THEP: education for Thai hill tribe children
Why THEP needs Sponsors
Hilltribe people of the north are the most significant minority group in Thailand however it is estimated that less than one third of their approximately 3,000 villages have reasonable access to any educational facilities.
Tribal communities in remote mountainous areas are being offered increasing government services, however they are still far behind the larger Thai society in every major area – health, infrastructure, agriculture, transport etc. Hiitribe people are not getting the education they need to determine their future in society.
Hilltribe village people face growing challenges to their current lifestyle. These include dependence on over-used land, poor health as a result of limited hygiene and health awareness, and lack of education. According to past NESDB studies, Mae Hong Son tops the list of provinces in Thailand with chronic poverty.
THEP helps break the poverty cycle by giving the hiltribe children of Mae Hong Son a better future through education.
Who we are
THEP was originally set up as a private organisation by Panwadee Rammasit, Susan Race, Sunthorn Ananchai and Apichart Intra. The current team consists of Apichart Intra, Usa Intra, Susan Race, Arnong Pinta and Prasert Pangmoon. THEP finances its projects by requesting funds from friends, organisations, embassies and companies.
Current Team, from left to right:
K. Prasert Pangmoon, Susan Race, K. Apichart Intra, K. Arnong Pinta and K. Usa Intra.
What we've achieved
Since 1991 THEP has assisted most of the village schools in Mae Hong Son, at least with portable libraries. We have provided support for multiple projects in approximately 80 village schools and donated around 220 portable libraries and supported nearly 500 students with education scholarships. THEP keeps a full record of all projects it is involved with.
How THEP works ...
In the first instance teachers send a proposal requesting funds to build a canteen or library, a boarding house, a toilet block, a water supply system, or assistance with school equipment such as bunk beds, books etc. The proposal is approved by the Education Department and THEP, accompanied by District Officers, pays a site visit. We assess the aims and objectives, estimated costs, the plan and the benefits the project will bring.
We plan and monitor construction work in progress and when complete a full account plus receipts and photos of the work is presented to the sponsor. We carefully inspect for value and quality and continue to monitor developments so that maximum benefits are realised. Funds will be provided for construction work requiring specific skills, however we encourage "self-help" and under the supervision of teachers and District Officers, the villagers and students often enjoy contributing to the labour.
In the case of scholarship applications teachers identify students who have demonstrated aptitude and conviction in their studies, but whose familes are unable to support their education. THEP interviews candidates and we make our own independant assessment of need. Funds are then transferred from the sponsor to the student each term.
Thanks to our sponsors, THEP has achieved outstanding results from the projects it has implemented and the students supported. Together, we continue to find the work encouraging and rewarding.