Thai-Singapore International School Model UN-Amnesty International Society (TSIS MUN-AI Society)

7 June 2021

Amnesty International Thailand

Article by Arwen T. Estolas Thai-Singapore International School Model UN-Amnesty International Society (TSIS MUN-AI Society) Club Prime Minister

As a fairly new student organization in our considerably new Secondary School (only 5 years young), and the first club at that, we are navigating in uncharted waters and our members and officers couldn’t be more proud being a part of this student organization. This club has opened a lot of doors toward learning, opportunities, and networks for us. Over the past year and a half, our club has done its utmost to facilitate as many activities as we possibly could whilst operating under the limitations brought by the pandemic and in between academic responsibilities. 


In October 2020, the club officers started recruitment of new members, and we were met with enthusiasm especially by the lower secondary cohort. Applications were pretty high, and at the end of the recruitment period, we were able to  welcome a decent number of new members to join us as advocates and defenders of human rights!  


For the whole month of November 2020, we held a school-wide donation event which included the Nursery-Kindergarten and the Primary Schools.  The event called for donations of school supplies, toys, clothes, and other essential children’s items to be donated to an orphanage in Samutprakan Province. The activity was conducted with two objectives:  

a) to disseminate information and develop awareness among members of the club and the learners of TSIS regarding the plight of some of our peers in the Samutprakan community, ultimately anticipating that such awareness will  grow into a sense of responsibility and advocacy; and 

b) to facilitate a platform where TSIS learners could appreciate their rights and privileges, cultivate empathy, and live out the School’s core values, namely: Care, Respect, and Harmony. 


The donation drive was a remarkable success. It was heartwarming to see the boxes and boxes of school supplies, toys, and clothes from fellow learners and teachers. Our members and officers came together during one of our holidays to sort out the donated items and organize it per type. On 8th December 2020, we all travelled to the orphanage for an outreach activity to personally hand-over the donated items, tour the vicinity, and get to know the history of how and why the orphanage was built as well as its goals. It is with seeing with our own eyes during the tour that we understood that outside of our respective comfortable and privileged bubbles, are children deprived of their rights to be loved by parents and family. It was an opportunity to give help, see and appreciate our privileges, witness real and existing social situations, and  also learn how the State and civic society groups fulfill the rights of children to be cared for in the absence of their parents and guardians.  

Along with our donation and outreach activities, we also held 2 sets of club overnight events for our goal setting, strategic planning and team-building. Each set was 2 days long, fully facilitated and planned by the club officers with minimal supervision and help from our advisors. During the first segment of each event, we invited advocates from Amnesty International Thailand (AI Thailand) to conduct basic human rights orientation seminars to educate our members about the basics of human rights as well as participate in the Write for Rights campaign. It was a great bonding and learning experience for members and facilitators alike.  


In late January of this year, our school attended the online Youth for SDGs event where participants learned about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as well as its relevance to our 30 basic Human Rights. Though not directly an Amnesty activity, the whole event tackled the importance of upholding Human Rights whilst spreading awareness on global issues. This allowed our members to learn and understand pressing pertinent issues, and also come up with innovative ideas to implement these goals or come up with solutions to issues that were discussed. It was both an enjoyable yet eye-opening experience for our members.  


Between late February and early March of this year, we held a two-day online Model United Nations capacity training for our new members who participated in the Thai-MUN. The said training included a half-day advanced discussion on human rights. The training was conducted by Atty. Romeo Cabarde Jr.,  a Filipino lawyer and former youth parliamentarian in the Philippines, and a long-time member and former Board member of the Amnesty International Philippines (AIPh) section and currently the Regional Coordinator of AIPh-Davao Group.  In March, the said new members successfully went through their first MUN conferences which we are tremendously proud of! Through the simulated UN-conference, our members not only learned the importance of advocacy in order to uphold human rights, but it also opened their eyes to the different devastating issues and conflicts besetting  us on a national and international scale and how to resolve them. Awareness of the different issues confronting this generation will not only help us understand our current situation, but it will give us a glimpse of what to expect in the future, thereby helping us develop ideas and prospects about what needs to be done to resolve situations which will have huge impact in our lives and the lives of the future generation.