In 2011, BABSEACLE Foundation Director and BABSEACLE team member Naruedol (Don) Wannarat gave a series of CLE classes to the residents of Wildflower Home outside Chiang Mai, Thailand. Wildflower provides safe shelter, education, health and other services to young single mothers who are either pregnant or have young children.
The young women need educational support to help them move from crisis and poverty to steady jobs or continuing education after leaving the Home. The BABSEACLE classes were specially designed to familiarize the young women with basic rights and practical law issues that may be useful to them in their everyday lives. Some of the women come from ethnic minority and small village communities and have been expelled from their traditional communities after getting pregnant; pregnancies that may be the result of rape or non-marital relationships. Some were victims of domestic violence and incest. The BABSEACLE classes at Wildflower aim to empower these young women, giving them skills and knowledge they will use in the future.
“Our workshops give them tools to protect themselves and their children,” says Don. “Some of the topics we talk about may be complicated and the educational level of the woman may be low. But when I have checked to see what they’ve learned – for example, by drawing pictures of what we mean by “Gender Inequality and Sexual Harassment” – I have been so impressed by their understanding – and their desire to learn more. It’s been one of the most rewarding teaching experiences I’ve ever had… I’ve learned a lot!”