Theatre for Change: A New Approach to Drama

In 2015, the NIST Drama Department developed a special unit in Year 11 that focused on the power of drama to create change in the world. The goal was for students to develop skills in the course that they could then use to impact a community positively by drawing attention to both local and global issues. An extension of this unit has become an annual service theatre trip involving clowning, a powerful communication tool, as clowns have the ability to communicate universally without the hinderance of language barriers.

In the first year of the unit’s implementation, students traveled to Cambodia and presented a clown piece to six local schools, educating young people on the perils of migration and forced labour. The second year saw a group of clowning students return to Cambodia with a piece called “A Teaspoon of Change” with the idea of promoting local environmental sustainability practices.

This year, in November, year 11 students traveled to Chiang Dao and engaged in a very unique service programme. Instead of only bringing a previously created performance to a community, the students led workshops for local high school students. The local students, who had never studied drama or clowning, worked with our own to create, develop and perform a collaborative piece called “Celebrating Us!”. The goal of project and performance was to share and merge our diverse backgrounds and cultures in a theatre experience that focused on clowning skills and a celebration of collaboration.

NIST students also had the opportunity to work with Thai theatre artists at the Makhampon Art Space to learn new skills and enhance their performances further. On the final day, our students spent time with younger children in a nearby Dara-Ang village and presented their revised performances to a village audience in the evening. Without language, they bonded over laughter.

This unit has become one of the most rewarding units in our drama curriculum and as Year 11 student Kaede Miyazawa said on returning to school after the Makhampon trip, “This experience has changed my life. I thought service was about giving! But I now know I have received far more than I gave away on this trip!”  

 

Game of Thrones Star Joins Global Goals World Cup at NIST

Thailand may remain tropical, but at least for a few hours in late September, the cool touch of winter arrived. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, widely recognized as Jamie Lannister on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, served as a referee for the Global Goals World Cup (GGWCup) here at NIST, home to Chelsea FC International Development Centre Bangkok.

A collaboration between Eir Soccer and the UN Development Program (UNDP), the GGWCup aims to create a new kind of sport tournament for women, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a catalyst to merge football, advocacy and culture. By choosing and championing one of the goals, each team of women helps build awareness and contribute toward the achievement of the goals.

As a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and avid football enthusiast, Coster-Waldau has supported the GGWCup from the beginning, first in New York and Nairobi, and now in Bangkok, where the tournament was sponsored by PANDORA. While his efforts as an official ambassador focus on gender equality and climate change, he sees his role as shining a light on the work that others do to work toward all of the goals. This aligns to the philosophy of the GGWCup.

Co-founder Majken Gilmartin believes that “sport has a unique power to unite all kinds of people around the common goal of making the world better. This work with Chelsea, NIST and UNDP is a perfect example of the kinds of innovative alliances that are needed in order to accelerate progress towards sustainable development”.

In a world that increasingly sees nations and communities becoming more diverse, defined more often by their many differences than their commonalities, it’s rare to find a shared vision and values that tie people together. The prevalence of this diversity makes the SDGs all the more remarkable. Building on basic aims such as the eradication of poverty, reduction of inequality and creation of clean energy, the goals provide a framework for the future that nearly all can agree upon and work toward.

This is particularly important in Thailand, where the UNDP’s work faces numerous challenges common across Asia, including a rapidly growing population, high consumption of resources and high levels of inequality. Bridging diverse communities to build shared support for the SDGs is crucial to their success.

At NIST we welcome families who represent nearly 60 nationalities and come from a wide range of backgrounds, languages and cultures. Bridging this rich diversity are our community’s core values, closely linked to those of the UN, and a shared commitment to the SDGs. The strong commitment to achieving the goals is firmly entrenched our mission and programmes.

By fusing education, community engagement and service, NIST has created a unique learning model that has been recognized globally, including through the contributions of alumni such as Praya Lundberg, a UN Refugee Agency Goodwill Ambassador. During his time at the school, both in an earlier visit and during the event, Coster-Waldau acknowledged the success of NIST’s approach: “I have to say, this is probably the most impressive school I have ever seen…very inspiring”.

