Patcharaporn Protects her Rural Community from COVID-19
Patcharaporn, one of our Dream Scholars, is working as a healthcare officer in Mae Sariang. In the photos above, Patcharaporn is traveling to the most rural parts of her village to educate and treat villagers for COVID-19. Patcharaporn has provided treatment, COVID-19 tests, and vaccinations to these villagers that otherwise would not have access to medical aid due to geographical isolation. The COVID-19 pandemic has lasted for far longer than anyone expected, and healthcare workers around the globe continue to work tirelessly to protect their communities from this global threat. Patcharapon has provided us with a statement detailing how COVID-19 has impacted her and her work as a healthcare provider.
Letter From Patcharaporn
"COVID-19 has made my work very unpredictable. I constantly have to adapt and change my plan of work because I have to respond quickly when a positive case of COVID-19 is determined. Antivirus pills are delivered to many villagers and I have to give some advice to patients such as how to take them, and how to use a blood oxygen monitor. I have to stay away from my family and isolate myself because I am working at a high risk of COVID-19 infection. Moreover, I have to educate villagers about COVID-19 vaccines. Working during the pandemic is tiring, fearful, and difficult but I remain hopeful that the situation will get better soon."
Dream Scholar and Healthcare Worker
Mutita Teaches Second Grade in Remote School
Mutita, our new beginnings scholar, is an exemplary student who studied English and education at Lampang Rajabhat University. Since graduating, she has started working as a 2nd-grade teacher in a remote school in Mae NaJang, Maehongsorn district. Mutita is a natural when it comes to working with children. She can connect with her students and make learning fun. Mutita loves her work and helping her students learn. Teachers like Mutita are a gift to their students and community. At Smiles on Wings, we believe in expanding access to education to even the most remote villages of the world. Every child deserves a chance to learn, and reach their fullest potential. Through her work, Mutita is inspiring the next generation of leaders in her community. We are so proud of Mutita and the change we have brought to this remote part of the world. Thanks to donors like you, we can continue to make a difference in the hill tribe villages in Thailand.
Letter from our New Beginnings Scholar Mutita
"My name is Mutita and I’m currently working at BanMaeNaJang school as a 2nd-grade teacher. I serve many roles at school. I teach all the subjects such as Thai, English, and Math. I also help take care of the school’s finances. Having so many job responsibilities is hard but I’m very happy with my work, especially when I see my students smile. Our school consists of 4 teachers and 65 students (including kindergarten and primary school). All of the students are Karen, a tribe that is very connected with nature. Our school is located in the countryside and we like to include nature and the outdoors in our studies. After graduating from primary school, some students will get married young and find work because of poverty. I became a teacher because I hope to help my students have a good future. My goal as a teacher is to give my students love, knowledge, and good opportunities. I want to give them all the support they need so they can grow up, to be honest, smart, and good people. Today, I will give them a chance. Tomorrow, they will give others."
Second Grade Teacher
Chonlada's Oral Health and Hygiene Outreach Project
We are so proud of Chonlada, our Smiles on Wings scholar who is studying to become a dental therapist. Chonlada recently initiated a dental care and personal hygiene project to help local school children living in Maesariang, Thailand. In Maesariang, most school children live in households that have limited access to clean water. Oftentimes, their school is the only place where they have access to clean water for personal hygiene. Recently, Chonlada realized that many Karen tribal children do not have the appropriate supplies or knowledge in order to properly brush their teeth or practice personal hygiene. Chonlada made Smiles on Wings aware of this issue, and we were able to financially support her as bought toothbrushes, toothpaste, washing machines, laundry detergent, laundry baskets, and other personal hygiene equipment for the school. Chonlada also educated the school children on the importance of oral health and taught the children how to brush their teeth! With better oral health and personal hygiene, these children will be healthier and happier.
Thank you to our donors who help make this possible! Empowering our graduates to start their own projects and supporting their ongoing activities are essential for our mission in improving the health and well-being of their communities!
Letter from Chonlada:
"Thank you doctor Usa Bunnag and Smiles on Wings donors. The support from Smiles on Wings has allowed us to organize this dental and personal hygiene project which will improve the quality of life of children in Ban Mae Lid kindergarten. Thanks to your help, our students will have better hygiene and live healthier lives. Thank you for helping us obtain washing machines, detergents, baskets, tooth cleaning equipment, toothbrushes, and toothpaste for the Ban Mae Lid kindergarten students. With your help, I was able to purchase the basic equipment needed to keep our children healthy. Thank you, doctor. Usa Bunnag and all the kind adults involved. Highly appreciated."
Dream Scholar Chonlada Teaches Students Gardening Skills
Chonlada Samajitamporn is our dream scholar who graduated from Northern University with a major in Early Childhood Education. Today, Chonlada is working as a school teacher for Karen tribal children. In the pictures below, Chonlada is teaching her students how to tend to the organic garden they have at the school. This garden helps support the school and school children. Chonlada is teaching her children valuable lessons on how to tend a garden, while also supporting the school!
Chonlada is an orphan and a mother. Our scholarship program allowed her to obtain a college education, so she could then return to her village to help the community. She is teaching in an area that is traditionally underserved in terms of education. Her college education also allowed her to support her family. Her children are now able to attend college as well! Helping Chonlada obtain a college education has a generational positive impact. We are so proud to be able to make #HerDream come true and uplift her family and village one mission, one girl at a time. Thank you to our Smiles on Wings donors for making dreams possible. Your contribution continues to have impacts for many years to come!
