Kla Son scholarship students and others with the Governor of Chiang Mai Province
M.L. Panadda Diskul (center), and Dr. Doberstyn (with beard).
please click the picture for a photo gallery
Students selected for this program are gifted young people from disadvantaged families in the Northern Region who managed to complete secondary school but have insufficient funds to pursue the further education they desire. We promise these students 5 years of support (4 years for a bachelor’s degree, and an additional year for teacher training, a requirement for employment by the ministry of Education) and intensive English language instruction. We also arrange development-related activities for them during school holidays. In return, the students promise that they will work for at least 3 years following graduation in a development-related occupation.
The project is co-funded by a British charity, The Popocatépetl Trust, represented in Chiang Mai by Dulabhatorn EMC member David Williams. Together, the Trust and Dulabhatorn support costs of full scholarships which include the following benefits:
- Funds to cover university fees and basic living costs for our 21 students (25,000baht/student/year)
- Provision of intensive English language instruction throughout the school session and during the school holiday, currently valued at about 20,000 Thai baht for two semesters.
- Involvement in other Dulabhatorn projects, e.g., Baan Phonsawan and in the Caregivers' Support Group.
- Students from the first intake of “Kla Son,” (or pine seedlings) as our group of university scholarship students call themselves, are now beginning the second term of their third year. They are all studying at Chiang Mai Rajabhat Universitiy and have all performed well so far.
- The second batch includes ten students, eight of them studying at Rajabhat. In addition, there is one young woman at Mae Jo, and one partially-supported man at the Lamphun Technical Institute. This batch includes representatives of several ethnic groups: Karen, Hmong, Lisu, Tai Yai (Shan), and khon mueang (lowland Thai).
- The third batch has seven students, again from a number of ethnic minority groups. They are studying at Rajabhat, at the Wat Chedi Luang Buddhist University and at Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences.
- Kla Son scholars have often proven to be enthusiastic and effective volunteers in several of the Foundation’s other projects, such as the Caregivers’ Support Group. They have accompanied the children on outings, to the zoo and the hot springs, for example. One of them works half time in the Foundation office, as an assistant administrator, on days when he has no classes.
Your Decision - Their Future
Of the 30 young people interviewed last year, all except one or two would certainly have become successful university students and eventual community teachers. It was very difficult to turn away 16 promising young people because of a lack of funds. We are initiating a new sponsorship program, Your Decision – Their Future, and are looking for donors to willing to contribute the 25,000 baht (US$ 850) annually to keep more young people such as these in University. More details available on our Sponsor a University Student page.