Looking to the future, collaborations such as this will be essential to identifying sustainable solutions that will move us all toward the accomplishment of the SDGs. Organizations such as the UNDP, Eir Soccer, NIST, Chelsea FC and PANDORA have served as pioneers, striving to make a positive impact in their communities and empower others. And the GGWCup? It will return to Bangkok, and will continue to expand to cities on every continent as it unites people to work toward a shared vision of a better world.


During the GGWCup, Coster-Waldau sat down with the Falcons News team to talk about Game of Thrones, his role as a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador and his experiences in Thailand.

Plastic Free NIST Reshapes Our Community

Plastic Free NIST is a group of students who have been tirelessly working to shift our school toward reduced use and disposal of single-use plastics. Coming back to NIST after the summer break, many in our community noticed a few changes in how certain items in our school are packaged. From uniforms wrapped in paper rather than plastic bags to smoothie plastic cups now made of cassava, there are school-wide changes taking place. Plastic Free NIST has been the trigger in getting these changes implemented, and plan to continue to endorsing new systems within our community to work toward a far more sustainable school.

We were curious about how the students turned their concern about single-use plastics into action. We sat down with them and discussed what it is like to have such a meaningful impact on the NIST’s sustainability efforts.


Why are single-use plastics a problem for the world?

Today, more than a 100 million tons of plastic are drifting around our oceans because plastic doesn’t biodegrade; it lasts for nearly 500 years. Exposure to sun, wind, water makes the plastic break down into smaller and smaller pieces, called microplastics. These plastics contain a high concentration of agricultural and industrial toxins. Animals commonly mistake plastic for food and eat it, resulting in severe consequences for the future of marine life and our consumption of fish and seafood. Microplastics in our fresh waterways even end up polluting our drinking water.

 

How did you get interested in the issue of single-use plastics?

Our story starts back in a Y7 Science and Individuals & Societies unit, in which we focused on Thailand’s plastic problem as it relates to the Chao Phraya river. We saw first-hand how much plastic littered the streets, the klongs and the banks of river communities. We explored various actions that could be taken to decrease the amount of plastic we consume. It struck us that we had a fresh learning and service opportunity here on campus. At the beginning of Y8 we officially formed our service group.

 

What actions have you taken so far?

Some of the actions we have taken so far includes the change from plastic water bottles to glass bottles in NIST cafes, changing the cafe cups from plastic to plant-based cassava cups, the removal of plastic packaging on school uniforms in the school shop, selling reusable stainless steel cups, the prohibition of plastic event banners and the installation of colorful recycling bins around campus.

 

What challenges have you had?

Single-use plastic is very easily accessible and offers great convenience to people. This convenience is what drives our school and community to use an immeasurable amount of plastic and straws a day, and what makes plastic a very hard habit to break. There is the option to completely eliminate plastic packaged products from the school all at once; however, if this decision were made too quickly, before new systems are in place, there would definitely be a negative reaction from the community. This could lead to setbacks in future projects due to negative connotations with our group.

 

What are some of your success stories and some that were less successful?

In Plastic Free NIST’s first year, we planned a week long event around the time of Earth Day to celebrate and encourage environmental protection. However, we lacked knowledge in how to communicate our ideas to the wider community. In our Earth Week event, we planned many mini-projects, including a week-long ban on plastic lamination. These projects were ideally going to bring positive change. However, they weren’t executed in the right way. We weren’t liaising with the administration, thus preventing our ideas from being sustainable across the whole-school. From failures in our initial years, we learned the importance of guidance from experts and endorsement of our projects. Our perseverance to continue to work on this Plastic Free NIST project had allowed us to come this far.

One of our greatest accomplishments has been changing the cups used in NIST cafes from plastic cups to plant-based biodegradable cassava cups and getting rid of plastic bottled water. We sent countless emails and sat in many meetings to finalize the new cups and how they could be successfully implemented at NIST.

We have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Plastic Free NIST Stainless Steel Mugs

 

What do you think made some efforts successful and some less successful?

From our experience, the difference between a successful project and an unsuccessful one is how much support and cooperation we have. To create a large impact on our communities, we need help: help from teachers, help from other students and help from the leadership team. Now that we have become a more recognized group, we have the support of members in the community such as Khun Nirut and Mr. Brett, and service coordinators.

 

What is your vision for NIST regarding single use plastics here?

