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All Posts in Education

May 29, 2019 - No Comments!

It’s Not JUST Swimming

ZOE Thailand

What’s better than jumping into a cold swimming pool when the temperature rises on a sweltering Thai summer’s day?  Being able to swim!

By knowing how to swim, it means that the children at ZOE Thailand can enjoy the wonderful sensation of being in the pool – in a safe and pleasurable way. The sensory experience of being in water is both relaxing and enjoyable.

Research says that there are huge physical benefits to swimming. Learning to swim is both a full-body cardiovascular and respiratory workout! At ZOE we love to see the children’s stamina, flexibility and muscle strength develop.

There are many other advantages to knowing how to swim, such as building concentration, becoming physically stronger and developing coordination. It also encourages an active and healthy lifestyle.

At ZOE we never underestimate the social aspect of swimming either. Playing together in the water helps to form bonds based on trust and fun. For children recently rescued from negative situations, socialization skills can be enhanced through various water games and activities.

During swimming lessons, children take pride in each individual achievement and work towards achieving new goals.  As their abilities and confidence increase, children are able to overcome fear and celebrate their successes with their friends, family and their swimming teacher!                      

At ZOE, it’s not JUST swimming!

*** ZOE protects the identity and dignity of children and does not show children's faces. Faces shown in photos are Thai staff or Leadership School Students . ***

May 27, 2019 - No Comments!

Aussie Aussie Aussie

ZOE Australia/ZOE Thailand

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi” are not words I hear cheered very often since moving to Thailand, but during English class this past week, an Australian guest was just the excuse we needed to incorporate some joyful chanting and help make him feel right at home.

Jason Pater is a chartered accountant with a heart for those in need. He is also Payton Foundation’s CEO.  Jason, who was visiting ZOE this week, represents many who have given either as a Payton Capital client or via donation directly to the Foundation. Payton Capital gives 20% of its dividends to the Foundation each quarter to help fund projects that transform the lives of vulnerable people in both Australia and overseas. With the help of many generous Australians, Payton Foundation is committed to supporting  ZOE’s Vocational Training Program and Learning Center.

With Jason’s visit this week, the vocational students had the opportunity to show their appreciation for Payton’s ongoing assistance as well as find out more about Australia. They looked at the four largest cities, and learnt about some of the native animals, sports and occupations.  Class ended with a game that incorporated tasting popular Aussie snacks like honey crackles, ANZAC biscuits, Vegemite and fairy bread and most importantly learning how to correctly proclaim, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!”

May 17, 2019 - No Comments!

Class in Session

ZOE Thailand

Do you remember your first week at college, a new school OR at a new job? Do you recall all that energy, anxiety, expectation and myriad of emotions and thoughts coursing through your brain and body?

This month our newest ZOE Leadership Training (ZLT) Class embarked on their 2-year journey with us. The energy was palpable as they gathered together for the first time in one large room with the ZLT students who are one year ahead of them. There were so many smiles and such nervous excitement. We are so thankful to have them here.

This first week was full of introductions, getting to know one another, and three full days of orientation. These Leadership students were given a crash course in all things ZOE, including a history of ZOE, an overview of their curriculum and schedule, a full tour of our grounds, and our Child Protection Policy.

We are looking forward to journeying with them in the next two years and excited to see them grow in their knowledge, wisdom and leadership.

ZOE Leadership Training is about “EMPOWERING WORLD CLASS LEADERS FOR SUCCESS IN LIFE AND MINISTRY.”

*** ZOE protects the identity and dignity of children and does not show children's faces. Faces shown in photos are Thai staff or Leadership School Students . ***

May 16, 2019 - No Comments!

It’s Electrifying

ZOE Thailand

Many of us can change a light bulb, install a new outlet cover OR even install a new light fixture. But when it comes to the wiring behind that electrical panel, there is that fear in the back of our minds that if we mess up there is a good chance we will have a shocking experience! Our solution is to dial the nearest electrician. So imagine the challenge our students took on recently when they studied electrical circuits.

