By day Gecko is a school and in the late afternoon it opens it doors to the local Thai children in the area to come and learn English and Maths for free and to utilise their playground.
Every Friday is community day at Gecko and this takes on many forms. The first Friday of every month children carry out their own community passion project. The teachers at Gecko believe the children should follow their own passions; therefore, the kids decide themselves what volunteer work or project they would like to do.
There is quite a variation of activities and volunteer work ranging from working in a local restaurant, assisting at a goat farm, taking care and walking dogs at Soi Dogs, helping set up the Phuket Toy Library, working with the Dolphin Project, learning about organic farming and making Tow Skim available to local Thai groups.
Gecko wants the children to realise that they belong to a wider community and that it is important to make positive contributions and learn from the local people. The second Friday of each month the children and families hit Nai Yang Beach and in partnership with Dewa Hotel clean the beaches.
Other activities take place on these days such as environmental awareness, sports, team building skills and of course swimming, kayaking, tow skimming and lots of fun. Clubs run by parents fill the third Friday each month.
Gecko recognises that the parents are a huge resource and offer a wealth of talent. Children sign up for two activities that run for four months. Club activities include the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), recycled art, survival club, surf life saving skills (sponsored by SGS Training Centre), mosaics, cooking, school newspaper, bike maintenance and riding, blogging and drones. There is always something for everyone!
Last but not least, is “discover Phuket and its surroundings” – on the fourth Friday of each month.
Gecko endeavours to show the children the other side of Phuket, some times they may visit a new tourist attraction, other times they might go off the beaten track into the wilderness or go to spot dolphins in the wild.
Owners, Celi Harper and Huw Roberts, want the children to realise that they are never to small to make a difference and when you are an expat it is important to give back to the local community.
Their proudest moment to date was the 100km bike ride the children took part in from Thalang to Kao Lak to raise awareness and funds to go to Taiji, Japan to monitor the dolphin slaughter.
“On the last couple of kilometers riding down into the Marriott Hotel in Kao Lak we were so proud and overwhelmed by the support of the community, Gecko families and the Marriott Hotel.
“At that moment, it made us realise all the blood, sweat and tears of running your own school is worth it,” they said as they reflected on the event.
Gecko would like to thank all the local people and businesses who have supported their community days to date.
If anyone would like to be a part of their community days or help out in our Community centre for the local Thai children please email at email@example.com