Helping people in rural, remote, under-privileged villages (26 April 2007)
Since 2000 we have been giving educational help and assistance to
underprivileged people, and remote villages along Thai-Myanmar border.
However inolvement of tourists in these projects
has been rare and most of the jobs are done by ourselves.
We understand that these jobs can not be sustainable if it is being undertaken by a small organization like us without
involvement of larger population. To create proper development in sustainable ways we will need to encourage
others as well as people of the target communities to get involved. We are now offering visitors and tourists
opportunities to take part in such helping activities
as an option to include in the trips to remote hilltribe villages.
We know that we must also heed to the ideas, comments and feeling of the local people on these activities
initiated by our side. As well we should not do things carelessly not to create much
unbalance in the flow of love, respect, knowledge, chance and opportunities, etc. among people of the world.
Give something FREE to a village, take photo and publish in a popular newspaper or magazine might make
people who 'help' gain and people who 'receive' lose.
Our rural development activities will still be small scale but should be more often,
and are focused on education and health.
As much as possible we will help rural people know that, in the long term, they are the ones who
can help their communities the most.
Whenever conditions and circumstances permit we will make our assistance like a return for their hospitality and what
they have done for us. For example the villagers provide us place to stay, food to eat, direction of a safe way
to next village, and lot of their local knowledge.
More importantly we so-called civilized people must realize that these people and their simple lifestyle
Thus we owe them a lot. It is like they are our elder brothers who keep the world as livable as possible for everyone,
and hence we are to return them some helping hands in ways they might need.
- make damage to the world and our environment the least, far less than we do
- help keep the natural resources such as trees and rivers as healthy as possible, just to be later exploited by us
- consume the world's limited resources the least so that the earth can provide us what we need for longer time
- offer places and communities which are different from ours so that we can enjoy special tourism experience
The details of the projects shall be included in our trip and tour plan we regularly send to our members and to
people who send us inquiries.
Currently we have following plans to be included in the hilltribe village trips in second part of 2007:
- writing equipment and books for primary schools in the villages
- building proper toilet in the village without one
- obtaining a Thai language village health book (e.g, "Where there is no doctor" by David Warner) to send to villages
- promoting their handicrafts
- help acting to curb the flow of environmently unfriendly products such as plastics and foams to villages