5,064 indigent students get funded, 3,726 awaiting donors

March 21, 2013 at 10:03 PM

The Education for Development Foundation (EDF) is sending to school 5,064 indigent students this year while still raising funds for 3,726 more students. EDF has confirmed 4,641 of its students have completed the 2012 school year.

Many of EDF’s students hail from poor to very poor families, such as 12-year old girl Tarn or Thanya Nittayawan from Yasothorn province who, together with her brother and disabled 85-year old grandmother, survive on doing odd jobs for Bht 65-90 per day (around US$ 2-3).

Thanya was among the students at Bann Lao Noi School, Yasothon province who completed their sixth grade education in March this year  through the help of EDF donors, her teachers and neighbours.

It costs only Bht 2,000 per year to send a student to lower secondary school, or Bht 5,000 per year to fund a student through upper secondary or vocational school. Bht 5,000 is all it takes to send students with disabilities to attend special schools. Donations can be done by credit card and other form of transfer or payment.

Mr Sunphet Nilrat, managing director of the EDF, said: “We are happy for our recent 4,641 graduates from the ninth grade and twelfth grade upper secondary school in school year 2012, including third year vocational school students who are expected complete their course this year.

“Without education they would have to face uncertain future but thanks to thousands of donors from Thailand and overseas these young people now have an opportunity to find jobs and contribute to nation building.”

Mr Sunphet said EDF would send 5,064 indigent students in the school year 2013, of which 4,561 were granted lower secondary scholarships, 228 upper secondary school scholarships, 60 scholarships for students with disabilities and 215 scholarships for the orphaned who lost their parents from the unrest in 3 Southernmost provinces of Thailand.

“We feel sorry for another 3,726 indigent students most of whom would mostly likely miss the current school year and will have to wait for the next term,” he said.

Many of EDF students are economically under-privilege and need support to fulfill their educations, such as the case of 12-year old girl Thanya Nittayawan, which EDF featured on its "Life must go on" webpage at http://www.edfthai.org/en/?page=Feature_Stories&id=145.

Tarn4.jpgYoung Thanya or Tarn, wakes up early morning to prepare Thai desserts in return for Bht 30-50 (US$1-1.5) and rush to school after the morning work. In the evening she does another odd job at an onion garden for Bht 15-20 Baht (US$0.5.0.6). The income is supplemented by her 14-year old brother’s Bht 20 (US$ 0.6) daily wage.

The paying job is not available every day, which means they will have to sleep on empty stomach saved only by the kindness of their neighbours.

Until two years ago life was a bit better when their grandmother was still earning Bht 100-200 daily (US$3-6) as a rice field worker until she suffered an accident and broke her legs, and is now disabled and unemployed.

The grandmother took the siblings under her care more than 10 years ago when the sibling’s parents got divorced and abandoned Thanya and her brother.

Through the help of EDF donors, her teachers and neighbours Thanya was among the students at Bann Lao Noi School, Yasothon province who completed their sixth grade education in March this year.

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About Education Development Foundation

The Education for Development Foundation (EDF) was established in 1987 and was officially registered as a charitable organisation No. 255 under the laws of Thailand.

EDF believes that education is key to upgrading the quality of life of disadvantaged children and youths, as well as preventing many social problems caused by poverty. With the benefit of even a basic education young people are able to apply their knowledge and enter the skilled labour market or advance to higher education. Both these options liberate them from poverty and help prevent them from being trapped in low-paying, menial jobs or becoming victims of human trafficking.

The EDF’s goal is to improve education opportunities and the quality of lives for less fortunate children and youths in remote areas of Thailand. Sponsored students will receive many opportunities to develop necessary life skills and gain valuable knowledge that can be applied throughout their lives.

In addition, EDF’s ultimate goal is to encourage these children so that they can free themselves from the cycle of poverty. Education also helps them become quality human resources for the betterment of their own families, rural hometowns and the country as a whole.

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