Lorel, the BFWA president, is currently in Thailand visiting all the hostels and thanks to all the sponsors, the children are thriving. Many of the Leadership Home sponsors have supported children for the past 2+ years. For those new to Leadership Home, we would like to give you some information.
Borderless Friendship WA (BFWA), a Perth based not-for-profit registered organisation, has been operating in the area since 2010, working closely with hill tribe people. BFWA has extensive networks with leaders and communities. Every year, the BFWA President, Dr Lorel Mayberry, spends 3-4 months working with Pramote (BFF Thailand President) and the communities. Other supporters also go and visit – almost every month there are guests, mainly from Australia. Happy Hands Foundation is based in Melbourne and join with us to provide a sponsorship program for hill tribe children. Together, we have almost 300 hill tribe children sponsored (AUD $30 per month) and many young people attending university or vocational education (AUD $50 per month).
The first phase of Leadership Home in Chiang Dao, Northern Thailand - a dormitory for 20 young people - was opened in January 2017 and Phase 2 for another 50 young people opened in January 2018. Phase 3 – a new complex for the K-6 children is in the planning stage. Land has been purchased close by. The young people are orphans and disadvantaged young people from the Lahu, Karen, Hmong and Akha hill tribes. Schools are rarely located high in the mountains. To attend school, they must live on site at the school for at least 10 months a year. Some of the children at Leadership Home stay all year round because they don’t want to return home. There are lots of reasons for this – no family support, no food, parents working away, and their villages are not safe. Leadership Home is perfectly sited – close to a quality local primary school and 5 kms from Chiang Dao which has a quality secondary school, high school.
Leadership Home is located on 4 acres of land which was donated by Brian Rooke, a Canadian supporter. It is beautiful rural land with mango trees and views to the third highest mountain in Thailand. There is land for agriculture and the young people care for the vegetable gardens. A football (soccer) field, badminton and volleyball courts are in constant use. Brian also purchased a rice paddy for Leadership Home – our first crop is in and we hope this produces enough rice for 100+ children.
Separate accommodation next to Leadership Home is available for visitors/volunteers – see www.chiangdaobasecamp.com All volunteers/guests pay 500THB -1600 (approx. $25-$70 a night for bed, breakfast – most rooms have their own bathroom and air-conditioning). The older children at Leadership Home assist with the gardens, etc, and this gives the children some pocket money. Our sponsorship program ensures that every child attending Leadership Home has a sponsor – new children in the future will usually have a sponsor (because our sponsorship program is extensive and we have been following the children for seven years. We consult with their primary school, parents and the young people and we have a good understanding of the children who will be attending Leadership Home in the future.
The criteria for hill tribe children to attend Leadership Home:
· K-6 for Leadership Home Junior AND Grade 7 and above for Leadership Home
· Those willing to pursue a higher education
· Those who have shown a willingness and aptitude to learn
· Parental support is beneficial but not essential
· High risk hill tribe children – no parents; poor ‘troubled’ villages (drugs, sex trafficking, esp villages bordering the Myanmar/Thailand border.
At Leadership Home, 70 children (from the ages of 6-18 years) and 5 carers eat a lot of food – especially rice!!!. Whilst all the children are sponsored (by Australian, US, UK, Canadian people), growing additional food, and especially rice, is essential. Sponsorship money of $30 a month barely covers the essential food, fuel for transportation, soap powder, electricity and cooking gas.
At the moment, all children at Leadership Home are sponsored however new children will be coming – often from shocking circumstances. If you are able to sponsor a child at ‘Leadership Home’ please email us. Uniforms and shoes also need to be purchased plus other essentials for the children.