On 24th June 2017, Chawla Charity Foundation and volunteers have visited and hosted a lunch meal for children at Srisangwan Chiang Mai School – one of the “Royal’s Projects”, set up by Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Boromarajajonani to provide better living standards and opportunities for her subjects. The school offers education for children and young people with a wide variety of disabilities; operates from kindergarten level up to grade 12 level with about 250 students. The students are Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Bifida, Spinal Cord Injury, Congenital Anomaly, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenital, Muscular Dystrophy, Polio, Loss of Limbs and Autism.
We headed to the school with lots of delicious food and dessert including Stir-fired chicken wings with fish sauce, Green Curry with fish and Thai desserts; Coconut Milk Pudding. We arrived to the school a little bit early before their lunch time, the school Principal with staff and students were waiting to welcome us. Some of them were helping us by carrying food and leading us to the dining hall where the students were having meals. We were helping the school’s staffs to prepare food and the dining hall to be ready for serving lunch. At 11:30 a.m., all students have arrived to the dining hall and sit at their table happily as they have known that they would have a special and delicious meal. We were helping the school’s staffs to serve their lunch. For children who have multiple disabilities with self-feeding problem got special good care by big sisters and brothers including the school's staff. They said to us that lunch was very delicious, they like everything we cook. They seemed to be fascinated by us, and they were very polite too. We felt the purity of the laughs and the smiles of them so we couldn’t imagine that these children are living with disabilities and many of them have already lost their parents.
After finished lunch, we then took some photo and they gave us very impressively and beautifully handmade candles made by student, and then students helped the school’s staff to clean up the canteen, brushed their teeth as their routine with joyful discipline. After that they went to football, some played guitar and sang a song, and some played with their toys. We had a conversation with the Principal and some volunteers, we found that most students come to that school from relatively poor families and some of them have already lost their parents.
It’s incredibly heartening to see Sri Sangwan giving young people with a disability an education. The teachers encourage the students to be the best they can be. There is still a little way to go regarding attitudes to disability. But the staff at Sri Sangwan is providing opportunities for their students to become change agents of the future.
What amazes us was that losing ability did not deter them from being blissfully happy. In retrospect, we realized that we did not meet a single student who perceived their inability to develop normally as a disability. This, we believe, is credit that is largely due to the teachers who never allowed them to feel inferior to “normal” students.
The atmosphere at that day was filled with smiles and warmth of both the givers and the recipients. We all had such a great time on this visit and really learnt about their life while we were having fun at the same time despite in a very short period of time. Overall, it was an amazing experience and we are sure we would definitely go and visit them at the school foundation again.
Thank you again for you all who support our organization, we could not do what we do without donors such as you. We look forward to volunteer work with you in the future. We, and those we serve, deeply appreciate your generosity.