Coconut Club - 'We're Changing the Lives of Children!'
Coconut Club offers a programme of on-going leisure and education development activities that provide after-school, weekend and inter-session experiences to the 175 residential students of the Rachaprachnukroh School in Kamala
It serves the additional function of supporting the Foundation's language programme, by supplementing our classroom English instruction by offering additional opportunities for Thai children to practice their conversational English outside the classroom, in a more relaxed social environment. This is an essential aspect of re-enforcing and developing the language skills they have gained in the classroom.
What the students have to say about Coconut Club:
- J, Age 12 - "I like Coconut Club because it gives us knowledge, makes us happy, and entertains us."
- Am, Age 10 - "I like Coconut Club because all the teachers are so kind."
- Bolsee, Age 11 - "I like Coconut Club because I love to play games."
- Bow, Age 13 - "I like Coconut Club because it is fun. I learn new English vocabulary and the teachers are so kind."
Coconut Club meets five times a week, Monday to Thursday from 3.30pm - 4.30pm, and on weekends. During the week the teachers at Kamala, with the help of our volunteer staff, plan arts and crafts, sports, and team building games. Teachers tailor the activities to the interests of the children. At weekends we run sports programs including swimming and arts and crafts workshops.
How does the Coconut Club help the children?
The residential students are orphans or children whose families are not able to look after them. They rarely, before Coconut Club, had the opportunity to leave the school grounds or engage in any activity outside the routine of their school lives. The Coconut Club enhances not only their English language skills, but also stimulates their imagination, experimentation and independent thinking abilities. It provides a safe and comfortable developmental environment, which raises their self-esteem and confidence, allowing them to use and apply what they are learning in their English class to their everyday life. Additionally, since we involve many volunteers who visit Phuket, it is an opportunity to interact with a diverse range of individuals from many different parts of the world, exposing the children to different accents and ways of speaking English. Beyond this, the activities involved often connect the children to their community and raise their awareness of issues specific to Phuket Island.
Why is it called the Coconut Club?
The name Coconut Club was inspired by the Phuket Has Been Good To Us logo, the coconut tree. The logo was designed by Co-Founder Fleur Birch-Atkinson. When Fleur first moved to Thailand as a little girl, she and her father, founder Tom McNamara, planted a coconut tree in front of their house on the beach. Her father told her that "all you need in life is a coconut tree." It has so many uses; food, water, shelter, transportation, oil to produce heat, and much more. The logo is a reference to tropical Phuket, and to that tree, but also is a metaphor for education. Just as the coconut tree provides the basics of life, education gives children the basic tools they need to succeed in the world.
How can I help the Coconut Club?
Volunteer your time! You don't need to speak a word of Thai. Whether your interest is in sports, arts and crafts, music or some other activity, we can work with you to find something appropriate for the children. In the past our volunteers have conducted programmes involving snorkelling, golf, cricket, soccer, beadwork/ jewellery making, elephant trekking, photography and beach activities.
Donate! We rely on monetary donations to cover our general costs. You are always welcome to sponsor a specific trip or activity. Donations in the form of arts and crafts supplies and educational toys are also a big help. Looking for an idea, take a look at our Coconut Club Wish List or our reading group book list.
We keep our Facebook page updated with lots of pictures from our Coconut Club's activities so become a fan!
Your support will be very much appreciated.