Posted by Martin Harrison on Dec 09, 2021
Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has set four initiatives for his Presidential Year 2021 to 2022, one of these initiatives is “Empowering Girls”
Equality is a fundamental human right that's critical in order to have a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. Still, girls and women worldwide face inequities in areas including health and education, and they experience significant violence and disproportionate poverty. Rotary encourages clubs and districts to prioritise projects that improve the health, well-being, education, and economic security of girls in their communities and around the world.
  • In particular education portrays an imbalance in how men and women are treated with regards education portrayed by the following facts:
  • The United Nations says 60 million girls worldwide have no access to basic education.
  • Of the 960 million people who are illiterate worldwide, two-thirds are women.
  • In many regions, schools do not meet the safety, hygiene, or sanitation needs of girls.
  • Globally, 1 in 4 girls ages 15-19 are neither employed nor in school, compared with 1 in 10 boys
The Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin has since its Charter in April 2010 been involved in various education projects including our two flagship projects “Thai Voices at Phetchaburi Panyanukul School and the Rotary Education Center (REC) Technology Enhanced Learning for Knowledge (TELK) at the Anuban Hua Hin Nongkhon School
However, in 2019 the RCRHH was approached by Rotarian Lizzy Ginsel who through her fundraising through the Multi-Cultural Club (MCC) had raised 700,000 Thai Baht and Lizzy wanted this money to support an education sponsorship for students.
Through the support of then President Napa Keawtem and Youth Services Chair Benjamas Uamsa-Ard they approached the Director of the Phetchaburi’s Ratprachnukhoh School to help find suitable students for this sponsorship and scholarship.
Following extensive interviews two students who had recently graduated from the school Dee Dee Kosin and Kwanthip Phutdee were chosen to start a tertiary scholarship at Stamford International University.
After graduating with academic distinction from the Ratprachnukhoh school, the two students concerned; Dee Dee Kosin and Kwanthip Phutdee both from Karen speaking community, had been fending for themselves earning meagre incomes working as veterinary assistants 6 days a week, but also sending the majority of their income home to support their families.  It has been a tough life with little respite in sight.
Now two years into the scholarship both girls have been achieving good grades and have been quoted as exemplary students facing the challenges of learning during the restrictions through covid-19 in a positive and enthusiastic manner. The Lizzy education fund has paid for their tuition fees and provided a small income each month to support their living expenses.
Empowering Girls is about changing lives and providing opportunities not only for the girls themselves, but their families and communities.
Dee Dee and Kwanthip, have both spoken positively about the initiative and how it has changed their lives in the last two years and how they now foresee their futures demonstrates the importance Rotary can influence to make important changes in people’s lives.  Dee Dee stated “since studying, I’m happy and thankful that I have received a scholarship. It has opened up the world for me to learn new things, both people, work and society. I’ve learned things that I didn’t know before I went to study at Stamford.  I have a new job that gives me an extra income. Because of my part-time job I can lighten my parents’ burden and help my younger brother to study.  When I graduate, I am determined to find a stable job to serve as a pillar for my family and younger siblings in the future.”
Kwanthip stated “Studying at Stamford has helped me to open up more worlds, get to know more people, executives, business people and big people, including foreigners. Life has improved a lot from before. I was just a kid who worked as a day laborer without thinking about my future, but after receiving a scholarship and continuing my education, it can make me think and do what I dreamed.
I dreamed that my parents would have a comfortable home. It was difficult when I was a child. Now I don’t have a house with a leaky roof, don’t have to borrow rice, don’t have to sit and watch TV at other people’s houses, don’t have to let my younger siblings sit and watch other people eat snacks like me when I was young.
The funds could make my dreams come true. Now I have more money to send to dad than sometimes I can’t before. Now I can pay for their food, water and electricity bills. This just made me very happy.
If I graduate, I can make my parents feel proud that I can complete my degree because no one in my family has graduated yet. In the future after graduation, I intend to find a stable job. After receiving my ID card, I would like to open a shop at home so that my parents don’t have to work tirelessly anymore.
They can stay at home and be an elder who takes care of the children. And I will take care of my siblings and support them to study until they finish degree like me.  I would like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to learn how to improve my life from rural children without Thai ID cards until now.”
To ensure both girls complete their dream and graduate they are both fully supported by Lizzy through the MCC and the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin which will ensure the remaining amount of 120,000 Thai Baht is raised to enable them to complete their final two semesters.
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