After 3 months of ups and downs since January this year, we finally reached the day to open the door of the early learning center for Akha children in Siplang Villagein Doi Monlan, Wiang-pa-pao, Chiangrai. Inspired by the idea of Mr. Katsuhiro Mizuno, our main donor (an architect from Gifu, Japan), we named it Sunshine Kids Center. As you can see in the photos, we made the sign board with 4 languages: English, Thai, Akha, and Japanese, to indicate that this center is the result of collaboration by many organizations and people around the world.

The moment we brought in blackboard, colorful books, toys, and puzzles, purchased with support from all children and adults at Bangkok Prep school, children started to stream into the center. All kids, big and small, literate and not yet so, got to enjoy all the cool stuff 🙂

Saturday went by in an instant as we did last-minute preparation–paving the path to the bathroom at the back, putting up the sign board and the banner, organizing books and tory in places, etc. We had our first meeting with the parents to talk about school schedule and other small but important agreements. When Yoshi was having the meeting, Tuu was busy reading to a bunch of eager kids (including those who don’t understand Thai language!).

To mark this day, we held a small opening ceremony on Sunday morning. Since Siplang is a Christian village, we started by singing gospel songs and hymns outside the center. P’Sem, the religious leader and the main constructor, led the prayer before opening the door. All of us went inside, and exchanged thanks and happiness inside the cool and cozy room. Kids couldn’t stand listening, so they started to reach books to read as grownups talked :p

Of course, this is just the beginning of the center’s history, but we definitely feel that it was a major milestone. We are so grateful for each and every individuals and organizations who care about us and support us from near and far. THANK YOU!!