CHIANG MAI, Thailand – The US Consulate Community in Chiang Mai recently donated 10 large boxes of much-needed children’s clothes, shoes, books, and toys to an organic farm.
Not an “ordinary” organic farm, but something rather special – an unusual charity linked to the city’s tourism industry, called the Children’s Shelter Foundation, about half an hour’s drive from this northern Thai city.
Here, in addition to being cared for and sent to school, the approximately 50 homeless and orphaned children learn about respect for the environment, sustainable agriculture, and contentedly eat what they grow themselves. The 3.5 hectare bio farm is located in the beautiful countryside and offers simple but comfortable accommodation for tourists. It also organizes 2-5 day school camps, which enable privileged children to stay there, study, play, and bond with others at the other end of the social scale in an open-air “Classroom without Walls.”
The Children’s Shelter Foundation is an internationally-sponsored social project founded in 2007 by Joy Worrawittayakhun from Thailand and Ulrike Meister from Germany. It is linked to “Joy’s House” – a 15-room guest house in Chiang Mai city where older children from the foundation learn the basics of the travel industry. Here, under careful adult supervision, they gain hands-on experience in simple correspondence by email, room reservations, airport meet and greet, reception duties, housekeeping, food and beverage services, airport transfers, and accompanying excursions as tour guides.
The 10 big boxes were presented to Ms. Ramlah Jafri, the Foundation’s Project Coordinator, by US Consul General, Susan N. Stevenson (pictured right) on 28 March 2011. Other donations of clothes were gratefully received from The Language Corner, The X-Centre, and private individuals in Chiang Mai.
For more information, contact: Ramlah M. Jafri, Project Coordinator – Volunteer, Children’s Shelter Foundation, Email: [email protected]