Projects in Asia and fund raising anywhere


The kids help in their kitchen,
but play with my food.

Austere but sweet. Flowers and bamboo bunkhouse.

Inside boys bunkhouse with very old mattresses. New ones are on the way from us!

Papaya, okra, beans
and loofah in the garden.

A loofah sponge is not
from the sea. It's a squash!

Big banana bloom,
small fish pond.

Three days from planting spores to harvesting mushrooms.

September - October 2004: Chiangmai, Thailand

FERC's First Give and Live Benefit for Children's Garden!
We had the dream, the date and the desire. We needed a destination for all this splendid energy and eventual funds. It didn't take us long to see the needs at Children's Garden peering out of the remarkable place they're already established about 20 km from Chiangmai near Doi Saket. There's a man named Stanley, part Thai, part British, part Lahu, part Burmese, but mostly heart. A tour and wilderness guide for 20 years, he covered northern Thailand, took folks back to remote hill tribes, met the village chiefs and elders and found many orphans in various states of misfortune: parents lost to AIDS or other diseases, forced relocation, economic disability. He started taking kids into his home, but with a heart that big, he needed a bigger home. (Read more here in the Lahu Helping Hand article.)

The garden is growing. Now he's got land, a few buildings, gardens, ponds, orchards and 26 kids. He needs help with what he has and funds to make room for more. We decided to lump all that was needed into a per year, per day figure for all 26 kids. For 500 baht = $12.50 USD per day, you can feed, clothe, house, provide medical care, school supplies and expenses for 26 kids. Our goal was to raise enough for one year. “After visiting the Children’s Garden and experiencing what they’ve already done for 26 Lahu, Akha and Karen orphans who have lost their families to AIDS and other misfortunes,” said Marc Dumur, Chairman of FERC, “we are committed to help them meet their present needs and expand so they may take in more children. Not only do the kids learn languages and the basics, they work together preparing meals, doing laundry, growing mushrooms, fruits and vegetables, and raising fish, pigs, snails and frogs for food. I’d like to enroll in the mushroom course myself!”

On your marks. Get set. Go! I set off writing the press release, online forever at Chiangmai Mail Newspaper, designing posters, flyers, ads, and T-shirts, scavenging raffle prizes from local friends and businesses, planning the concert, gathering and practicing with musicians in Chiangmai (the crew from The Hug Restaurant -- Thai Aey, English Warren, Dave and Graham, and USA Jones -- reasonably international) and traveling back to Children's Garden to rehearse with the kids. I wanted them in the show singing a couple songs with me -- "Ain't It Grand in Northern Thailand" and "I Want to Learn Your Language" -- as well as a few of their own traditional songs with dance. The rest of the board set off in their own directions. FERC meant more than Foundation for the Education of Rural Children. It also meant Feast, Entertainment, Raffle, Charity. There was much to do and only five weeks before the benefit on 30 October.

Somehow it all came together. It was an intimate venue and though we'd sold out 90, we had to let in a few more people at the door. $1000 baht = $25 USD per ticket. And just to show where their hearts are, every FERC board member bought their ticket as well. Only six comps for the press. They came. All were enthralled. (Newspaper article and photos online here.) The kids were well-mannered but festive. They brought an array of purses, bags and baskets they had made, packaged mushrooms they had cultivated, bouquets of flowers grown from their garden and were ready to take home as much money as possible!

26 children. One year. All living expenses paid. Once we sorted it all out, including donations from abroad, some of us went back out to the Garden to present a check for 130,000 baht = $3250 USD which fulfilled our goal of all living expenses paid for 26 children for one year. The money can go as they choose so in reality it will help buy necessary items and cover cost for expansion to make room for more children. Still more money has come in and we'll deliver new mattresses next week. My apologies to Stanley's wife Malee whose face is covered by the check in the lower right photo!

Next event: 6th Annual FERC Benefit Gala on 19/2/05!
outside at the Wongmalee home/mansion featuring Grammy award winning singer/songwriter Barbara Bailey Hutchison, amazing tenor Antoine Garth, the renowned magician Dr. Penguin, and the band Music Man for your dancing pleasure after a succulent buffet from the Amari Rincome, raffle prizes, a silent auction, a frenzied bidding war for the top items and songs, snappy chatter and comedy slide show from yours truly, MC Scott Jones. Proceeds will build new toilets and canteen facilities at a Hmong village school on Doi Sutep near Chiangmai and provide supplies/scholarships for a needy Thai school in Lamphun province.

Previous DAY TO DAY updates:
Two years ago I wasn't sure I'd live two more minutes.
27 July 2004: Sansai, Thailand
Day to Day has become month to month.
21 March 2004: Chiangmai, Thailand
R & R and R & R for the R:
rest, relaxation, roots and rubber for the road.
20 December 2003: Chiangmai and Pai, Thailand

Later DAY TO DAY updates:
Give-Live-Ride Thailand Charity Motorcycle Ride 2007!
January 2007, All Over Northern Thailand
220,000 baht, fireworks, badminton and love!
16 November 2005, Children's Garden, Doi Saket, Thailand
Srinehru Hmong School Gets New Facilities!

15 October 2005, Khun Chang Khian, Thailand
FERC Give and Live Benefits USA Concert Tour 2006
Raises One Million Baht for Thailand's Children

26 August - 6 October, 2005: All across America
FERC's 6th Annual Benefit Gala!
19 February 2005, Chiangmai, Thailand
There's more to give than money.
28 November 2004: Children's Garden, Doi Saket, Thailand


Questions? Comments? Donations? 
© 2004 by Give and Live, USA

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