Our next stop was: Kids Ark Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to help children and women in northwestern Thailand. They focus mainly on children and women in poverty who belong to ethnic minorities without resources. They help them to have a minimum education, hygiene and rights, so they can break the poverty chain. They also provide a space where they can be safe and grow in a more appropriate environment, physically and psychologically. They have several centers in the north of Thailand, we went to the center of the Sansai district, just outside Chiang Mai.
Mr. Ya came to meet us, a very nice Thai man who is in charge of organizing this center. After 45 min driving we finally arrived to the location, a place with 2 well constructed buildings, some of them were dedicated entirely for children, the one in the lower part is an ambulatory, and on the first floor they have rooms where the children can also do activities.
The first thing we did was eating with the educators and the children, who were already in a single line with their trays waiting to be filled with food. There were about 40 children, between 6 and 14 years old, full of energy and with chicky faces. They were looking at us with curiosity and shyness, and they laughed a lot when we tried to speak the little Thai that we learnt. The children almost did not speak English, but with gestures and the translation of the educators the communication was fluid.
We started with the workshops, where the children had a lot of fun. First they were a little shy, but as they got warmer they gave themselves completely to the activities. We were surprised how motivated they were to demonstrate their interpretive skills, while the bravest of them took pains to do the clown … the purpose of the day was on track!!
The second part of the day we made a Clown show for them. During the show their faces were a poem, they were perplexed to see us acting, with their mouths open, the eyes wide opened watching our movements, and although we had already shared some good time together, we asked for the help of a volunteer and they were so scared to show themselves!!
And it was the end an unforgettable day, with the best company and with a heart full of their smiles. We left between hugs and laughter, with the memory of all the children waving and saying goodbye to us… Aaaaaish … how beautiful is the clown’s life…