I am now in Chiang Mai, in the infamous Golden Triangle area of northern Thailand. Besides a couple main cities, much of the population consists of simple farming communities who while in an idyllic setting are lucky to grow enough to eat but have very little for the other necessities of life including the schooling for their children.
Our Family Care Project Partner here in Chiang Mai, The Foundation for Developing and Supporting Children (FDSC), works in the educational sector, conducting Youth Leadership courses and English Learning programs in schools, which offer young people an opportunity out of poverty. Among other things, gaining a command of the English language along with life skills greatly enhances their occupational choices.
The first day, we drove to nearby Lampang to visit a social welfare institute where FDSC conducts a Student Development Leadership program. Of the 1200 students that attend the school, most are from poor northern hill tribes, as well as those from families affected by HIV-AIDS, and/or those from abusive home situations, along with 48 deaf students.
We also visited a rural primary and secondary school where a playground and multi-purpose facility was recently built. The school, as well as a prominent university, will benefit from grant money for Youth Leadership programs and regular sports and educational activities conducted by FDSC, courtesy of the generosity of a local philanthropist.
The following day, back in Chiang Mai, we paid a visit to an orphanage for HIV/AIDS orphans, as well as a school for the handicapped, other locations assisted by The Foundation for Developing and Supporting Children.