The ‘Preparing for Success’ training program, through the generous support of the Socialgiver organization, was able to reach more than 800 rural girls in Northeast Thailand. It covered key aspects from existing workshops on ‘Building a Positive Attitude’. Furthermore, it provided some practical guidance and information on post-school career, employment, and training opportunities. This training was conducted in the form of a 3-hour workshop in schools throughout Ubon Ratchathani and its surrounding areas.
This project was successful in providing 444 teenage girls in rural areas with the information and skills they will need for post-schooling success, as well as in helping them to increase their sense of self-worth, gain confidence in themselves, and become inspired and optimistic about the future.
Preparing for Success: The Guide for a Better Life After School
The aim of the ‘Preparing for Success’ project is to provide free, high-quality training to underprivileged girls in the Northeastern Region of Thailand.
This workshop introduces them to:
- Training and education options post-school
- How to find and apply for jobs
Feedback and Evaluation
We at the Pratthanadee Foundation are committed to the continual evaluation of our training workshops by participants and trainers, so that we can further improve results.
- 90% of students have never attended this kind of workshop or have experience in attending any workshops
- 46% of students have no idea what type of work they want or what would be suitable for them in the future, while 29% want to be a teacher and 17% want to be a doctor
- 88% of students do not know what path of study they need to take in order to obtain their dream job
- Over 60% of senior high school students do not know whether or not they can continue their education at the university level after graduation
- 80% of students have financial difficulties that limit them from studying at a school or university and, therefore, require a government loan
- 80% of the students’ parents work in agriculture
In our workshops, we administer pre and post-training tests on the girls in order to measure effectiveness. Often, we find that participants have a serious lack of understanding of further education and career opportunities. In this particular workshop, we found that:
- Before attending the workshop, more than 50% of students were not aware that it was possible to continue on to university from a vocational school. After the workshop, students now have a better understanding about the further education system for both vocational schools and non-formal education.
- Students have no idea of the difference between each program and how to select or choose the one they want to study. When students do not know what to study in order to obtain the job that they want or are not aware of which subject they are most comfortable with, they end up choosing according to their peers. The result is that they are not committed to the curriculum set out by the school and perform poorly in class. Since the students do not understand the purpose of the subject, the classes become boring and they are unwilling to learn. Furthermore, the education system does not allow the students to have a full-range of options and does not help to indicate which subject is suitable. The less they know about the purpose of their study, or what they should study, the less likely they will continue their education.
- Before attending the workshop, over 60% of students do not know the difference between an open and closed university. During the workshop, they gained an understanding of this, which is important as an open university would allow them to study and work at the same time, unlike a closed university. This increases their chance of continuing their education after high school.
- Students do not have much access or information regarding other occupations, apart from jobs such as teachers, nurses and police officers. Additionally, they rarely consider other jobs because most parents prefer that they work under the government in order to receive government support and medical care.
- More than 68 % highly agreed with the statement: “You gained knowledge and understand more about yourself.”
- More than 64% highly agreed with the statement: “You gained knowledge and understanding about further education and job-hunting after the completion of junior high school/high school”.
- More than 58% highly agreed with the statement: “You have more knowledge about your options to continue your education and job-hunting.”
- More than 46% highly agreed (5 from 1 to 5 scores) with the statement: “You can apply the knowledge and experience from the workshop to use in real life.”
- More than 45% agreed (4 from 1 to 5 scores) with the statement: “You can apply the knowledge and experience from the workshop to use in real life.”
- More than 34% highly agreed (5 from 1 to 5 scores) with the statement: “You think you can pass on the knowledge and experience from the workshop to people you know.”
- More than 49% high agreed (4 from 1 to 5 scores) with the statement: “You think you can pass on the knowledge and experience from the workshop to people you know.”
Feedback / Comments Provided by Participants (Translated from Thai):
- “This workshop makes me feel like I have a clearer vision of my future. I learned a lot and had fun from joining the workshop. The one thing I want the staff to modify about this workshop is to make it last longer. I want the workshop to last all day long. Thank you.”
- “The information I have gained today, from all of the activities, are the small pieces that are able to change my entire life. If I do not receive these small pieces of information, I will be disappointed from missing out on what I want to be. I want the staff to come here again, to give information like this to the juniors.”
