Celebrating World Elephant Day & Thai Mother’s Day

September 13, 2017 by | Filed Under: Our People, Sustainability, Thailand

On August 12th, 2017 Khiri Reach put together a special event to Celebrate World Elephant Day & Thai Mother’s Day through education and art with 85 boys of different ages, all of whom are permanent residents at Baan Rajawadee; one of four homes in a group that specializes in providing all support for orphaned children with physical and mental disabilities based in Nonthaburi province in Bangkok. We were joined by Thai Harvest | SOS , Elephant Parade and GROUND who ensured that the day was more than we could have hoped for!

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World Elephant Day is an international annual event on August 12, dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants. Funds raised go towards Elephant conservation and education. This is also the day that Thailand celebrates national mother’s day and HM Queen Sirikit’s birthday.

We had around 20 volunteers join us from the collaborating partner groups and once all the children and the teams had gathered, we showed the connection between the Queen’s birthday and elephants, which are Thailand’s national animal and a very important part of Thai culture and history.

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While the very patient, well behaved boys were broken up into groups and were waiting for the activities to begin an explanation in Thai about why elephants are endangered was given, which covered subjects like the illegal ivory trade, land encroachment, hunting and why they are being protected in the wild and captivity.

We created three stations making different kinds of Elephant Art based on the abilities of the boys.

  • Station 1: Elephant Parade baby elephant painting – 20 children with medium disability and medium functionality were given a model elephant to paint in the most artistic way they could using special chemical-free safe paints.

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  • Station 2: Paper Plate Elephant Masks – 35 children with low disability and high functionality were given paper plates and templates to cut out and paint elephant masks. Once cut and painted the pieces were assembled to make complete masks.

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  • Station 3: Hand Painting Elephant Heads – 30 children with high disability and low functionality were given a design on paper with an elephant face printed on it. They created the elephant’s ‘missing’ ears by painting their hands and printing/pressing them onto the side of the elephants face. They also made full hand print elephants on blank paper, which were decorated once dry.

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Thai Harvest/SOS joined the Khiri Reach team to provide over 900 kg of fresh fruit and vegetables for all of Baan Rajawadee and the other three orphanages and homes directly related. This is now an ongoing weekly service to provide rescued food to the children to improve their diet and their health and help cover the high daily food costs for the four homes.

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The first big food delivery arrived on August 11th so the kitchen on site had time to prepare and cook food for the celebrations on the 12th. On the day we also provided snacks and treats to the art group after the activity as, of course, the kids love cakes and cookies too.

Credit all photos by @Catherine Costa

Location: Baan Rajawadee – Home for Mentally Handicapped Children
78/6 Moo 1 Soi Tiwanon-Pakkred 1, Tiwanon Road, Bangtarad, Pakkred, Nonthaburi 11120