Kharma Goes Valentine!
Pattaya, Thailand. 7-November-2105
Dear donors and supporters of the Kharma Foundation,
I hope this letter finds you in the best health possible and in a positive place in your life.
For the ninth time I’m writing an email to inform you about this year’s plans, with of course help from your generous donations.
9 great years with a lot of highs, lots of happy kids and a lot of wise lessons learned!
Over the course of this year there have been some changes within the Kharma Foundation’s organizational structure. Co-founder Nion together with some new and old volunteers will keep focusing on the troubled South of Thailand. For this goal she has made a daughter to the Kharma Foundation; the Kharma Family (KFAM). A beautiful saying about change is “who fears change, will fear life. Who embraces change, will embrace happiness”. So we face the changes with a smile, and will make the best of it.
Our most loyal supporter & volunteer over the years Scott, Janpen my beautiful girlfriend & volunteer and I will continue with the Kharma Foundation (KF), together with old and new volunteers. Two new faces that will be helping with the planning this year are Mark and Lucy who have prior experience with handling donations and supporting schools and orphanages. New faces bring new energy.
We would like to wish Nion and her group the best of luck.
So with that said and done we return to the North of Thailand. KFAM will continue to support the South and KF will explore more of the North and the North-East in the future.
The border region in the North is where we have been multiple times in our short history. This year the KF will travel to Umphang district of the Tak province, the most secluded and remote region in Thailand. We are going to the Le Tang Ku School, close to the Myanmar border. It is accessible only by one road, romantically named the ‘Death Highway’ as in rainy season this road is full of dangers and sometimes is closed down. We are NOT going in rainy season so please do not worry. Being so remote means that not much support finds its way to the area we are going to support.
Stateless citizens, refugees and hill tribe people are the inhabitants of these mountainous areas. Like in the year 2010 we will get support of the Border Patrol Police (BPP). You may remember from our previous visit, at that time it was in the Sangkhlaburi province, where we visited 4 schools.
Our choice for the Le Tang Ku School in Umphang is the remoteness and that this school is under solid management. All the support the children get is very much appreciated by the teachers, the leaders and the whole community.
The children are made up from mainly hill tribes with some refugees from Myanmar. Along with the children of the families of that area, there are also some children that have great distances to travel to the school so they board during the week and go home at weekends and we have some orphan children that stay at the school permanently.
We are aiming to support two schools if donations allow it. If we manage to get enough funds we will also support the Mae Chanta School about 40 kilometers from the first school connected via a dirt road through the mountains.
As always we are focusing on 4 main targets:
3. Sports & Games.
4. And just plain old fun.
We are in contact with the BPP (Border Patrol Police) and they will help us with transportation, with the building and also supporting our activities at the school when we are on site. We want to create a new sanitary building with toilets and wash area and extend the mess hall. The current toilet block is now so old, very dirty, in some places dangerous and a breeding ground for all sorts of water borne diseases and infections. The mess hall is completely overcrowded and is way too small for the 360 children that have to pass through there each meal time.
Thanks to one of our new volunteers Mark, a good friend and old business partner, we are lucky to have the full support of the highest ranking Border Patrol Police General of Thailand, General Payoon Amarit. With his support and clear orders towards the district leader and army staff working in the area, I feel very confident that we will get the full cooperation we need.
But also with the backing of the General we feel more positive that all donated goods will be distributed to the children and the donated structures will be properly maintained. It is these two things that are so important in our view.
When you do your best to gather donations and spend the funds on a project but the teachers, the people in charge or parts of the community are not supportive for whatever reason; all your good deeds are at risk of going to waste. Only with positive support and understanding from all sides can a long lasting effect be reached and this is the ultimate goal we want to achieve: to have a long lasting, positive effect on the lives of the kids we visit.
At the time of reading, the Kharma Foundation is still the same. The goals are the same, the children we want to help are the same and ‘doing something positive together’ remains the same. The faces that help may change over the years, but it has never been about us or our faces. Charity should be faceless and nameless. It is the fact that you give what makes it positive, not exactly how much.
“Do your good deeds and let it go and flow down the river” …a wise saying from ancient India. Doing good is not for showing off but for the good of the persons you try to help and maybe also about feeling good within yourself.
We keep the same philosophy that every donated Baht/Euro/Dollar/Pound or any other currency you wish to donate will go directly to the benefit of the children we visit. All volunteers pay their own way, all the way. Companies can donate via our ‘buy direct of a VAT registered company’ principle like previous years. We also like to open more options to get second hand toys donated of people in Thailand that have children.
A second hand toy in the city is pure gold in the hands of child in the North.
All the details about donating, bank accounts in Thailand and the Netherlands, donating goods and the important info of the school will follow below this letter.
I am very happy to be part of this 9th year of the Kharma Foundation. 9 is a lucky number in Thailand. I hope it is lucky for us too. I wish you all a great last couple of months of 2015. May Christmas come soon and may happiness fill your hearts with your family and friends. Thank you for your ongoing support.
I will close with the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “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.”
Thank you for your time and of course you’re much needed support that makes it all possible. Thank you from our volunteers and of course: a BIG thank you from the kids…
The volunteers of The Kharma Foundation
Goods donations KF 2015
All prices are estimates and may change depending on the amount of donations we manage to gather.
Clothing: sport shirts 250 pieces 25000
Shoes 625 pieces 62500
Soap 700 pieces 20000
Shampoo 700 pieces 20000
Toothbrushes 700 pieces 20000
Toothpaste 700 pieces 20000
Matrasses 70 pieces 13500
Blankets 70 pieces 13500
Pillows 70 pieces 13500
Towels 1250 pieces 62500
Rice (kilo) 1250 kilo 50000
Canned food like fish cans 25000
Noodles (kilo) 400 kilo 10000
Cooking products like oil, sauces, salt, etc. 25000
Cooking equipment like pots and pans 10000
Vegetable seeds and garden equipment 5000
Playground Mae Chan Ta School 25000
School material like pens, crayons, scissors, etc. 25000
Learning material:books/lesson material 25000
Sports equipment: footballs, takraew balls, badminton 10000
Board games 5000
Toys 700 pieces 35000
Water filtering system 2 pieces 6000
Medicine needed: Basic medical kits 5000
Water tanks 3 * 1500L Mae Chan Ta School 18000
Building Projects KF 2015
Building projects still have to be specified. The following are estimates. In the following weeks by visits and by intensive contact with the teachers, plans will become more clear and some projects might change.
At Mae Chan Ta School:
Fix the kitchen / mess hall 75000
Fix up the dormitories (paint, mosquito netting, etc.) 50000
Chicken farm (building and chickens) 75000
Roof fix 25000
Paint the toilets 7500
At Le Tang Ku School:
Fix the toilets (doors, roof, toilets, sinks, paint) 50000
Small fixes and paint 25000
Grand Total 857,000
“Kharma goes Valentine!”