Panu was sitting in the classroom, drawing a picture filled with God’s beautiful creation—buffaloes, rice fields and mountains—when he noticed dark clouds gathering overhead. He could smell rain in the air and knew what was about to happen. As the rain began to fall, Panu and his classmates dropped their pencils and ran for shelter nearby knowing that the thatched classroom roof wouldn’t be enough to protect them.
In a small village tucked away in the mountain ranges of north-western Thailand, Panu’s school building was only 40 square metres and made of bamboo walls with a rough cement floor and a thatched roof. Three classrooms were created using blackboards as separators. Having so many children in such a small space made it difficult for Panu to learn as he struggled to focus on the lesson.
Teachers saw the urgent need for renovation. They met with Sukanya Htoo, the director of the child development centre Panu attends, and other Compassion staff members to discuss their options. A member of the community offered a block of land to build a permanent classroom and Compassion’s Critical Interventions funding was used to construct the new classroom block—fitted out with three separate classrooms with concrete walls as the dividers, new tables, chairs and whiteboards.
“Now we don’t have to worry that the children will get sick because rain splashes into the classrooms. The new building is made strong with cement. It shields everyone from both the sun and the rain,” Sukanya said.
Buildings are more than just bricks and mortar—they provide children with safety, security, and hope for the future.
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