Photography and article contributed by: Service Quality Department (Metta Welfare Association)
Metta Welfare Association (MWA) held it’s very first overseas Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project from 28th November to 4th December 2014. A total of 11 Metta’s staff, 11 Metta School teachers and two volunteers participated in this project aptly named as “Values In Action”. This project aims to give Metta School in Chiang Rai a refreshing face lift and a new computer lab.
Metta School Chiang Rai is a privately-run supplementary school incepted in May 2008 as a means to provide supplementary Traditional Chinese education to children aged 6 to 16 years old, from local ethnic groups so that they would have the opportunity to advance in higher education for entry into Taiwanese universities. The school is located in the village Huaynamyen of the town Wawee. At 800 metres above sea level, it lies in the district, Mae Suai, in the western part of Chiang Rai Province, northern Thailand.
This CSR project was identified in June 2014 when a recce team consisting of Metta School’s (Singapore) Deputy Executive Director, Mr Ee Tiang Hwee and Service Quality team, Ms Ann Ng and Ms Jaslyn Chang, visited Metta School Chiang Rai. During the trip, we noticed that the classroom walls, pillars, ceiling, and podium were covered with stains, molds and peeling paint. The school had no painting maintenance carried out since it was incepted many years ago. Hence, a proposal was put forth for staff of Metta Welfare Association to help repaint the school as its CSR project.
Two different groups departed Changi International Airport on 28th November 2014 and 29th November 2014 respectively. Upon arrival at Chiang Rai International Airport, we took a two-hour land transfer and arrived at our accommodation “Lao Lee Hill Resort”. The owner of this Resort was a friendly and hospitable lady. Every morning, the resort’s staff and owner would prepare our daily meals of breakfast and dinner. We had a variety of locally cooked dishes and fresh fruits.
For our transportation between Metta School Chiang Rai and the Resort, we had fun riding in their local vehicle called the “Song Tiao” which is a cross between a taxi and a pickup truck. The traveling time from our Resort to Metta School took about 45 minutes. However, daily traveling on this “Song Tiao” was not an easy feat due to the winding roads, dust and huge pot holes on the road. Nonetheless, we all enjoyed each other’s company in the snug cabin of the vehicle.
For three days, all 24 of us worked hard in painting the school. Painting commenced with the Teacher’s Block followed by Classroom Blocks. Each block consisted of five rooms. We shifted furniture, dusted, swept, painted and cleaned the rooms to the best of our abilities.
Many of us were first timers but this did not deter us in picking up paint brushes and rollers to paint with the rest. Those who were unsure followed and learnt from those who knew. Within a few minutes, we saw “painting teams” emerging as each one of us took the lead and responsibility in a particular painting task. There was great teamwork among all of us as we helped each other in whichever areas that needed extra hands.
A. Exterior Walls & Ceiling
B. Interior Walls & Ceiling
D. Doors, Windows & Door Frames
On the first day of the week, some of us finished up on the final touches of painting, while the others started cleaning the window grills, frames and dusting the walls.
We were very fortunate to be able to complete all the painting within three days due to extra helping hands from 23 Tes-Amm Thailand staffs who joined us. They were indeed an immense help as they painted the classrooms, exterior walls and the outdoor stage.
By day end on 1st December 2014, we were all tired but happy and proud to present evidences of our hard work:
Besides helping us with the painting work, Tes-Amm also sponsored the cost to revamp one empty room into a computer lab for the students. The new computer lab is fully functional with laptops, keyboards, monitors, projector and screen. Additional lighting were installed and some patching work was also done to the ceiling.
A Token of Appreciation was presented to Mr. Luc Scholte van Mast, Managing Director of TES-AMM Thailand, by Mr Chuang Wan-Neng, principal of Metta School Chiang Rai. All Metta School students and teachers, Metta staff and Tes-Amm staff from Thailand came together for a group picture.
The Project ended with a farewell party on the 3rd December 2014 where Metta students from Chiang Rai and Singapore put up various stage performances, dancing and singing for us. Under the moonlit starred night, everyone danced, clapped & joined in the performances.
Many exchanges and friendships were forged in that short span of three hours. It was indeed a night to remember! The party ended with gifts exchange among the students and souvenirs for everyone.
Our first Overseas CSR project was a success! We received many positive feedback and suggestions to organise another trip in 2015.
The organising team would like to express our heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to all the 22 staffs and two volunteers who participated in this project. The project’s success is attributed to each and everyone’s effort, time and teamwork.
We look forward to the next 2015 overseas CSR project!