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Amnesty International Club: Ordinary People, Extra Ordinary Changes

by Menthol and Gao, Gr. 12–

The Amnesty International Club at RIS was introduced to high school students in the first semester of the 2019–2020 academic year. The four executive members who formed the club are Menthol (President), Gao (Vice President), Prai (Secretary), and Tarun (Treasurer), along with our Club Advisor, Ms. Farrah Collette. The club is interested in individuals who seek to promote and create awareness of human rights and refugees. We decided to create two main goals for this academic year: to let our members learn and to share the issue of human rights while doing service through using our own skills in promoting the problems pertaining to refugees in Thailand. Our club initiated a variety of fundraising events such as selling bubble tea on Sugar Rush Day and flower bouquets during Senior Convocation.

Amnesty International Club: Ordinary People, Extra Ordinary Changes, Ruamrudee International School Bangkok

Throughout the first semester, the Amnesty International Club also hosted various activities such as a refugee talk, a Human Rights 101 session, Write for Rights, and an introduction to the refugee community by Amnesty International. These activities and events allowed us to understand more about the lives of refugees.

On Sunday, November 24th, the Amnesty International Club at RIS had its first field trip to visit a refugee community in Bangkok. We had planned activities for the children, such as origami, face painting, games, and candle making. During the visit, there were many refugee kids who joined us. We were able to separate them into groups so we could teach each child directly. After the activities were done, we did a sing-along and distributed colored pencils to each kid. The highlight of the field trip was candle making where the children were able to pick their favorite scent, which included vanilla, coconut, and more. A candle is also the logo of our club, which aligns with our slogan: “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

Amnesty International Club: Ordinary People, Extra Ordinary Changes, Ruamrudee International School Bangkok

Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces lit our day too. We put a lot of work into this trip by funding and organizing the arts and crafts for the children. Despite several unexpected situations that occurred, we managed them well. It was RIS’s first successful visit to the refugee community. We would like to thank all the club members, our advisor, the chaperones, and Amnesty Thailand for making this trip happen. Good job, everyone!

Quotes from club members: 

“I still can remember the joy and fun the children had when we went there. I was able to teach origami. I taught them how to make an origami dog and butterfly. The kids were very happy to pick the colors they wanted and to choose the type of origami they would like to make. It was an experience that I haven’t experienced before.” — Gao, Gr. 12

“One of the most interesting club activities I did in the Amnesty Club was writing a letter to a woman from Iran who had been imprisoned after standing up for women’s rights. Doing that felt rewarding as it felt like an honor to talk to one of the many admirable people in the world, and I hope to participate in many more activities in the future like this.” — Aryn, Gr. 11

“Experiences can come from listening and what we learned in the refugee talk came from people who actually have real experience. We know more about refugees now and it was really interesting as all of the information we never knew before. Even those experiences we [can] never know by ourselves but [can] only listen from experienced people, which can be a really precious experience that is hard to find. I hope to participate in the experience again next time.” — SiangSiang, Gr. 10

“[Visiting the refugees] was one of the most wonderful memories I had. The kids were very happy about all the fun activities that the Amnesty Club provided. I was able to paint their faces and play some games with them. I still can’t believe how happy the children were. This was one of the best experiences I ever had.” — Pair, Gr. 9

Amnesty International Club: Ordinary People, Extra Ordinary Changes, Ruamrudee International School Bangkok