Each year, the CRICS seniors individually organize and lead service projects to fulfill a practical need in the communities of Chiang Rai province. The seniors create projects which integrate their own personal values and the tangible needs of the community. Leading their fellow students in implementing the projects, seniors log over one hundred hours of service. In the process, they reflect on their own values which guide them to discover who they are in Christ.
In their own words, this year’s seniors share their projects:
M. R.: English Camp
In Thai schools, English is a required class to take. Although the students may be learning a second language, not much is emphasized on the pronunciation, which can cause miscommunication with foreigners. Therefore, I decided to hold an English camp to emphasize English pronunciation and sentence structures, which have been a struggle to Thai speakers. Those who attended the camp had the opportunity to interact with the volunteers, high schoolers and teachers, while learning songs and games.
T. K.: Picking Coffee Beans
On December 23rd, 2012, my team of CRICS students and volunteers set out to the mountainside of Doi Chang to pick coffee beans for the hilltribe villagers who urgently required workers. My mission statement was to aid those who needed immediate help within the community. We helped pick basketfuls of coffee beans and returned home with over a hundred service hours.
L. M.: Swimming Survival Skills
For my project, I decided to teach the tribal girls from New Life Center Foundation how to swim. Swimming is an important skill for these girls to learn as drowning is a prevalent issue among tribal peoples here in Thailand. To me, swimming is a miracle, as close to flying as humans can get on our own, and I wanted to share that with others. My goal was to teach these thirty young women water safety skills to empower them in their everyday lives. After team training, meetings, and eight days of lessons my team of high-schoolers and I greatly improved these young women’s confidence and built relationships that will last. I truly believe that Christ was revealed to each person involved in my project.
R. D.: Swimming Fundraiser
My team and I raised money to purchase swimsuits for the girls of New life Center. L. M. endeavored to teach the girls the lifesaving ability of swimming. However pools here in Thailand do not allow regular clothes to be worn in their pools. All the girls come from underprivileged villages in northern Thailand and could not afford to buy their own swimsuits.
Within their customs there is a fear of water and drowning is a problem. So my team’s mission was clear: provide the suits so L. M. could get these girls to the pool. We set up bake sales, held coffee sales, and gave manicures bringing in a total of twenty-three thousand Baht. The girls were each thrilled to have a swimsuit of they very own.
Z. K.: Serving a Hilltribe Church
I led a team of 11 high school students up to Huay That village in the Chiang Rai Wawee area, and we poured a cement floor for the church. The project began with the visions and values for worship; I wanted to impact the community with worship but also to fulfill a practical need in the community. Jeff Coors had given funds to Akha Outreach Foundation for church, which became available to use for our project. Our team spent 2 days in the village Saturday pouring the cement floor for the church as well as a walk way around the church. The church members were extremely hospitable and were very gracious in their hosting. The team was able to worship on Sunday with the locals and integrate spiritually with the locals.
J. L.: Chinese/English Camp
My senior project team held a Chinese and English Camp at the Akha Foundation. Chinese and English are the languages that most people in the world speak. About two billion people on this planet speak these two languages. Therefore, I decided to teach Chinese and English to Thai students. It seems impossible to teach both languages in one day. However, through learning basic Chinese and English, the students would get more interested and gain more confidence in these two languages. Through songs and activities Chinese was taught in the morning and English was taught after lunch.
I think we had a lot of fun. The students were so happy, and they seemed like they got more confidence with English and Chinese.