At this stage of the Youth Ambassadors program, I am getting along quite well with my host organization (MAP Foundation). I have met many kinds of people and done so many different things here.
My friend Mai, another Youth Ambassador, and I had been given a great opportunity to be Disc Jockeys for MAP Radio. During our program, we spoke about various health issues, such as the dangers of foam boxes, relaxation techniques, different healthy food and exercises tips for each blood type. At first I was very worried about speaking on the radio, but once I began speaking I realized that I really enjoyed it! Unfortunately, after the military coup was enforced, radio stations were shut down. So, I’m afraid I won’t get to be a DJ for a while – well, at least for now. However, I do appreciate having had this opportunity. It was new and challenging for me!
What I leaned from taking part in this is that, radio can reach a wide audience in the region such as Shan, Burmese, as well as Thai. As MAP Radio slogan says, “Voices without borders,” I think we really do reach a lot of people that speak different languages and are from different cultures.
Recently, I joined the RFA (Rights for All) team in Fang District, Chiang Mai, to give out three scholarships. First, we went to Ban Vian Fang School to meet the Deputy Director and seven students. We told them about MAP and the reason why we were there. Next, we visited seven migrant students’ homes in order to learn and observe their lives. After a careful study, three were awarded the scholarships.
In addition to the visit, I have had the opportunity to travel to new places where there are a lot of migrant children who need help. We asked questions about their family, education and living conditions. One of them told us that they lived near farmland where a lot of insecticide is used. Another told us that they had been drinking the well water near this area, which I found to be contaminated with insecticide. I told them that the water was bad for their health and asked them why they were drinking it. They replied, “We didn’t know that it was bad and we don’t know about good health information because nobody has ever told us about it”. I believe that no organization or institution has been able to reach this place before. I believe this community has little outside communication because it is far from the city.
The lives of many students there are not beautiful nor comfortable. They work hard to earn a living and look for more jobs during their free time. They mostly cultivate fruits and vegetables such as litchis, onions, oranges, and chilies. They also help their families as much as they can. In fact, some of them are the breadwinners of the house. After listening to them talk about their lives, it made me realize how easy mine is. They make me understand the value of money and hard work. I have been lucky enough to have parents that are able to support me financially. I understand that my parents’ money has been hard earned and I am very appreciative of that.
DOMESTIC WORKERS DAY:
MAP has monthly domestic labor meetings where domestic workers can share their experiences and get updates on the migrant situation. Recently, MAP made arrangements for International Domestic Workers Day (June 16). MAP had a lot of activities planned such as ice breakers and fun games. We also used this time to survey domestic workers and to better understand their situation. We asked them about their work hours. Some people work up to 8 hours but no one works more than six days a week. During this meeting we also had the opportunity to teach them how to make dishwashing liquid that they might use in their housework or at their jobs. This meeting was very fun because all of the workers were very friendly. I am very glad I had the chance to meet them!