We are so proud of our scholars who are studying to become teachers in their small villages of Thailand. One of our new beginnings scholars, Sripai who is an education & chemistry major at Phayao University is currently working in Maelid school as a 6th-grade teacher. Sripai's class has begun an anatomy unit in their science class. In the photos, we can see her students presenting their anatomy posters. Sripai is a dedicated teacher who works hard to ensure her students enjoy learning. She works extra hours to maintain the school's facilities and farm. Teachers like Sripai are a gift to students and their families.
Letter from New Beginnings Scholar Sripai
Hello, my name is Sripai and I am a 6th-grade teacher in Maelid school. While many schools in Thailand could not open because of the covid-19 pandemic, we were fortunate to re-open our school in June 2021. I teach science, math, social study, history, health education, and arts. As the teacher, I am always learning in order to improve my knowledge of basic subjects. The students are cute, diligent, and supportive of their classmates who are struggling in school. My friends at work are like my family because we always help each other. An important part of my job is to take care of the school’s dormitories, and therefore, I seldom go home. Sometimes I get tired but I always remain positive. I love my job and helping my students learn. In the summer, I take care of a school’s farm where they grow mushrooms and raise pigs, hens, and fish. The farm provides very important funding for our school. I have 2 days of leave in a week but I rarely take my time off. I'm happiest when I work at this school and educate the children in my village.
New Beginnings Scholar
Kornkamon is one of our Dream Scholars and is studying community health at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University. She has worked throughout this pandemic as a healthcare officer. In the photo above, Kornkamon is administering COVID-19 tests to local villagers during the COVID-19 outbreak in Mae Hong Son province. Our scholars have provided treatment, COVID-19 tests, and vaccinations to these villagers that otherwise would not have access to medical aid due to geographical location. Our mission at Smiles on Wings is to promote self-reliability in these communities. We believe we have completed this mission as our scholars have saved lives throughout this pandemic without the need for outside intervention.
Letter from Kornkamon:
"There is currently a COVID-19 outbreak in Mae Hong Son province that is devastating families in rural areas. When going in to work as a health officer, I have to protect myself from infection by wearing a face shield and repeatedly washing my hands. Moreover, I have to wear a PPE suit when around people who are are presenting COVID-19 symptoms. My primary mission is to help areas where Coronavirus is spreading due to lack of personnel. I also have the responsibility to vaccinate adults and students. As you can see, health workers are at the front of the COVID-19 outbreaks, and we are at high risk of infection. For example, we are exposed to the virus, have a heavy workload, have long working hours, and we are exhausted."
The First Phase of School Water Filter Repair is Complete
In August we began Mutita's Clean Water Project. Mutita, one of our dream scholars, is a teacher in the remote Maenajang village. While working, she noticed that students and teachers did not have adequate access to drinking water due to the building's improper water filtration system. With your help, we were able to raise $1,000 dollars, and this week, we repaired the school's water filter! In the photo above, Mutita's students are thanking us for the repaired filter. The students and teachers at BanMaeNaJang School are so grateful to finally have access to clean water. This repair will bring life-changing health benefits for these schoolchildren.
Thank you for your donations that have made a meaningful difference in the lives of these children. Together, we have brought clean water that will have a positive impact on these students' health and wellbeing. We are happy to bring relief to these school children so they can have a safe and nurturing learning environment. We are so proud of dream scholar, Mutita, who has taken an initiative in her community to bring about this change. Although repairing the filter is only a short-term solution until we can replace the water filtration system, this repair will have life-changing impacts on the lives of these students.
Throughout the outbreak of COVID-19, our scholars have been working on the frontlines, protecting their communities from this global threat. We are so proud of their work educating the villagers about COVID-19 and keeping them healthy. Patcharapon, a public health worker in Mae Sariang, has provided us with a statement detailing how COVID-19 has impacted her and her work as a healthcare provider.
The COVID-19 pandemic is getting worse in my hometown because there are many villagers infected with COVID-19. I have a responsibility to locate and seclude high-risk patients who are susceptible to contracting and spreading the virus. My responsibility is dangerous because I have to wear personal protective equipment that is both hot and airless in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Moreover, I have to take care of the COVID-19 vaccination to ensure everyone in the area is fully vaccinated. Convincing people to get the COVID-19 vaccine is difficult because many of them are worried about the potential side effects after receiving the vaccine.
Working during the COVID-19 pandemic is tiresome, risky, and full of paranoia. However, I am not discouraged because I have hope that the situation will get better soon.
Public health worker
Thanks to your donations, we were able to reach our goal of $1,000 to repair the water filter in the Ban Mae Najang School!
This is the first step to bring clean water to the schoolchildren in the remote Maenajang village in Thailand. Although it is only a temporary solution until we can replace the old water filter, this repair will bring life-changing health benefits for these schoolchildren. Once the COVID-19 situation has improved, we immediately will send a repairman to fix the water filter. Thanks to your generous support, we continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the Karen Tribe.
Villagers have been stricken with COVID in the remote village of Sobmuay, Thailand. Smiles on Wings’ health officers: Renu, Chalita, Patcharaporn, Junjira, Kornkamol are working very hard to help their communities through this continued public health crisis. The increasing COVID-19 cases have been overwhelming for our health care officers because their village is also in the midst of a Malaria and Dengue fever outbreak.
Renu, our scholar, recounts the steps she has taken to address the COVID-19 outbreak as a health care officer:
1. We coordinated with the district disease control team for COVID-19 patients screening.
2. Gained access to COVID-19 antigen test kits.
3. Coordinated between the infected area and the district to take action.
4. Separated infected people from their household members in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
5. Coordinated with village health volunteers to help the COVID-19 patients in the area and report to the public health officer.
6. Informed people about how to adjust to a new healthy lifestyle under DMHTT guidelines (social distancing, mask-wearing, hand-washing, temperature-checking, and using the Thai Chana app).