Eventually we would love it if we were in fact a campus that was entirely plastic free. Our next minor goal is to remove plastic cutlery and straws and replace with reusable or biodegradable options. We’re also researching how we could begin the plastic recycling process here on campus and the possibility of a social entrepreneurship opportunity in creating and selling bamboo straws and cutlery. Overall, our vision is to ensure people at NIST understand the importance of their actions related to plastic consumption, reduce their plastic consumption, and ensure the natural environment is maintained sustainably and safely.

 

What is our responsibility? What can we do as a community to help you achieve this vision?

It is our responsibility as a community to make individual efforts in order to reduce plastic consumption. In our society, we use plastic because we do not feel the urgency of the issue at hand when all we want is that cold bottle of water, that smoothie or take-away food for dinner.

We see images of the giant plastic patch in the Pacific, or even locally with plastic trash on Thai beaches or clogging up the Chao Phraya, but we do not see the link between our actions and these consequences. We want to bridge this gap by raising awareness. We must be willing to sacrifice a small portion of our convenience.

 

At a young age, we learned about the 3 Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. In planning our various initiatives and using systems thinking we realized that there was another important R to consider: refuse. Though the 3 Rs were an effective way to minimize the damage and expansion of the plastic problem, it continued serving as an excuse to produce more and more plastic. In lieu of continuing to create a need for plastic, we could put a stop to the problem altogether by refusing it in the first place.

 

What advice might you have for other students who might want to make a positive difference to the NIST community but aren’t sure how to get started?

Our advice to anyone aspiring to serve our community is to get to work! It takes time to figure out what contribution you want to make to your community, but you need to make a plan and commit to it. Garnering support is a very important part of making a difference, so find people who believe in the same things as you do and work together. Regardless, perseverance is key. You must expect obstacles in your way, and reach out for help when you need it. Think logically and never forget your final goal because it will motivate you to solve problems, even when they may seem impossible.


The members are Plastic Free NIST are Kenshin Ueoka, Shivam Kogar, Bruno Dunda, Abhishek Agarwal, Brendan Cheng, Aunva Ahkkhararsathesupar, Maxine Magtoto, Annika Anandsongkit, Isak Palmqvist and Angel Sethinamvong. Learn more about their work at https://nistplasticfree.weebly.com.

Forgotten Heroes Do Exist: A Journey in Omgoi

It all started when I overheard my father telling my mother about a medical trip that he would not be able to attend due to a conference. It would have faded into memory if I had not overheard the key word: “Omgoi”.

Omgoi? Here was a word that brought to mind crisp, cool air and morning dew, hill tribe villages, red dirt and the mighty crow of the rooster at the break of dawn. Albeit a largely undocumented province, past 2Develop trips with NIST to Maeramit village had landed this rural landscape a place in my heart. “Omgoi?” I remarked, “Sign me up!”

After some research, I discovered that the Princess Mother’s Medical Volunteer/ มูลนิธิแพทย์อาสาสมเด็จพระศรีนครินทราบรมราชชนนี (PMMV/พอสว) was established in 1964. The green-pocketed project’s main objective is to provide primary healthcare services in rural areas with scarce accessibility to healthcare facilities through mobile medical units, which includes doctors, nurses, dentists and pharmacists.

Ironically, I was neither qualified as a doctor, nurse, dentist nor pharmacist. I wasn’t a professor or part of the media team, either. In fact, I had not even obtained my high school diploma. Nonetheless, I was proud to brandish officially the title of “Contributing Volunteer”, and unofficially “Youngest And Least Medically-Qualified”.

Anxiety should have been inevitable. After all, I was going alone: no parents, no siblings, no friends. However, I found myself less apprehensive and more eager to make new friends and meet new people. Nothing on this adventure failed to exhilarate me: right from the very first step onto the small military plane, to the last four-wheel vertical drop down a mountainous precipice.

The first day was the easiest day – a few hours spent in a four-wheel drive void of any on-foot adventure. Several days and several kilometers of rigorous hiking later, we would lament it as “the day that brought us false hope”. There was a positive correlation between the number of days we had been there, the distance of the hike to the next village, and the mental motivation required to reach the new destination.

