Once, *Bam, a woman in our program at The Well, complained to me about having to learn English. She was too old to learn a new language; what was the point? I explained that even if she never used it, learning English would help her focus, improve her memory, and strengthen her brain. She didn’t learn English but she kept coming to class and she grew healthier. I know using her brain to learn something new was part of that. (She went on to work in a ministry that includes many foreign, English-speaking volunteers; funny how that works!)
At The Well, we know that the heart, body, gut, mind, and all the other parts of us are working together, all the time. We aim to be holistic in our approach, so we provide everyone with opportunities to learn, from in-house classes to university support.
Education breaks cycles—all kinds: addiction, poverty, trauma and generational cycles. Education teaches that our lives can be different. It can increase resources and enable freedom. When we talk, think, read, and talk some more, our behaviors, emotions and thoughts can change. Learning new information and skills affects our brains, increasing neuron growth and even changing brain patterns that have been altered by trauma.
Beyond the classes we provide at The Well, like Bam’s English class, we support women studying for their secondary equivalency tests (similar to the American GED). Many of the girls and women we meet are at risk because they lack a diploma; many drop out after 9th grade. This has its challenges, but there is a government equivalency program, and some universities with a dual-credit option.
Some students, or their children, go on to study at universities (or even further) and we support them holistically there, too. We do ask our students to apply for government loans, which are good and fair, and then we may also help with a stipend for expenses, along with social and emotional support.
This school year, we need to raise about $5,000 for our scholarships and educational stipends for our secondary and university learners. Our recipients include:
- One young woman in her last year of university, a daughter of a woman from The Well.
- A young man in University studying electronic engineering who has been part of The Well since he was a preschooler!
- A high school student who struggled in public school, but is thriving in a private one.
- A high school student in a vocational High School (auto mechanics).
- We are also considering several women who might be a good fit for dual credit option would require, since these are all moms who need to work. Jim and I are looking into this; still need to crunch some numbers.
These individuals are hard-working, deserving, and are real learners who are ready to break cycles—which is why we call this giving fund our “Future Leaders” fund. If you’d like to set up a recurring or one-time gift to the Future Leaders fund to help us support them, click here.
Whether it’s a university class or a small English lesson, learning means growing. I’m learning how to work in a team, how to teach, or how to navigate Thai culture. Right now, I am also in the art class my daughter teaches at The Well, and I’m learning about the elements of art. Now, I am seeing lines, hues, tints, tones, space, and texture, and I am learning how all these elements of art work together. Sometimes learning new things can take one’s breath away.
Will you join us in this learning-growing-healing work?
Pray with us for our October children’s program. Every year we run a children’s day program during the October school break here in Thailand. This year we have some wonderful Thai leaders and 12 children. Pray for healing for children and their families as we have this chance to build relationships and enrich their time off school.
If you’re lead, make a donation to the Future Leaders fund, or set up a regular gift to provide consistent support. Any amount is helpful, of course, and a gift between $30-100 every month will provide for one student. (This varies based on the student’s needs – let us know if you have questions!)
Talk to us. We know we’re not the only people who are trying to help people break cycles through education. We’d like to learn and share, even have a network.