The main teaching component was taught at ZOE where they built a basic household circuit. Students were given instructions and hands-on practice for measuring and cutting wire and also learned about fuses, meters, and circuit breakers. For their final exam, students had to demonstrate their technical skills by reading a schematic diagram and accurately constructing a complete electrical system. We are so proud to see that all our students passed and believe that the analytical and troubleshooting strategies they developed in this process will extend to areas of life far beyond flowing electrons!

ZOE’s Vocational Program is designed to give children "real life" experiences to equip them for their future.

May 9, 2019 - No Comments!

Ready for the Rain

ZOE Thailand

In this season, it is 100-plus degrees almost daily, and the reservoir we pass each day on our way to ZOE is at the lowest we have ever seen it. “When is rainy season going to start?” I think to myself.  We sure could use some rain.

Recently, one of our young men started working installing rain gutters. He loves working outdoors and has been training with our vocational program for a few years now. He and his work crew are preparing homes and businesses for the upcoming rainy season. They are fabricating and then installing gutters so that when the rain comes, the rainwater can be channeled correctly to catchments or away from the buildings’ exterior walls and foundations preventing damage.

The work he is doing now is not unlike the work he has done to prepare himself to be at a place where he can successfully work alongside others in a vocation of his choosing. He worked hard, learning and growing in his skill sets. So when this opportunity came, he was ready for it.

Are you ready for the rain?
“The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of His bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands…” Deuteronomy 28:12

May 7, 2019 - No Comments!

Make A Joyful Noise

ZOE Thailand

Having active children at home during the school holidays can be noisy - believe me I know! But recently during the Thai summer break, there was more than just the usual noise of kids playing, relaxing, and enjoying their time at home when we offered optional English classes based around the theme “Make a Joyful Noise.” The week-long program had the children learning English in groups based around the lyrics from worship songs and ending with a fun English karaoke competition on Friday afternoon.

Life is filled with “noise,” often times distracting us from our daily tasks: the phone ringing, social media notifications, arguments, construction sites, or even people talking loudly as they pass by. But joyful noises like laughter and singing, shouts of praise, clapping, as well as music, playing instruments, and dancing - these are wonderful noises that bring both pleasure and joy.

I know, from the group that I taught, that bringing music into the English classroom was a wonderful and different way to learn new vocabulary. The lively sounds of music and singing, mixed in with the laughter of playing games and practicing speaking, were all joyful noises that I’m sure I will remember for a long time.  

May 4, 2019 - No Comments!

Summer Workin’

ZOE Thailand
Brandon Kim

Don’t we all have fond memories of our summer break jobs? Working as a lifeguard at the community pool or helping an uncle install carpeting; we all have a special place in our heart for our first “real” job. This summer (summer break in this part of the world is mid-March to mid-May), eight of our vocational training students got to share in this milestone and memorable coming-of-age experience…

One teenage girl is serving delicious and healthy dishes at a popular farm-to-table restaurant. At the interview, she shyly described her previous experience as a hospitality intern two years ago through our vocational training program, and upon hearing the name of the reputable hotel she was hired on the spot!

One teenage boy is using his construction skills to make building improvements. Just a month prior, he saw a team of workers installing rain gutters on our campus and took the initiative to ask if he could approach and join them. Now, he travels daily with his crew to job sites around the city and has the callouses to prove it!

Six teenage girls are learning first-hand the behind-the-scenes operations of a large resort and conference center. From food preparation and beverage service to front office greeting and housekeeping, they are paired up with experienced staff who are guiding them through rotations in a four-week internship. One week down and three to go!!

Please keep these youth in your prayers. I can't tell if they love their jobs or hate them, but hey, that's all part of the experience, too, right?! 🙂

April 30, 2019 - No Comments!

Mud Brick Making

ZOE Thailand
Andrea Cross

Do you have memories from your childhood of playing in the mud? I know I do. Fun times in the backyard making mud cakes - squishing and squeezing the sludge between my fingers and toes. And then my dad coming with the garden hose and squirting my sister and me until we were clean enough to come inside and take a shower.