- “I had fun because I got to hear my friends’ thoughts and point-of-view, it feels like I received positive energy which leads to positive ideas. Thank you so much. I wish that this workshop will continue, for the juniors.”
- “I am so glad to participate in a great workshop, which gives advice about studying at university. Today, I received motivation to pursue the career that I have dreamt of. I hope the staff will keep coming to our school and give this kind of advice to our juniors too.”
- “I learned things I did not know before. I had fun doing the workshop, which is quite beneficial for me.”
- “l felt relaxed. I had a lot of fun, inspiration, and the courage to express myself, to do activities, and to speak out.”
- “From this workshop, I learned more about who I am and what I want to be in the future. I now know what I truly like.”
- “I had fun with the workshop. What I have learned today makes me know more about myself and what I want to be and do in the future. I wish that the staff will come to our school every year, to give advice to the juniors.”
- “This is a great workshop. I felt good the moment I walked in and met the staff. I got to discover myself and learn more about who I am. The workshop offers such great activities for me and my friends to do together. I wish the workshop could last all day long.”
- “What I received today is confidence. I am confident about what I want to do and what I want to be in the future. I had a lot of fun receiving information about occupations from the staff.”
- “What I got from the staff today is that, firstly, I got to discover who I am and, secondly, I, received a lot of information from the staff. I am so happy to have met the staff. Thank you”
- “I feel like I learned a lot more because I joined the workshop. It was fun, I got to laugh and think about what I want to be and what I want to learn in the future. Thank you so much for coming and giving us knowledge.”
- “What I received from today’s workshop are 1. Information 2. Motivation to pursue my dream 3. Think about things I usually do not think about 4. I got to plan my future.”
- “I learned how I can choose my field of study. It is fun and not boring. It gives me the courage to express myself. I have gained a new experience.”
Schools and Students
- The majority of the students have not had an opportunity to engage in activities like these, both individually and in groups. The facilitators quickly realized that the children had limitations in writing and expressing their thoughts. They lacked the courage to share their ideas and also answered questions minimally with many spelling mistakes. The students are more familiar with using their local dialect, as opposed to central Thai, in both writing and speaking. Nonetheless, through the activities, the students gained new knowledge and a better understanding of who they are. They gained new-found courage, and also learned about the options and choices that they have in life.
- The students lack basic socialization skills and general knowledge. Perhaps this limitation is due to the fact that some schools are remote and do not have access to the internet or have limited telephone signal. This leads to inaccessibility in obtaining news and information and prohibits development in various areas. The activities carried out in the workshop allowed the students to work in groups, with peers from other classrooms, and to share experiences with one another. This teaches them to cooperate and learn compassion and empathy. The activities build self-confidence and give the students courage to express themselves.
- The teachers paid a lot of attention to the activities and would check-in regularly. The involvement of the teachers allows them to understand what the students are learning. Furthermore, it allows the teachers and the facilitators to develop a relationship which aids in planning and coordinating future training. Overall, the teachers seem to appreciate the workshop and its activities and will gladly have the foundation visit again in the future.
Long Term Impact
This project will create the following long-term impact:
Impact on the Girls Reached:
- Through this training, the 444 girls have started to think about themselves and their future. As a result, they have gained confidence in their own abilities and can pursue their dream with more confidence. This skill will stick with them forever.
- Even if they do not remember everything they learned in training, they have gained a new sense of awareness about further education, career paths, and sources of support.
Impact on the Foundation:
- Pratthanadee will now be able to reach significantly more girls than it would otherwise. When asked, the girls we trained reported that they were keen to share the information with their friends and family. We hope this will create a snowball effect.
By the end of the project period, the Foundation had spent 99,518.40 THB from a grant of 100,000 THB.
The team at Pratthanadee would like to express their sincere thanks to Socialgiver for their generous support of this important project. We are especially grateful for the opportunity to conduct the workshop, which has proven to be a great success and is a significant step forward in the number of girls we will be able to reach in rural areas in the future.
Thank you very much for your support on this project.
For more information about our work, please visit www.pratthanadee.org or www.facebook.com/Better-Me-for-Girls