Every hour and every drop of sweat shed was worth it; for every village, children would line up outside the community center and offer each of us an individual chirrup of “Sawasdee ka” to the calls of “Mor ma laew (the doctor is here)”. I can still recall the moment I reached Mae Hong Tai fatigued and limping, yet somehow rejuvenated by the pride of being part of the PMMV.

True, I could not help out the nurses in communicating with the Karen villagers, I could not help the doctors, for my knowledge of diagnoses was limited, and I could not help the dentists, who extricated decayed tooth after tooth and mopped up seeping blood. However, I was not useless. I found my home in the pharmacy unit.

I helped out at anything I could: from packaging pills, writing dosage labels to handing over appropriate medicines at appropriate times – seemingly menial tasks, but there’s only so much an unqualified volunteer can do. After a while, P’Jack – the Omgoi Hospital pharmacist – put me in charge of the children’s medicine. P’Kee – another pharmacist – taught me the names and classifications of each strangely labeled bottle. Dicloxa, Amoxy, Salbutamol, CPM…by the end of the trip, I had mastered what seemed like an entirely new language.

In the second village, I witnessed a lymph node surgery. The man, probably in his mid-50s, was lying supine on an impromptu operating table made of wooden desks crammed together and draped in a single sheet of plastic. Surgical lighting consisted of two cellphone flashlights held by one doctor, while the other doctor wielded a scalpel. The metallic stench of blood hung heavy in the air. In that moment, I thought of the sleek, high-tech operating rooms back in Bangkok. The operation’s magnitude was overwhelming: the risk of complications and the complete absence of emergency aid. After all, there was no ambulance waiting around the corner. My newfound respect for those doctors flourished.

Forgotten heroes do exist. Like the doctors, dentists, pharmacists and nurses, the four-wheel drivers were also volunteers. They became our sole reliance in delivering medical supplies, food and our baggage. I did not realize their significance until I took the drive to the final village. In contrast to the smooth, tarmacked main roads, the potholed, winding dirt paths we took were made worse by overnight rainfall – at one point, a landslide had impeded upon sections of the road, making it necessary to forge a new path in an elaborate scheme of excavating, roping and heaving. Every few seconds, a different voice would be heard from the walkie-talkie: “Slippery path up ahead!” “Push on the count of three.” “Fourth car, are you okay there?” Their teamwork was impeccable and we would be nothing without them.

It’s peculiar to imagine how a last-minute decision that I volunteered for three days in advance, has the gravity to remain with me for the rest of my life. Likewise, it’s also peculiar to envision how a three-hour mobile clinic in a remote village has the potential to heal a villager for the rest of their life. Not only did I gain new knowledge in medicine; I also became the newest generation of a fifty-year legacy, established under the compassion of the Princess Mother.

Sure, the relentless travel occasionally put me on the verge of giving up: my body ached, the shower was numbing and there was still a hike and a village to go. It’s torture. But then I think of all the villagers, most of who will live their lives without setting foot beyond their settlement, let alone a hospital. I think of the medical care we delivered, and the lives we improved.

I realize, finally, that the motivation to tread onwards is not in my head. It’s in my heart.

Taking Child Labour out of Supply Chains

The International Labour Organization (ILO), supported by the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand and in collaboration with NIST, marked the 2016 World Day against Child Labour with a live talk, calling on young people to be aware of child labour in global supply chains.

The live talk on “Ending Child Labour and Unacceptable Forms of Work in Global Supply Chains by Ambassador Jesús Miguel Sanz, Head of the European Union Delegation to Thailand” was held here at NIST on 9 June, ahead of the World Day against Child Labour (12 June).

“We need to know, and we are entitled to know, what we consume, what we buy, what we eat, what we wear. Awareness. Be aware is the key word,” said Ambassador Sanz at the event, streamed live to online audiences.

With 168 million children still in work, the awareness-raising campaign engaged young people as responsible consumers in line with this year’s World Day against Child Labour’s focus on children in supply chains.

“It (the awareness) might end up changing a consumption pattern, favouring certain brands and rejecting others. And hopefully increasing the level of compassion that we have towards those in need,” said Ambassador Sanz.

According to the ILO’s latest figures for child labour, the ILO Global Estimates on Child Labour 2000-2012, Asia and the Pacific remains the region with the largest number of child labourers – about 78 million, which is just under 10 per cent of the child population aged 5-17 years, or 1 in 10 children.

