Bangkok Community Help Foundation runs a weekly volunteer-led class that aims to teach English and improve the lives of underprivileged children in the Klong Toei area of the city.
Children learn new English vocabulary, play games, dance Zumba, and do arts and crafts projects in a fun environment.
At the end of each class, students are provided with a hot meal, juice, and fruit.
The class has been running for over two years and takes place every Saturday morning for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Typically, 15-20 students attend the class between the ages of 6 to 12 years old. Many students are regulars who come every week.
Both Thai and foreign volunteers help to run the class from a variety of backgrounds including students, professionals, and retirees.
New volunteers are always welcome and no teaching experience or Thai language ability is needed. However, Thai speakers are especially needed.
There is no commitment required and volunteers can attend whenever they are available on a Saturday morning.
Regular attendance is however encouraged as getting to know the students will enhance the learning experience.
Four volunteers shared their experience volunteering teaching English with Bangkok Community Help…
“It’s a highlight of my week and a lot of fun to see the kids and their excitement participating in our group. I really feel we are having a positive impact and bringing real value to our communities.”
“I’m Thai and I knew that we really needed this for our community. It’s wonderful that I was able to give back to the kids and make new friendships. Thank you for all your time and effort in making a difference.”
“I am a certified Zumba Kids Instructor. I am grateful that I can dance and have lots of fun with the children every Saturday. When I see the joy on each child’s face as they learn new moves and new songs, It makes me a happier and more positive person in my day-to-day life.”
“I’ve been a teacher for over ten years. Watching the volunteers teach the children is inspirational. They are full of energy and keep the class engaged, learning, smiling, and having fun! – The same goes for their fantastic Zumba and yoga teacher. The whole team are changing and shaping lives in Klong Toei. It’s amazing!”
Bangkok Community Help is a community initiative founded by Greg Lange (Owner of Sunrise Tacos & Margarita Storm) and Friso Poldervaart (Serial Entrepreneur and owner of Dinner in the Sky Thailand) during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic that struck at the start of 2020.
Greg and Friso were approached by a few members of the Klong Toei community asking to use the kitchen of Greg’s restaurant to prepare hot meals for the hunger-stricken people living in the slums.
As they and their team started to visit the slums they became aware of many other issues that the community were facing – exacerbated by the pandemic – which included dirty rubbish sites infested by rats, dilapidated houses, lack of food, and basic sanitation facilities among many others.
More and more people wanted to get involved in supporting the Klong Toei community and that’s when Bangkok Community Help was formed. Now, there are over 500 volunteers.
Currently, a photography exhibition is being held in Bangkok documenting the foundation’s work over the past two years.
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