Gun has a wish for when he grows up. He would like to own his own house.
Prae Wae has a wish for when she grows up. She would like to be a scientist.
Khao-Pan has a wish for when he grows up. He would like to work in construction.
View has a wish for when she grows up. She would like to be a chef.
Yoy has a wish for when he grows up. He would like to be an architect.
Our kids' futures are as big as their dreams, and who are we to stand in their way of achieving those dreams?
At the end of April, Game, Director of Hands Home BTN, and the staff from across our homes held a Careers Camp in Prachuap Khiri Khan for 90 of our students. The camp has been 5 years in the making, so it was pretty special to watch the week unfold and Game’s idea turn into reality.
The camp was designed to provide the students with an opportunity to learn about different career paths, connect with kids from the other homes, and develop essential soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving. What we did not anticipate was the strength of the bonds that would be forged between the kids.
The significance of this camp lies in the fact that children cannot aspire to what they cannot see. Without exposure to different career options, and uncovering more about themselves through a variety of activities, they may never consider certain career paths as viable options. The camp not only opened their minds to new ideas but helped build the confidence in themselves to dream big and pursue their passions.
In business, we all know the importance of self development and the camp was built in a way that the kids could learn more about themselves and how to work in different environments. They were divided into different colour groups with a mixture of ages and home representation, and each group was assigned an older student as their mentor throughout the three-day event. On the initial day, there were a few reserved reactions; however, as the first day progressed, the team began to develop a sense of camaraderie and new bonds were forged. As the third day drew to a close, everyone was supportive and looking out for each other.
Activities were centered around soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving, which are essential skills as these kids become adults. Workshops from our supporting partner DIAKRIT, introduced them to different vocations in a business setting including a photography activity that allowed the kids to unleash their creativity and create profile photos.
A university psychologist attended to teach the older students about sex education, while the younger students had a body workshop to understand how to protect themselves. This same psychologist ran art therapy sessions and a camp reflection which will be converted into a report about the students mental health and wellbeing that the homes can use to better support them.
For us at Hands, it was an opportunity to speak to the kids about the future at Baan Nam Khem and the pathways we are building for the community. The new centre will feature a hospitality training program working with local hotels to develop future pathways and employment for the kids. It will also become the home for our new social enterprise Hands Experiences Thailand that will be a bicycle day tour business servicing the Khao Lak region and our own charity bike ride experiences. This centre presents a myriad of opportunities for the kids who might not want to go to university but want to find a way to get into training that leads directly to employment.
Overall, the careers camp opened the eyes and minds of our young people and we are excited to see what they aspire to in the future. As educators and mentors, it is our responsibility to support and encourage children to aspire towards their dreams. By building these camps, we can all help them realise their full potential and become successful in whatever they choose to do.
Their futures are bright.
Their futures will be successful not by chance, but by choice.
That choice is theirs.
And who are we to stand in their way?