“You have won the lottery. Your parents put you in a school like this. A lot of children around the world did not win the lottery and they are subjected to child labour. So, it’s a very real issue, a very relevant issue,” said James MacDonald, Head of NIST International School Thailand, in the opening remarks.

More than one hundred students from NIST and Mechai Bamboo School attended the live talk, followed by a Q&A session, where students asked: “Is it practically possible to avoid products that are made by child labour?

Simrin Singh, the ILO Senior Child Labour Specialist answered: “What you can do is to be aware. Awareness goes so far in bringing about the change you need to bring, on changing the situation, [diminishing] the need for child labour”.

Following the event, youth were called upon to raise awareness about the issue and share their ideas for combatting child labour through participation in the ILO project’s vox pop campaign – #youthrespond.

“You can be the first generation where the issue of child labour around the world can disappear. Can this be true? Can you be a factor to that?” Maurizio Bussi, Director of the ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic, challenged the audience.

Beyond Giving: The NIST Microcredit Bank

Poverty and the cycle it perpetuates through generations represent an age-old problem that many view as a constant in life. A group of students and teachers at NIST don’t believe that a solution is so unfathomable, and they are tackling the issue head-on through the NIST Microcredit Bank (NMB). Created as a student-run service group with the aim of supporting all members of the NIST community, the NMB offers debt relief, business loans and scholarships for the children of the school’s support staff.

Based on the work of Mohammed Yunus, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering work in microfinance, the NMB initially focused on providing small business loans with very little interest to support staff at NIST who sought to open their own businesses. This focus gradually shifted to providing education-based debt relief through scholarships for the children of those staff members, aligning to NIST’s belief in the transformative power of learning, and contemporary research in sustainable economic and social development through education as opposed to simple philanthropy.

Though basic schooling for all children in Thailand is free in principle, extraneous costs even in small public schools put it out of reach of thousands of families, particularly those with multiple children. In the words of the microcredit bank members, “It is unacceptable to be students of an academic institution that permits those who support our education to struggle to afford an education for their own”. They view caring for all members of the NIST community as a fundamental responsibility, one that will ultimately allow families to be enriched through education.

2016 is the fourth year that the NMB has provided scholarships to children of support staff, and also represents the largest number granted thus far: 33 in total. The benefits of these scholarships greatly help to alleviate the burden of the costs associated with schooling in Thailand, enabling families to afford the best education they can provide without the financial sacrifice that usually comes with it.

Driven by the success of their work, the NMB continually seeks to raise funds through various school events and regularly receives donations from NIST staff, the NIST Parent-Teacher Association (NIPTA), parent groups, student-run groups and the student body itself. More importantly, the students recognize that monetary donations ultimately have a limited scope. The group meets weekly to find ways to connect and bring the focus back to the community and their role in its continued growth.

Looking to the future, the microcredit bank is continually looking to improve and identify ways to further engage staff, students and parents. In the meantime they aim to enrich the lives and livelihoods of all members of the NIST community through their unique work, which represents a first among international schools in Thailand. Head of School James MacDonald captured this passion best as he spoke to this year’s scholarship recipients: “Even though you may attend other schools, NIST is also your school, and you are an important part of the community here”.

World-Renowned Buddhist Monk Speaks at NIST

​While Thailand and much of Asia share a rich Buddhist tradition, its philosophy and perspectives have only made stronger inroads in the West over the last century. One of the driving forces behind its growth is Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera, better known as Ajahn Brahm, a British monk whose journey led him from the study of theoretical physics to the establishment of the first dedicated Buddhist monastery in the Southern Hemisphere. On 17 February his travels brought him to ​NIST, where he spoke to students, parents and staff on the importance of mindfulness and service. Interspersed with humor and personal anecdotes, his talks served as a reminder of the universal importance of empathy and reflection.