As an adult, though I avoid getting dirty and I really don’t seek out the feeling of squishy mud between my toes anymore, in all honesty I do think there is some truth to the quote, “The most memorable days usually end with the dirtiest clothes.” It was true for me growing up, for sure.

This was also the case recently for some of our boys who got an opportunity to experience the initial stages of constructing a mud house as part of the new Clay House Project at Wycliffe Thai. Wycliffe is eager to develop and pass on the knowledge and skills involved in building these mud brick houses as a practical solution for a strong, durable, and low-cost housing.

The boys got to help with the process of making the mud bricks, and you can see from the photos that they had to get actually get down into it, to really be able to help. Stage one included preparing a stomping pit and filling it with soil and water. The soil and water had to be in the stomping pit for at least 2-3 hours to break down the hard soil and make it easier to mix. The stomping process lasts until the soil breaks down into small pieces and becomes smooth.

The boys’ responses confirmed that it was a really fun learning experience. They hope to go back soon to see the progress as the structure of the mud house takes shape.

April 8, 2019 - No Comments!

Why Don’t Victims Leave the Trafficker?

There is a public misconception that victims of sex trafficking can leave if they want to, but choose to stay because of the money they make. This story reveals how victims are often brutalized, tattooed, and threatened into exploitation. In this case, the trafficker was a woman and kept the money that was made. She recruited two minors and other young women through the internet.

Learn more about recognizing the signs of traffickingHelp ZOE in our efforts to educate youth about the tactics that traffickers use in order to prevent them from becoming victims.

March 26, 2019 - No Comments!

ZOE Recognizes Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month

By Jessicah Ray, PA & Concussion SpecialistTraumatic Brain Injury Awareness for Survivors of Human Trafficking

Much advancement has been accomplished in the recognition of the comprehensive and trauma-informed health needs for survivors of human trafficking. However, publications and guidelines have yet to consistently include the consideration for traumatic brain injury (TBI) assessment and care. This can be a critical miss due to the high rate of abuse and secondary risk of head injuries in this population. In fact, over 92% of survivors of sex trafficking reported suffering from physical violence with most from direct blows to the head or face (Chisolm-Straker & Stoklosa, 2017). Such a high statistic is astonishing considering violence and abuse statistics are constantly underreported.

TBI research has confirmed that children and females are at increased risk of prolonged recovery from traumatic brain injuries. But unlike the general population, human trafficking victims are even more likely to not only sustain multiple TBIs, but also to not recover well from them because of the continued abuse and risk factors. Recovery from TBI is dependent on head injury education, proper rest, gradual return to activity, supportive care, healthy lifestyle choices, and access to medical care when needed.

However, survivors of human trafficking experience barriers in all these TBI recovery respects due to:·       High risk of sustaining multiple TBIs·       No opportunity to recover between injuries·       No available emotional support·       Little access to education or healthcare·       Forced to return to work immediately

·       At risk of malnutrition, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders

The real danger is that without proper diagnosis of TBI, the TBI remains untreated and many of the common symptoms of chronic TBI may be misattributed to other diagnoses.  These TBI symptoms include memory difficulty, disorganized thinking, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, vision problems, hormone changes, and in cases of children - developmental problems. Many of these symptoms can be mislabeled as secondary to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, personality disorders, addiction, or even behavioral problems. Misdiagnosis can also lead to new problems from the wrong treatment choice worsening the untreated TBI symptoms.

The great news is that treating TBI can reduce these symptoms and the recovery time, even if the head injuries were multiple and occurred years ago. In fact, because victims of abuse often have both TBI and PTSD, treating one often improves symptoms of the other. That is, treating the TBI can improve the PTSD, and vice versa. Most current evidence-based treatment recommendations for TBI, PTSD, and survivors of human trafficking endorse multi-disciplined trauma-informed care. Therefore there is a promising opportunity to integrate TBI assessment and treatment into health management recommendations for survivors of human trafficking, and we can be encouraged to use TBI care as a targeted way to enhance the recovery and quality of life of this vulnerable  population.References: Chisolm-Straker, M., & Stoklosa, H. (Eds.). (2017). Human Trafficking Is a Public Health Issuehttps://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47824-1