This is Bekah’s Story
Bekah is making a difference in the lives of children who are homeless, afraid, hungry and even on their own in rural Thailand
Carolyn Rebekah Douglass (Bekah) is 31 years old and currently working in Thailand. After graduating from Western Florida University, she came to Thailand over 3 years ago as a Peace Corps Volunteer and was chosen to work in the Teacher Collaboration and Community Development (TCCO) Program.
Bekah was paired with two Thai counterparts with whom she worked to improve lesson planning and student centered learning methods.
As a Peace Corps volunteer she was stationed in Khon Kaen and worked primarily with a boarding school called Khon Kaen Education Welfare School (KKEWS). KKEWS houses and educates roughly 600 children, from various regions of Thailand, from elementary through high school.
A few months into the Peace Corps service, Bekah recognized the need for a youth development club with the goal to maintain sustainability in the lives of the youth. She talked to the teachers of the school in an effort to get Thai counterparts involved in the project. Mrs. Laongdao Pungsuk decided to become involved with the project and together they went to the Peace Corps Youth Leadership conference and through that experience she started the “We Can” youth club.
The club was established to build self-esteem in at- risk youth by teaching youth leadership skills. The club allows the students to become leaders by helping others. There are over 25 students currently in the club and current as well as past members have traveled to 9 different provinces and taught at 11 camps.
Students studying at KKEWS and members of the “We Can Club” must meet the following criteria:
Students are missing one or both parents due to death or divorce (in cases of divorce in Thailand, parents are not required to support their children and the parent who does not retain custody of the children is not required to contribute monetarily to their support.)
Parents are unable to control their children. Children with poor school records, a history of behavioral problems or learning disabilities are admitted to ensure their continued involvement in the educational system of Thailand.
Students who receive support in the scholarship program are required to give two weeks of “community service” in Thailand for every year they are supported by the program.
Bekah is now finished with the Peace Corps and is teaching at the Khaonkaenwittayayon School in Khon Kaen. She also continues working with the “We Can” project as well as helping Sustainable Hope International with future youth development projects.
When asked to explain what motivates Bekah in her work with disadvantaged youth of Thailand, she replied “When you help one person you can change the world.”
Currently Bekah, her family and friends are financially supporting eligible students with scholarships so they can continue their education at local Universities in Thailand.
Sustainable Hope International is a relatively new nonprofit organization. Their resources are limited. Working together we can share in the support of this program and our other ongoing programs like the one at the Viengpieng Orphanage in Chiang Mai Thailand.
Sustainable Hope International staff are dedicated to the process of providing support and sustainable hope to programs like Bekah’s and support to the future of disadvantage and orphaned children in Thailand.
Join us in supporting Bekah and our programs at Sustainable Hope International.
Sustainable Hope International
2815 Hickory Ridge
Independence, Missouri 64057-1193