Gratitude from the Thai Freedom House to Citylife Garden Fair
Thai Freedom House would like to extend a huge Thank You to all of the amazing, hard-working volunteers, staff and contributors to last years Citylife Garden Fair, it was truly an honour to be part of it and to be the recipients of a portion of the funds raised. We received a huge lump sum of 178,000 baht from the fair. We are excited to see who the lucky recipients are this year and how they are helping to make Chiang Mai a better place for us all.
This year Thai Freedom House will celebrate our 12th year of providing free language and arts education for some of the most vulnerable people of our city, refugees from Burma/Myanmar. You may have read about recent conflicts there and the fact that in the past few years, NGOs have been allowed to work inside Burma for the first time, because of that, many if not most of the support organizations and funding for refugees who still remain in Thailand for valid reasons has shifted, leaving tens of thousands of people very vulnerable. It is our goal to continue serving this population in any way possible as long as there is a need. We thank you for helping us to continue our much needed projects.
What exactly does the money raised help to support?
In addition to our various projects, including our Early Childhood Development Initiative, our evening classes in the Language and Arts Learning Center provide 60 individuals (male and female, children and adults) with free education everyday in 4 languages that help them to survive in Thailand, (Thai) prepare them to return to their homeland, (Shan and Burmese) and increase their ability to learn and to achieve higher education if they so wish, (English). Most of our students are illiterate when they come to us and in addition to learning necessary language skills, they also learn how to work with others in a team, critical thinking skills and problem solving, they are taught life skills and family planning, STD and AIDS prevention and healthy living and eating. Built into our curriculum are lessons to improve self-confidence and public speaking skills, giving our students a voice that has long been silenced. We also promote appreciation of traditional culture with our Shan dance troupes as well as respect for Thai culture, which is passed on through our Thai volunteers. We become their essential community and extended family, celebrating life and inspiring and supporting each other.
The arts, yoga and meditation are an integral part of our curriculum, providing the students with an outlet for the trauma they have suffered and the daily life facing racism and difficult working and living conditions. We provide a safe place where they can process, heal and grow.
How many people do we serve?
Upwards of 200 people access our on site services in one three month period. We also serve thousands of vulnerable people along the border by sorting and distributing clothing, household items and toiletries collected in our charity donation centre, open year round at our Social Enterprise Restaurant, Free Bird Café. Each individual that passes through our programs has a better chance at being successful and safe in Thailand and contributing in a healthy and positive way to Thai society and at being able to eventually return to their homeland.
How far will the Citylife Garden Fair Donation Go?
The donation that you all contributed to will provide education, support, emergency assistance and a community space for over 200 families this year, and provide transportation of over 50 truckloads of goods to be distributed to the most vulnerable communities in Northern Thailand. It hasn’t been easy to sustain ourselves over these past 12 years and initiatives like the Citylife Garden Fair make a huge difference in the longevity of worthwhile projects every year.
Sincerely and wholeheartedly,
Thank you from our whole Thai Freedom House family!