My name is Chaitit Poorichai, my nickname is Chai. However, all the students and teachers call me “Kru Chai” (Kru means teacher in Thai). I am 26 years old and the oldest of four in my family. I have one younger brother and 2 younger sisters.
I grew up in a Christian household. My parents and grandparents taught me about the Bible and encouraged me to go to church every Sunday. It is important for me to go to church and study the Bible, so that I can gain more knowledge of what the Bible says. I like to live out the Bible with my actions. I hope that when people watch, they can see that I am a believer.
I started studying at Rajabhat University, in Chiang Mai, when I was 20 years old. I studied there for 5 years. I have my graduation ceremony this October, and I am very happy to officially be finished and get my certificate.
During the time I studied at University I had three jobs. First, I worked at the University helping to build a dam in the river. We built the dam to help save the water to use for the University. Second, I worked at a seafood restaurant packing fish and helping to cook it for the chef. Last, I worked at a small Thai restaurant as a waiter and washing dishes
I heard about the teaching opportunity at Ma Oh Jo from my Aunt, who is a kindergarten teacher at a nearby village, about 40 minute drive from Ma Oh Jo. She told me about ITDP and how they work with Karen villagers. I applied for the job because I wanted to give back to my people by helping the new generation get an education. I have now been teaching at Ma Oh Jo for two years. I teach 5th grade. I teach everything except Math and English. ( We have specific teachers for those classes)
I like working here because I think what we are doing is important. I want these kids to receive an education so that they can get a good job in the future and be able to come back and help their families. I want the kids to continue to study Thai language so that if/when they go to University they will be able to understand the teachers. I enjoy teaching the kids practical and cultural things as well. It is important that they do not forget the culture that they come from.
I also like working here with the teachers at Ma Oh Jo, because they are Christian. When I worked in Chiang Mai, It was hard to find a place where you could work with Christians. Me and my students start and end each day with prayer. The kids all come from different backgrounds; some grew up in a Buddhist home, some in a Christian home. I hope that the kids take what they learn here and tell their families back home. I pray that the families have soft hearts towards what the kids are telling them, and are receptive.
One of my future dreams is to have my own small business, selling fruits, vegetables, and animals. I consider myself an introvert so having a small little shop sounds ideal for me. I also hope to be able to speak English fluently in the near future. I have been studying with Karizma White (a volunteer English teacher for ITDP). She has helped me a lot, so I hope that I can remember all that she has taught me when she goes home.
I pray that the kids in the villages continue to study hard and hopefully make it to a University in the city. Maybe some of them will even come back to their home village to help their people, the same way all us teachers at Ma Oh Jo have done.
-Kru Chai (Teacher at MOJ for 2 years)