By Anisa Ryan – 1 week volunteer
My experience at KSES has been nothing but positive and enlightening! All the villagers and staff have been welcoming and very knowledgeable about the land. One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had while at the sanctuary has been teaching English to the young village children at the nursery.
On one of our final days in the village, my mom, one of the interns and I went to the nursery at the edge of town to help introduce the kids to English. When we arrived, all of them were playing but immediately went to hide by their teachers; they were very shy. We took them inside to learn basic colours, letters and songs in English. Only one of the kids was into our games, which made us nervous. Finally we sang head-shoulders-knees-and-toes and If you’re happy and you know it which got all the kids very excited. Five of the eight kids were singing, which was big progress for that group of kids. At the end of our lesson, all the kids seemed like they enjoyed learning something new from people other than their teachers.
In the village, all the kids speak a Karen language and eventually learn Thai, but it is very important for them to become introduced to English early on. Tourism is a huge aspect of Thailand and having English skills can open so many doors and opportunities for hill-tribe communities. I think this is why KSES is trying to introduce English early on; it is something that will benefit them in all areas later on. The elephants, staff, and villagers have made this a truly unforgettable and fun experience!