Kate Tierney is visiting us for a few months and generously donating her time and skills to help run some inspirational workshops for our kids.
Welcome, Kate! How has your time at The SOLD Project been so far?
I can’t believe I am already half-way through volunteering in Chiang Rai with The SOLD Project- time is flying by way too fast. My expectations when I arrived here were to gain an understanding of how prevention works, connect with the children at the resource center, and to learn. What I have experienced in the past month is unmeasurable, and I am so thankful that I can be involved every afternoon!
The children who spend time at the resource center have been warm and welcoming, and are always eager to learn and create! On my first day, I noticed all of the girls were huddled outside and when I stepped out, they quickly called me over. They were getting haircuts by one of the staff members and must have thought I needed one too! I ended up getting quite the trim, making this the most memorable haircut I’ll ever have!
It continues to amaze me how we can have such strong connections despite a language barrier. Even with my weekly tutoring and lots of practice, I am struggling to grasp this difficult language (though I have mastered a few useful and funny sayings!) The children are very patient with my laughable attempts at speaking Thai, and have spent lots of time going over pronunciations with me. I try to help them with their English as well and it’s really exciting to hear them improve and feel more confident. Watching several of the children at their graduation was moving for me, as I could really feel the excitement and sense of pride over their accomplishment!
Spending time with these children really puts into perspective how crucial and successful The SOLD Project is. While the many art projects and games of badminton we have played were full of laughter, there is an immensely larger success happening here. Having a safe place where children can come to after a long day of school to feel comfortable and supported is essential for their health and success. I have always been inspired and impressed by the goals of The SOLD Project, but to see these goals actually being accomplished has been a life changing experience for me.
I look forward to the next month full of new lessons and adventures! I will be teaching the children about the importance of self -respect, how to identify an unhealthy relationship, and discussing body health and confidence! I have planned fun art projects and other related activities for my lessons so I am really looking forward to this opportunity!
She’s got some fantastic activities planned for our kids. We’re so excited to have Kate on board!