If it rains the lack of proper roads make driving very difficult which has an impact on the educational aspirations of the village. When I first arrived in Ban Hak Kia, Jim took me to the school to meet the Gordonstoun students. I found them cleaning the school floor which was incredibly dirty.There was also a wealth of educational materials sitting dusty and unused on the shelves.
We later found out that the teacher of this school had a wife who had terminal cancer so he had been unable to teach for the last week or so as he was running her back and forth to the local hospital.
The Gordonstoun students decided to provide some basic tutoring for the next two weeks whilst they were in the village. Given the language gap, most of the Karen children wanted to play games, while some of the quieter ones wanted to colour in.
I spent one afternoon in the school (with the Gordonstoun students) and we sang ring a ring a roses, played duck duck goose and helped the children colour in. We also distributed some of the clothes that had been donated to the school.
It was sad to know the only teacher was unable to teach as he was looking after his wife, but also sad to know the children were unable to learn during that time.
Hopefully as the village becomes more prosperous and has greater support from projects like ours, Ban Hak Kia’s primary school will be better utilised as dysentery or poor health related to drinking water will no longer be an issue. This will in large part be thanks to Gordonstoun, the Pakanyor Foundation, LIFESAVER and the determination of the residents of Ban Hak Kia.