In Northern Thailand, minority hill tribe families typically live in remote villages often under poor conditions. In these outer areas, children have no access to proper education. Hope and prospect for a better life is often stagnant.
Through our children's home in a small town named Phrao, we are able to break the cycle of poverty in these villages. We empower these children by affirming their unique cultural identity, provide access to education and life skills training, as well as provide proper nutrition and health care to ensure a brighter future ahead.
In the very North of Thailand different tribes live in the mountains. Those people have immigrated centuries ago from China and Tibet. They brought with them their own distinct languages and traditions. Only in the last century have they been discovered by the Thai people. As those remote tribes have only partial knowledge of the official language and live far away, they are seen as inferior by the Thai people. Many adult hill tribe people can’t read or speak the Thai language properly. As a result, they are often discriminated against by public agencies or treated poorly in the hospitals.
When children are registered after birth, the Thai officials give them Thai names instead of the ones chosen by the parents. The names used by the tribespeople are not allowed for official documents.
The villages are hard to reach and during the rain season sometimes cut off completely. Usually there is no electricity and no reliable water supply. This makes daily life as well as nutrition quite difficult. Most people live from agriculture. Growing rice and vegetables is very difficult in the mountains and there are often periods of heavy rain or extreme dryness?
The Golden Triangle is not far away and thus drug abuse is widespread in the North of Thailand. Many farmers decide to grow Opium to escape poverty. However, this often destroys whole families as there are strict penalties for drug trafficking and production.
Especially children suffer from their parents being addicted to drugs as those parents often show no more interest in their children’s development or wellbeing. Even the smaller children learn how to use opium pipes and other equipment. They grow up learning that drug use is something normal. Nobody warns them of the destructive results.
In our children’s home we currently have 107 children between the ages of 5 and 20 years. Those children come from the poor hill tribes who live in the very north of Thailand. For the most part, there are no schools in their remote mountain villages. Therefore, those children don’t have the chance to get a proper education to improve their families’ living conditions through their own income. As our children’s home enables the children to visit a school they have a chance for a better future. We often even support our children after school while they visit college or university.
To further practical education, there is a centre consisting of a sewing room, a bakery and a car repair shop located next to the living quarters and the guest house. There the children can learn important skills and thus find an alternative besides going to university.
It’s very important to us that all our children grow up and develop according to their own skills. We support them us much as possible in this process and help them choose their own way after school. In their free time the boys and girls can enjoy sports and games on our spacious compound.
Additionally, we got a plantation with Lamiay trees (a typical Thai fruit), a fish pond and a piggery. The children are especially talented in dealing with nature and animals. As they grew up on farms in the hills our children do really enjoy nature and even built a small garden by themselves. We already harvested our first salad and herbs. Whatever work needs to be done, everybody is always willing to help. It is obvious that the children are thankful to be living in the children’s home Phrao.
Our team currently consists of six full-time workers and two volunteers. The staff all grew up in children’s homes themselves and thus understand our children’s hopes and problems. They care for the boys and girls daily and help contribute to the familial atmosphere in everyday life.
Become a sponsor - for a child or an ongoing project
With only 50€ per month we are able to provide one child with all necessary nutrition, education and health care. For those interested in long term sponsorship, a child’s progress report can be provided as well as an opportunity to write and receive letters from the sponsored child.
Your donation helps us to maintain, improve and equip the children’s home and facilities. Donation receipts are available upon request for certain countries. Please inform us of your full name and address. (Our Foundation in Germany is able to issue tax deductible donation receipts.)
|Account holder||Hoffnungsfunke e.V.|
|IBAN||DE37 7001 0080 0015 7918 05|
|Account holder||Hoffnungsfunke e.V.|
|IBAN||CH24 0900 0000 6059 0740 1|
|Bank||KASIKORNBANK PUBLIC COMPANY LIMITED|
|Account holder||Foundation Spark of Hope|
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The board of the foundation consists of six board directors, all of various backgrounds in occupation and experience. All our directors are strictly volunteers; they generously donate their time and energy. The Head of the foundation is Mr. Günter Oppermann, who leads the children’s home on site in Phrao, Thailand.