During the long semester break, many people decided to study or travel, but I chose to participate in Saphan Siang Campaign for almost six months…
My time with Saphan Siang and MAP Foundation as a Youth Ambassador was very special and wonderful. I learned so much about migrant workers. I also learned academic and life skills, and met many fantastic people along the way – both inside and outside of office. These expereinces have transformed the way I think and live.
Before joining Saphan Siang I didn’t realize or care about migrant worker issue; I thought the issue was very far and trivial. But having engaged with different kinds people including migrant workers and local staff made me appreciate the issue.
I once asked an officer at the foundation why she does not hire more staff. She said:
“this work needs people who love the issue and are ready to work heartily. Many people have worked for short time because working with migrant workers can be very weary. Their time has become our time. So, if we want to know more about their lives, you also have to spend your free time for them.”
In my opinion I find this to be true. For example, I finished talking with migrant workers on day at around 10 pm. when I did a field survey. Being a volunteer is probably one of the most valuable experiences; it can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. For exampale, I received trumendous help when needed from the staff, while being taught Burmese by big-hearted Myanmar workers whom we worked with. They often gave me a big smile! However, sometimes I faced the challenge of not getting the right answer from migrant workers, such as when I coducted the survey. Perhaps, knowing certain information would make them vulnerable, which I can totally understand. I suppose this is a great life skill I received: there are good and bad qualities in everyone of us.
Most of all, I’m grateful to have been selected in the programme. Without this experience, I would still be the same person who doesn’t understand the realities of migrant workers and learned invaluable skills.
On this occasion, I would like to say a big thank to everyone at MAP Foundation for teaching me so much and allowing me the have a real-world experience, also for taking me to places I wouldn’t have otherwise imgained going. Although I’ve completed the volunteer placement with the foundation, I try to keep in contact with the people I met. They are like my family, especailly migrant workers who are important for my work and who are very important for Thailand. Without them and their contribution, Thailand wouldn’t have been the way it is today.