Kwah Dao has been working with Artit, who is about 22 and has spent the majority of his life in Thailand, for over a decade. Artit had a difficult start in life but since being awarded a KD scholarship he has picked himself up and gone from strength to strength. Artit’s parents split up many years ago and a few years later his mother remarried.
Artit and his mother’s new husband had a very difficult relationship and after his mother and stepfather had another child, Artit moved in to his aunt’s one-room hut. Although his aunt was very kind to Artit, the fact that Artit’s cousin, who was the same age, had dropped out of school to work and contribute to the household while Artit was in school caused tension.
In 2005 his father was killed, and in the same year his house burned down and he lost all his schoolbooks and clothes.
Despite these challenges as a child, Artit’s outlook on life had been positive. His grades were high, and he placed near the top of the class throughout primary school.
In the second and third years of high school, however, his grades started to fall as he took on extra work and got in with the wrong crowd. He paid less attention to his studies, especially since he wasn’t even sure that the local high school would give him a diploma upon completion. He was finding home life with his aunt and cousin very difficult.
With the help and support of KD staff, Artit did extensive research on his options and came up with an action plan. He decided to attend a vocational school to study electronics in Chiang Mai with the hope of returning home to set up his own business and support his family. In 2011 Artit was accepted into his chosen school to begin Grade 10.
The program allowed him to complete his high school diploma while gaining electronics certification. Coming from Pai, where the schools are smaller and less competitive, he struggled academically at first.
His grades improved dramatically as the year progressed, even as Artit continued to spend all of his holidays working on construction sites. He impressed all his teachers and, having made it to the top of his class, in both Grades 10 and 11 he was awarded a certificate of distinction at a prize-giving ceremony at the end of the year.
In March 2014 his whole family travelled 150km to attend his graduation. He is now continuing his electronics training, in the second year of a two year course at the next level of vocational study. When this is completed in March 2016 he would like to continue his study and turn this qualification into a bachelors degree. In the future he hopes to be able to start his own business to support his family, especially his mother who has worked incredibly hard for many years.
His family and KD are proud and impressed by his maturity, determination and focus.