With an initial purchase of 8 guitars, a full drum kit, bongo drums and a tub of percussion instruments we were underway. Every afternoon the children raced home from school, completed their chores in record time and were ready and waiting for music lessons to begin before you could say doe-ray-me!
Wind the clock forward two weeks… and we well and truly had the Dek Dek School of Rock up and running. We laughed and cried and laughed and cried some more.
The Australian Educational Travel Company have committed to the ongoing running of the project. The first need was to ensure that qualified music teachers were on hand to develop a specific and ongoing lesson program for the children. Lucky we know the best music teacher in the business – Aaron Hood.
In 2013, we flew Aaron up to Yasathon to facilitate a 2 week intensive music program for the dek dek. Aaron and his wife, Wendy, formatted a comprehensive program of music lessons…and then had the whole manual translated in to Thai. They did an amazing job and the sound of music now resonates through Home Hug every day!
The beautiful children (dek dek) who live at Baan Home Hug in Yasothon and New Life Project in Kanchanaburi are our good friends. They are cared for by two of the most inspiring humanitarians of our time – Mrs Suthasinee Noiin … or ‘Mae Thiew’ to those who know her well, and Prateep Ungsongtham Hata, …or ‘the Slum Angel’ as she is known in Thailand. The children are innocent victims of HIV and abuse, many have been abandoned, many are orphaned. All of them are inspiring young individuals.
For many years, Mae Thiew had wished for a music program as therapy for the children but there were no funds available for such a luxury as this.
So, in 2012, a team from The Australian Educational Travel Company travelled to Yasathon to spend time with the children and to get a music therapy program up and running. We all had a blast!
Travelling with us were two incredible musicians. One was the amazing Aaron Hood, a hugely talented local music teacher with a heart as big as can be. The other was my 17 year old son, Rory – a phenomenally talented guitarist and drummer (I can say this because I’m his mum). Rory’s skills are all directly attributed to Aaron who taught him everything he knows when it comes to music!
The children are making incredible progress and the Dek Dek School of Rock is now playing an important role in helping to heal the souls of these beautiful children and bring joy and laughter to their lives every day.
The Australian Educational Travel Company have committed to facilitating Aaron’s journeys to Thailand twice a year – it is our promise to the children that they can be assured that their music lessons, progression and development will continue.
The Dek Dek School of Rock provides the children with a creative outlet and it's also an outlet for expressing grief. It helps the them develop new skills, it builds self esteem … and it is a whole lot of FUN!
8 years on and our Hands on Humanity Dek Dek School of Rock now operates in Vietnam as well. We're super proud of this and we can't thank Aaron and Wendy enough.
They say that music heals your soul … and never has this been more evident than at our very own
Hands On Humanity project ... the Dek Dek School of Rock in Thailand ...and now in Vietnam also!