Born in London in 1951, Peter Betts was a bright student who earned a scholarship to Cambridge, where he studied theoretical physics. With a passion for understanding the universe and our place in it, he followed his formal education with an unusual choice: traveling to Thailand to study Buddhism. Ordained as Ajahm Brahm, he quickly became recognized for his sharp mind and was invited to to Australia to teach. Within a few years he had co-founded Bodhinyana Monastery, now the largest Buddhist community in Australia. Over the past three decades Ajahm Brahm has spoken to crowds around the globe, and in 2004 received the John Curtin Medal, granted by Curtin University to those who demonstrate “vision, leadership and community service”.

During his visit to NIST, he drew upon his wide range of experiences in speaking to students, emphasizing how service plays a crucial role in bettering society. On an individual level he described how mindfulness, an awareness of one’s thoughts on a moment-by-moment basis, can help us become more balanced and reflective. During a smaller session with environmental science students, he focused on their question of the value of nature from a religious perspective. NIST parents also had the opportunity to engage with Ajahm Brahm in an evening session, where he touched on his personal experiences and answered questions from the audience.

Like most other not-for-profit schools in Thailand, NIST does not adhere to any one creed or philosophy. However, our community respects the many rich traditions our shared cultures have passed down for generations, and also recognizes the value they offer. In a world that increasingly faces conflict within cultures, being compassionate toward others and reflecting on choices are critical for students as they move on to universities and careers. Only through mindful awareness and a willingness to grow will they be capable of meeting the many challenges of the 21st century.

For more information about Ajahm Brahm’s work, visit ​www.ajahnbrahm.org. To learn more about how mindfulness benefits students, visit mindfulnessinschools.org.

Khun Mechai Opens the Learning Commons at NIST

Over a hundred NIST parents, teachers and students joined together on Thursday, 8 October 2015 to celebrate the opening of The Mechai Learning Commons, an educational space created to support information technology, online learning, tutoring, exploration, content creation, reading and study. The facility, made possible through the generous funding of Khun Mechai Viravaidya and family, builds upon the more traditional library model. In addition to standard reading materials, it also includes a community café, mini-amphitheatres and reading nooks—all designed to facilitate shared learning.

During the opening ceremony, Head of School James MacDonald recognized not only Khun Mechai’s generous contributions to NIST academically and financially over the years, but also to the growth of NIST’s community during its formative years. Khun Mechai served as the Chairman of the NIST International School Foundation from 1993 to 2002 and 2005 to 2009. A well-known figure in Thailand, he is also celebrated for his advocacy in family planning and rural development, and still serves as the founding chairman of the largest non-profit in Thailand: the Population and Community Development Association.

Khun Mechai’s work includes a strong focus on the need to support disadvantaged communities and children, particularly those in Thailand’s rural regions. His passion for helping others strongly impacted NIST’s own mission and values, leading to the creation of many of the school’s community initiatives. These programmes—student-initiated and driven—include Dreams We Believe In, the NIST Development Bank, FairNIST Coffee Co. and the Maeramit Development Group. Each of these have allowed poor communities to access NIST’s facilities and resources, share and learn from NIST students and staff, and grow through educational and financial support.

Through the vision, inspiration and generosity of the Mechai family, NIST has not only been able to support continued academic and personal excellence for its students, but also extend this mission into the surrounding community, empowering and enriching others.


“Three key words that are taken from our philosophy statement are provoke, extend and enrich. We feel that these words can truly be attributable to Khun Mechai, as when teaching and having conversations with our elementary students, he always provokes inquiry from the students and helps extend their thinking, and eventually our students go on to enrich other people’s lives.”

– Mr. Brett Penny, Head of Elementary.


We also owe a special thanks to BCBG for providing delicious pastries for the event, and to the NIST parent-owned Fyn Bakery for their excellent sausages and pork sandwiches.

BCBG
Fyn Bakery

Nepal RISE: Earthquake Relief Campaign

Donate to the Nepal RISE campaign online.


With the current humanitarian crisis in Nepal, we know that many are eager to help and are actively searching for effective outlets to channel their support. NIST International School and the JUMP! Foundation are partnering in the launch of Nepal RISE, a global effort to increase awareness, generate support, and raise funds for the communities and people affected by earthquake in Nepal.

Nepal RISE is a global movement, with events happening in Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong and hopefully other locations. The goal of the initiative is to raise USD $100,000 that will go directly to the International Medical Corps (IMC), which is currently working on the ground in Nepal.

