What is “the Kharma Foundation” (KF)?
The idea of the Kharma Foundation (KF) was born 10 years ago laying in bed in a Thai hospital. It came out of a wish to give something back to the world. We are blessed with a good life, how to share? How to do some good for children in poverty? How to help on locations and reach the kids that need it the most?
Instead of donating to an existing charity, we wanted to do ‘something’ ourselves. We could have never dreamed that after the first year’s day trip to an orphanage, a few years later we were actually constructing a little school building in the jungle hills of the North and patching up dormitories in other years. Every year we do different things, but it is getting bigger and better and more tuned in with the needs of the places we visit.
All this made possible by a small army of great volunteers and the amazing support we receive from all over the world.
The name Kharma Foundation might imply we are a true foundation by law, but we are not registered and we use the word Foundation in its true meaning. If the idea of “karma” is the foundation you live your life on; your life has great meaning for yourself. Do not do good to receive good; just do good. The reward is the positive feeling you experience by sharing and giving.
The first year due to being new to organize anything and due to a limited time schedule, we visited an orphanage in Bangkok, handing out presents to well over 400 girls.
It was a great experience but we wanted more. Something different. Something more long lasting.
In the following years we started to focus on a few main areas trying to improve the lives of the children. We have it down to four main segments:
Nourishment is the first: we have supplied chicken farms, pigs and pig houses, mushroom houses, seeds and vegetables, rice and a wide selection of canned food. A well fed and healthy child can study better and achieve more!
Secondly we focus on better living/sleeping conditions by building dormitories or like last time a kindergarten for the smallest children. We have donated beds, mattresses, and blankets, but also clothing too.
Who are The Kharma Foundation?
The Kharma Foundation is not a set group of workers, not a limited bunch of people; it is a positive group of volunteers from every corner of the globe. Every year the team may vary with different people from different companies, or universities but always all volunteers have one goal; to finish the project!
But also to have fun with the kids and have the positive experience of doing something unselfish for others, which is the greatest reward.
Why do we feel the KF’s is special?
The thing we are most proud of is that every single Baht (or Penny) we get donated by friends, family and companies will go directly to the children. Our volunteers pay their own traveling, food and also donate to the cause. Even the founders pay their own way and put their own money towards achieving the goals.
We do not have buildings or company cars, no flashy fundraisers or high overheads. Anything donated to the KF will go towards the project we focus on that year, the only costs we pay from the donated money is the transport of the goods. Any personal travel is paid by the volunteers.
And every year we manage to conclude the projects with a success.
We would have not been able to do this without the support of loyal support of some great benefactors. These will be included in the emails we write to our supporters and people who are interested.
What have you done so far?
Here a small insight of some of the things we have done over the years. Not every donation has been mentioned as it would a long list.
The projects we have done so far:
2007: Ratchawithi Orphanage for Girls in Bangkok (toys for approximately 440 students)
2008: Wat Don Jan Orphanage in Chiang Mai town (school supplies, sports equipment, clothing, food and most important a blanket for each and every of the 660 children)
2009: Molotu School in the mountains of Chiang Mai province (vegetable gardens, dry food, chicken house and a playground for approximate 100 children)
2010: 4 Schools of The Royal Border Patrol Police in district 13 of Kanchanaburi province (school supplies and sports equipment, dry food and rice, personal medical treatment for over a 1000 children)
2011: First visit to the school Ban Mae Gon in Mae Sariang district (placed new beds and mattresses in the boys and girls dormitory of the school, updated the construction of mushroom house and vegetable garden, made a frog pond and fish pond, school supplies, sports equipment, dry food and a medical check up by a professional doctor for 80 children)
2012: Second visit to the school of Ban Mae Gon in Mae Sariang district (we build a dormitory for the boys, we doubled the space of the communal area for food and gatherings, donated a playground and dry food for 90 children)
That year we also visited for the first time the school of Baan Huay Grataai in Mae Sariang district (donated sports equipment, blankets, school equipment and personal items like clothing, snacks and 1000 kilo rice for approximate 70 children)
2013: Second visit to the school of Baan Huai Grataai in Mae Sariang district (building of a kindergarten building for the youngest of the school; a place to sleep, play and eat. Raising of a mushroom house, fish pond, donated pigs, ducks and chickens and a children’s playground. The updating of medical equipment and donation of beds and mattresses for the dormitories. And the usual dry food, sports equipment and school stuff for 80 kids)
2014: We supported 4 schools in restive Southern region. We went to three provinces Narathiwat, Yala and Songkla. More information on these projects you can find at our sister group the KFAM at www.kharmafamily.com.
2015: In a new and hopefully lasting band of brothers and sisters the KF we went to Umphang district; the most desolate of areas in Thailand. We supported two schools Mae Chan Ta and Le Tan Ku. We donated toilets, sinks, a mess hall, fixed up the dormitory, and gave our usual truck loads of goods like mattresses, blankets, food, toys, sports equipemtn and so on.
What is the KF’s future?
Every year the targets get bigger and we get better at managing the projects, finding the funds and getting volunteers to willingly support us and join us.
We do not think we are special in the way that we are better than any other person that tries to help. Some can help small, some can help on a larger scale. All that we are proud of is that we have always focused on the children, making sure that everything donated to us found a good place. And that we are supported by so many good people all over the world and that these people make it possible for us to do what we love to do; trying to make a difference!
We believe in the following wise words by a former American president:
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt.
I hope we gave you some insight in who we are and what we stand for.
the Volunteers of the Kharma Foundation