Mar 30

Breakfast in Thai presents:”The Oak WISP (Waldorf Inspired School Phuket) looks forward”

The Oak WISP is an educational centre dedicated to supporting the holistic development, well-being and education of children in our community in Kamala, Phuket. We aim to be as inclusive as possible, supporting children who come from a range of different cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds; children who have little or no English; as well as some who have emotional, developmental or other challenges or learning difficulties. 

Our school is located in a beautiful green jungle with a river flowing through the grounds – this healthy, nourishing and inspiring environment plays a big part in our approach to childhood care and education, which is inspired by Waldorf education and the Forest School movement. 

The majority of our students are immigrants who would not be able to attend any other school due to lack of birth certificates and other documents, as well as poverty (they pay very low fees that cover only a fraction of expenses). There are many more such children in the community who we have been unable to accept at The Oak, due to lack of funds.

Recently, a beloved student of ours had to leave school to find a low-paying job as a construction worker, at the age of 13, to help support his family. This brings tears to our eyes, and as our students grow up, we regrettably predict that a similar future could await them (and others in the community). Even more disturbing is what happens to far too many teenagers and young women here, where prostitution is a fast and easy way to make money – especially for those with no English, education or special skills required to find a good job.

We would love to grow our initiative in new directions in order to provide some support to these teenagers, for example by teaching them practical skills that could help them to gain respectable and well-paid employment.
To this end, we have been considering the possibility of creating a paid internship programme where teenagers can learn to professionally cook Italian cuisine, while also receiving lessons in mathematics and English literacy. In Thailand, where Italian food is a speciality, this skill is likely to help them to get a good job. 

The Oak WISP is trying to raise funds in order to continue educating the children already enrolled at the school; be able to accept new children who are unable to pay the full fees; and to help support new projects such as the above-mentioned one. 
We would be deeply grateful to anyone who would like to support our initiative and help in any way, great or small.


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