Nepal RISE – Bangkok will have three components:

  1. 4 May: Nepal Information Evening at NIST International School – Please RSVP Here
  2. 5 – 16 May: Community-hosted events throughout Bangkok in support of the Nepal Earthquake Relief
  3. 17 May: Nepal RISE Benefit Concert at NIST International School – Please RSVP Here

 

Nepal Information Evening (Monday, 4 May)

This Monday, 4 May from 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Nepal RISE will launch with a community information meeting here at NIST International School. This is an opportunity to learn more about the needs of Nepal in the short, medium, and long term, as well how the international community can rally our support appropriately and sustainably. This meeting will also feature a live video call from IMC staff on the ground in Nepal, to receive accurate real-time information about their current needs.

Bangkok Community Events (5 – 16 May)

From 5-16 May Bangkok community members will host a variety of awareness events to support the Nepal Earthquake Response. Please post event information to the Nepal RISE Facebook page.

Nepal RISE Benefit Concert (Sunday, 17 May)

On Sunday, 17 May Nepal RISE will culminate in a fundraising event: a benefit concert with live music, delicious food provided by various Bangkok restaurants, raffles, and speakers. Donations will be accepted at the entrance, 100% of which will go to IMC’s relief efforts in Nepal. A percentage of profits from food vendors will also be donated.


Want to be involved?

We’re looking for people to help in the following ways:

  • Musicians to perform at the benefit concert on Sunday, 17 May
  • Food vendors to set up stalls at the benefit concert on Sunday, 17 May
  • Volunteer event staff at the benefit concert on Sunday, 17 May
  • Items for raffle prizes
  • Items for the silent auction

If you are able to support with any of the above items, email us at NepalRise@jumpfoundation.org. For more updates on events in Bangkok or globally, and to share your own events, please visit our Facebook page.


 

Donate to the Nepal RISE campaign online.

Dreams We Believe In: Biking for Baan Gerda

Our student-run service group Dreams We Believe In (DWBI) is proud to introduce a new service activity: Biking for Baan Gerda.

This weekly fundraising activity provides fun and exciting biking opportunity through suburban Bangkok, and at the same time supports the children living with HIV at Baan Gerda in Lopburi. All proceeds go to the children living at Baan Gerda, and all participants get a certificate of appreciation for their donation. Through this tour, you will be able to experience the every-day life of Thais in suburban Bangkok. Are you up for something different? This will be a memorable experience for sure.

NIST Student with a Child from Baan Gerda

We cycle on the elevated pathways of Phra Khanong klong system. This part of the tour will make you feel as you are back in the 19th century. Many temples and buildings here were built in the 1850s, and the residents still live a very traditional life. What makes this area especially interesting is that Buddhists and Muslims live side by side. You will see both temples and mosques along the klong.

We also visit the home of Thailand’s most famous ghost, Mae Nak. The shrine of Mae Nak at Wat Mahabut makes for one of the most interesting and unique places you can visit in Bangkok. Mae Nak lived in the 19th century, but she is very much alive in the minds and hearts of Thais even today.

We then stop for a picnic in one of Bangkok’s biggest and most beautiful parks, unknown to most tourists. Rama 9 Park is a large quiet space with a distinctly local flavor in northeastern Bangkok. It has themed gardens surrounding a central lake. This is a place where suburban Bangkokians come for family picnics, exercise, jogging, Tai Chi, and dates in the paddleboats.

We cycle around the picturesque Lake Nong Bon, which covers 250 acres. Lake Nong Bon hosts a wide range of water sports, including windsurfing, sailing and kayaking. This is one of Bangkok’s most stunning areas, showcasing the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

The tours take 4-6 hours and run on Saturday and Sunday mornings. For more information visit the Dreams We Believe In site.

NIST High School Counsellor Joachim Ekstrom


The Dreams We Believe In service group was initiated in 2009 by Ishita Trivedi, Pearl Jain, Anchal Mirchandani and Sakina Kapasi (Class of 2011) as a CAS service project. The project has been running for 6 years now, and students have launched various successful fundraisers and organized many activities for children living with HIV. Prior to the 2014-15 academic year, DWBI worked with the Mercy Centre, and recently shifted to begin supporting Baan Gerda, a children’s charity in Lopburi providing care for orphans living with HIV.