Developing Communities While Developing Self
Follow me as I learn about community development among the Hill Tribe villages in Northern Thailand. Share in my experiences, thoughts, and self-reflections while learning about the volunteer efforts at the Mae Kok Foundation in Chiang Rai
A Brief History of the Mae Kok Foundation
The Mae Kok foundation began as the Mae Kok Farm Project, established by Mr. Pipat Chaisurin in 1990. The project aimed at helping the local hill tribe people to improve their lives and better the community. In an area highly afflicted by opium addiction, environmentally degrading agricultural practices and extreme poverty, there was a strong need for services. The project helped to alleviate these problems by providing drug treatment and rehabilitation for individuals addicted to opium and helped provide education and technical training.
Towards the end of the Mae Kok Farm Project, it became apparent that there was a great deal of children in the area who were still in need of services. Thus the foundation began at the site of the farm project and what was once a single tent has now evolved into a thriving foundation which houses 24 children and provides much needed services to the local people.
The Mae Kok Foundation must raise and allocate funds for the children’s education fees, food, transportation, clothing, and school material. They rely on both private and governmental charity organizations to help meet their financial needs but their goal is to be as self-sustaining as possible. Another goal of the foundation is to preserve the culture and traditions of the numerous Hill Tribe communities and to cultivate pride amongst the Hill Tribe children.
Want to read more about our experiences at the foundation? Check out my partner Tae’s blog below:
And if you want to help support this great organization by helping us win $5,000 for the foundation, don’t forget to vote for both of us on the stars at the bottom of each entry!