Last month, I consulted with the CRC Advocacy Group to host a 3-day event celebrating Global Action Week. Our first ever public event and we killed it! UNESCO Bangkok, Global Campaign for Education and local news outlets (both Thai and English) published about our event. We also just scored an interview with Citylife Chiang Mai and are receiving more and more donations and communication from the Thai and Expat public!
Here’s a piece from the CRC Advocacy website:
Global Action Week went out with a bang! Applause, singing, light works, cheers and smiles filled the square and we couldn’t be happier.
For 2013, the Global Campaign for Education created the theme, “Every Child Needs A Teacher,” and challenged nations around the world to make it happen. The first major public event for the CRC Advocacy Group was a huge success and garnered media attention from over 10 news outlets. Chiang Mai’s Lieutenant Governor, Khun Charoen, presided over the opening ceremony on Friday, 26 April and we even had Chiang Mai Football Club star, Angelo Machuca, join the event. GAW took place at the Central Airport Plaza over a span of 3 days and featured a photo exhibition by Daylin Paul and Murray White, cultural dances by Schools of Hope, Dara Ang Tribe, IMPECT and Dekuatdi, a theatre performance by Schools of Hope, a State of Education debate amongst Thai child development experts, and a postcard initiative aimed at reaching the Chiang Mai Office of Education.
Members of the public were so enthused with the GAW campaign that we were able to send over 400 hand-written postcards from Thai citizens and Expats to the Office of Education. Wow! Their mailbox will be full this week, full of calls to an improved education system, qualified teachers and recognition of ALL the children of Thailand. Not only were the activities successfully launched, the impact made was a huge leap for child rights in public awareness. Our shows stopped nearly every passer-by in his or her tracks and turned their focus to the plight of indigenous, stateless and ethnic children in attaining an education in remote areas of Thailand, where discrimination is omnipresent. People engaged with our staff, freely expressed their (strong) opinions on education, connected with the cause, and generously offered their support to helping the CRC Advocacy Group further carry-out its activities.
Positive reception to our demands and goals made this event a success. They are listed on the official Global Action Week 2013 website and are as follows:
- Politicians and policy-makers must acknowledge the huge disparity in educational and educator standards amongst urban Thai, rural indigenous and remote hill tribe schools.
- New teachers to non-Thai majority schools need to be tested on a standard of cultural sensitivity and understanding, language proficiency, professionalism, dedication, and moral principle.
- All children living in Thailand should have access to government schools and should not be denied education due to absence of birth registration papers.
We hope our demands were made loud and clear. How will the Office of Education respond?