The Fishermen’s Life Enhancement Center (FLEC) in Songkhla recently organised a field trip for fishery workers’ children as part of the centre’s efforts to strengthen the workers and their families’ knowledge for a better quality of life and self-dependence in its fight against human trafficking.
The out-of-class activities have been hosted for four years in a row.
Ms.Nattaya Petcharat, Manager of Stella Maris Seafarers Center Songkhla as a director of FLEC, said that 16 children of migrant fishery workers, who are students of FLEC’s “Class for Migrant Workers’ Children and Families”, were taken to Songkhla Institute for Skill Development. At the institute, they received cooking lessons on Thai food and desserts and safe food-preparation tips. The centre’s gardening class has produced fresh vegetables for their families since the project started in 2017.
The cooking lessons focused on four menus: curry steamed seafood, curry puff, steamed egg cake and steamed sponge cake. Under expert guidance, the kids were supervised from the beginning to the end. The class allowed them to do everything, including measuring, meat chopping, flour threshing and seasoning, cleaning and returning equipment to its place. They tasted what they cooked by themselves and their friends and brought some home.
Rorsia Win, 13, attended the activity for the first time and enjoyed the cooking class. Her favourite part was when she threshed flour for curry-puff making and it inspired her to become a pastry chef.
Keewa Noo, 14, was pleased with the opportunity as she has been fond of cooking. Her previous trip was to a zoo in Songkhla. The cooking class gave her an opportunity to try new things and she enjoyed making the steamed sponge cake the most. She was proud to have a bite of her own cake and intended to bring it home where she said she would practice more.
“The trips helped open up the world for the youth, with new learning experiences that will motivate them in self-improvement. This year, FLEC has organised four trips and all the children enjoyed them, particularly the cooking class. It matched what they want and raised their awareness of fresh, clean and safe food which is the foundation of food security. Moreover, they can make a career from what they learned,” Ms. Nattaya said.
The cooking class followed the centre’s gardening activity which provided the children safe food and helped their families save expenses. The activity is to strengthen migrant workers’ self-dependence and food security in line with FLEC’s goal of promoting necessary skills for vulnerable groups’ sustainable living.
FLEC was established in 2016 as a collaboration between seven public, private and civil society parties: 1) the Fish Marketing Organisation under Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, 2) the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, 3) the Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand, 4) Stella Maris Seafarers Center Songkhla (Baan Suksan), 5) Charoen Pokphand Foods PLC (CPF), 6) GEPP Sa-Ard Co., Ltd (a Thai start-up with expertise in waste management), and 7) PTT Global Chemical PLC.
All parties have combined their expertise to lift the quality of living of migrant fishery workers and their families. With the application of self-sufficiency philosophy, more than 200 households at Songkhla pier are assisted so that they can stand on their own feet in health, education, finance and social dimensions. The households have received knowledge transfers as well as beneficial and needed skills development opportunities. They are also being promoted to take an active role in tackling community and marine debris in a sustainable manner. The collaboration will ultimately create a model to end human trafficking and child/illegal labour as well safeguard the marine environment.