A group of enthusiastic school children recently enjoyed a day at the Phang Nga Elephant Park (PNEP) to learn about elephants. This followed on from the inaugural visit by students in December 2018 (see previous news item) supported by STEF as part of its commitment to encourage education on the welfare and history of Thailand’s elephants.
The students came from the Yaowawit school in Kapong, 125km north of Phuket, which was initially set up to aid children affected by the tsunami in December 2004, and now educates some 138 youngsters from underprivileged families. The lucky group of 20 that were welcomed for the day at PNEP as part of the Place2C programme had the Park exclusively to themselves, offering them the opportunity to meet the elephants, learn about them – and have some fun.
The students, aged 7-12 years, learnt about the important role of the Asian elephant in Thai culture as well as the management, welfare and history of these magnificent animals. They watched as the daily health checks were done, and saw for themselves the care given to the elephants. Then, of course, the best part: they got to feed the elephants with the supplement food balls (which they had helped to make) and lots of bananas.
Later in the afternoon they all took part in an elephant themed treasure hunt with educational clues (and plenty of prizes) until the final clue led them to helping the PNEP’s volunteers to plant grass for future food for the elephants.
“Our children had a lovely time at the park” said Miss Pissamai KomKirin, Manager of Yaowawit School. “They really liked the programme that was organised. Thank you for this great opportunity”.
The Children met the STEF Thailand Chairman, Jake Thaotad, who commented “We were so pleased to sponsor the visit of these lovely children to the Phang Nga Elephant Park. The smiles on their faces as they met the elephants and fed them bananas was a joy to see. They also learned so much from the fantastic team at the Park. STEF Thailand is very proud to be associated with the Place2C project”