Unique insights on the Amari lifestyle brought to you in full colour
To celebrate of Earth Day we held the second annual Arts for the Planet competition where students showed off their artistic prowess in the name of environmental responsibility.
Students in primary schools (P1 – P6 for students aged 7-12 years) and secondary schools (M1 – M3 for students aged 12-15 years) in the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration system and Phuket were invited to take part in this year’s painting contest.
The event is aimed at engaging the younger generation with art to foster critical thinking about environmental issues by using the theme, “Colours of Nature”. All proceeds will go to support the education of underprivileged children in Thailand.
‘Arts for The Planet’ was first initiated in April 2010 by ONYX Hospitality Group in co-operation with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Department of Education to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Materials for the project have been kindly supported by Sakura Products (Thailand), with AC Fresh Fruit Juice providing refreshment for all of the students.
All winning paintings will be available for sale at the exhibition which is open to the public at the Amari Watergate Bangkok from June 15-30, and at Amari Coral Beach Phuket from June 1-20.
We recently donated used Amari calendars to the Bangkok School for the Blind in order to help students learn about different shapes through their sense of touch. Forming the calendars into squares, triangles and circles gives blind children the opportunity to learn by actually feeling a particular shape.
While we were there – we also found out about the fascinating history of this Bangkok institution.
Founded by Genevieve Caulfield in 1938, a blind American teacher who created a Thai version of Braille, the school has played a significant role in the lives of thousands of Thai people. Ms. Caulfield was also instrumental in changing the mentality that blind people could not be productive members of society.
Ms. Caulfield was awarded the Medal of Freedom from the United States Government and conferred the Royal Decoration of the White Elephant by H.M. the King of Thailand for her contribution to the people of the world.
We recently visited several of our charter schools – made possible by donations from guests like you – and found that the children there are benefitting greatly from these educational opportunities.
The first school we visited was about two hours from the Amari Rincome Chiang Mai. The road to these remote areas is rife with stomach churning twists and turns – but we were not discouraged.
Stunning scenic panoramas and cool weather encapsulate the Benchama 1 School in Vieng Haeng – which is literally in the middle of nowhere. Built eight years ago – this school is still in great condition and the students seem to be thriving. The children here are from four different hill tribes and we had the pleasure of experiencing a beautiful dance performance from the older girls wearing their traditional Lisu costumes.
We arrived at Baan Nor Lae Nursery Centre amid 10° Celsius temperatures – forgetting that we were still in Thailand. Our school building has been well maintained and each classroom was decorated with nice paint work. We offered the children donuts and soya milk and again, it was amazing watching how much they enjoyed every single bite.
After this touching experience, we made our way to the Saha Thanakarn Krungthep Royal Thai Border Police School in Kanchanaburi. Located along the border of Thailand and Myanmar about 380 km from Bangkok - it has a big community of Karen people who originally came from parts of Myanmar. Nearly 336 students attend this school and many have to walk 3 km. to school every day in a pair of flip-flops.
For this trip we had the pleasure of having Paul Robson of Express Foods Asia Co., Ltd. coming along to offer the kids delicious pancakes by POPCAKE®. We could see that they were all fascinated by the POPCAKE machine and even more so with the pancakes that we soon realized that feeding over 300 kids wasn’t an easy task!
The principal then took us for a tour of the school compound where we saw older kids watering their vegetable garden, which is part of the lunch programme graciously introduced by Princess Siridhorn. All Border Police Schools grow their own vegetables, raise chickens for their eggs, and have a fish or frog farm so they can have a free lunch at school every day.
When we were driving back along the narrow road, about a kilometer from the school, we saw a number of kids walking home. They all stopped, turned to our vans and gave us a “wai” and waved goodbye. Waiving back, we felt their gratitude as much as we were grateful to have had the opportunity to bring a little happiness to their lives.
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