Thailand – Home for Disadvantaged
Baan Dada children’s home and community services is a long term partner of AMURT in Thailand. It started as a boys’ home in Huay Ma Lai village, Sangklaburi, Kanchanaburi province in 1994, in an effort to protect the growing number of disadvantaged children in the area. Sangklaburi borders Burma (Myanmar) where many refugees and migrant families moved to this area due to poverty, disease, and political repression by the Burmese military Government.
The main objective is to empower the children through education, formal and non-formal. They are encouraged and taught many skills, from playing musical instruments, sewing, fixing motorbikes, art, languages and technical skills. The children are taught to respect all people, creatures, religion and to practice vegetarianism. This is based on the Neo Humanist’s philosophy “love for all created beings in this world”.
The home also provides jobs for single mothers, refugees and local families who help care for the children, assist with farming, construction and weaving projects. Baan Dada is an independent community based project that supports the people in the surrounding areas. It has initiated several community services, and livelihood projects.
The home is proactive in helping itself. This is one of the long term goals they wish to achieve. They are doing this by selling hand-drawn cards and bookmarks by the children, planting rubber trees for future harvest, and performances by the children of cultural dancing and music.
Baan Unrak children’s home, also located in Sngklaburi was established in 1991. It gives destitute children and abandoned mothers a home and hope for a better future. Baan Unrak, the “Home of Joy,” provides basic needs to more than 140 children, and support to several abandoned mothers.
Between 2004 and 2006, the number of children increased dramatically. The home became crowded and it was decided to buy some land and build a bigger children’s home. In June 2006, the children moved into the new building. Now the project is able to properly take care of all the children. During the last ten years, Baan Unrak developed various small scale projects, such as opening an education center and starting income generating activities. These benefit both the children and the community, and establish another link between them. We also start a farm and we are growing organic vegetables and fruits, as well as spices and herbal medicines for our own consumption.
Baan Unrak children’s home has become a community development project, with the aim of making the home more self-sustaining. The project uses local and available resources and promotes environmental concern among the children and the community.