Chelsea ready for Thailand

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OPPORTUNITY: Kindergarten teacher Chelsea Senior is looking forward to a two week teaching scholarship in Thailand.

By David Haxton

Chelsea Senior, a teacher at Community Kindy Bluegum, Paraparaumu Beach, will be ticking off a bucket list item soon.

The bubbly kindy teacher has harboured a desire to help children in need since she was young.

So when she heard about a scholarship run by cleaning company Hygiene House, that offers two teachers the opportunity to implement a teaching programme primarily in an impoverished country, she jumped at the chance.

BestStart, who owns Community Kindy Bluegum as well as numerous other kindergartens, supplies the teachers for the all expenses paid scholarship.

Ninety-three people applied for scholarship and after a lengthy process, Chelsea was one of the two successful applicants.

Chelsea will be going to a village in Surin, Thailand, for two weeks starting on May 20.

"It is in the hills and pretty remote," Chelsea understands.

"This is a community the provides homes, food and education for the children and families to keep them together.

"They have a sustainability programme where there are gardens and water pumps, and they've got teachers coming in, and elephant rescuing people.

"It's almost like a shelter for the families and elephants to live together."

Her objective was to go to the village and implement an English teaching programme within the village's kindergarten.

She will teach the teachers, who are volunteers, especially via games and activities that they can pass on.

"The teachers can speak English but it's just a matter of having ways to teach it to the children and parents that come into the community.

"I imagine it will be exactly like a day in kindy here but just with children who don't necessarily speak English 100 per cent.

"We've got heaps of bilingual children here and they can really relate to the games, sport and music in different curriculum areas.

"I plan on going over there with music, sports and crafts, to get the basic directions down, and going from there.

"I really want to build confidence and self belief and I think those three domains really bring it home."

Chelsea will stay with a Thai family Monday to Friday and stay in a hotel during the weekends.

"I'm really excited. It's the first time I've been anywhere other than Aussie or New Zealand.

"It has been a bucket list dream of mine to help children in need.

"I feel blessed to be able to give back.

"I imagine I'll come back as a completely different person, and that's something I want to do as well, because I worry about things like money, but that's not the be and end all."

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