to thank you for your support for my studies and I want you to be confident in my determination. And at that point, I will definitely succeed. Please believe in my ability, and finally, I have attached a picture of the various activities in the university and other community areas. I hope you all will enjoy them.  With love and thank you!

Note from Program Manager:

Ann came to Warm Heart through teachers we know and trust.  She graduated from the one high school in our District and was accepted at a major university. 

Her promised scholarship had fallen through a month before school was to start. She had nowhere else to go. 

Ann had been raised by her grandmother after her mother died and her father left.

We agreed to help her with living costs and tuition as long as she would repay them once she graduated and was working – to allow another girl to have the same opportunity. 

She studies hard, is active in school activities and works during her school breaks near her grandmother’s home.


October 19, 2019

Supporters go the extra mile!

Jui

We have had a very successful quarter since our last report! 

While raising funds to cover the cost of higher education for our high achievers continues to be a challenge, we recently had a few donors step up and help spread awareness about our program. Through local events, they have helped raise money to boost our higher education fund. 

Success helps lead to more success! Our higher education stars help inspire and encourage all the children at Warm Heart to set goals to pursue their own dreams. It is very exciting to see, but at the same time, our need for additional higher education funds continues to grow! But this is a good thing, investment in higher education reaps the most benefit for these children.

Jiu is one of our rising stars!  She is one of the sweethearts of Warm Heart.

She is the best adjusted 16 year-old any of us have ever known. She does really well in school and visits Adjan Shafer twice a week for English classes in listening and speaking.

She studies hard and shows excellent behavior in school because she wants to become a teacher someday and hopes to have well-behaved students in her classes.

Jiu is quiet and very unassuming, but is nonetheless a leader in “big girls’ house.” The others trust her because she is fair and not part of any of the cliques.

Jiu is proud of her Karen heritage and recently had a long conversation – in English! – with Adjan Shafer about relations between Thai and minority peoples, and about differences in attitudes between her generation and her parent’s generation. She is smart, observant and considerate, which make her a prized member of the Warm Heart family, and a great candidate for higher education support.

We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our higher education fund. Without your help children with great potential would end up at a dead end. Your donation is helping dreams come true!

Hugs!

Evelind


July 19, 2019

Perseverance Wins Every Time

Tanqua

We are really proud of the group of girls who are pursuing a higher education. 

Tanqua is one of our Superstars.

She just finished her first year of nursing school with a 3.5 (out of 4) GPA. 

She is working hard and thriving.  It’s an international school and we think she will go far with this opportunity she created for herself.

Tanqua’s parents could not afford to send her to school so they sent her to Warm Heart.

Troubles at home gave Tanqua membership in the “family” of kids who live at Warm Heart year around and when things are bad, you’d find her with us.

Her high school years were disrupted with family problems, but she managed to pull things together to get all her college exams completed and applications in. 

Then she got caught in a government college admissions process that left thousands of students without acceptance at college.

But she perservered. 

She found a couple of private nursing schools and got in. It’s more expensive but a much better education and excellent prospects.

Throughout this, she worried about her mother and younger sister. 

Her father was ill with cancer and died over the summer. He was violent and abusive and it was a relief when he passed.

His family has taken her mother in (often widows end up on the street with no property rights) and her younger sister is now in 7th grade and living at Warm Heart.

Your support helps young girls like Tanqua pursue their dreams of a better life. 

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