In January 2016, we visited Rob Moore who oversees the running of The Centre Network (TCN) based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The concept of the Centre is to provide non-formal education in an environment created mainly for youth and young adults. Many students come from the nearby university. English classes taught by expats are popular amongst these students.
The Centre Network team endeavour to provide:
- an alternative place for vulnerable students to hang out
- English language classes for local students
- other informal education courses run by visiting volunteer expats
- genuine long term relationships with local students
- the establishment of small groups where the Christian Faith can be explored
Within the three-story house used as their base, we could feel the warmth of the atmosphere created by the team. A hang-out area where a card game was being enjoyed, a corner filled with cosy couches where students could check their phones and enjoy a chat, a coffee area where one could enjoy a latte, a kitchen area where creative English classes could be enjoyed as well as a few smaller classrooms made The Centre the “go to” place for the discerning student!
The Centre Network hopes to expand by opening other Centres within Thailand and overseas. The Centre we visited is a great model for other such places to be established. It provides a strategic model to connect to ethnic Thais (of whom less than 1% are Christians).