Theng Primary School

HIHF is proud to have sponsored the building of a primary school in Tbeng Thmei, Cambodia.  Tbeng Thmei is a “new” village established in 1993, after the national elections which were organised by the United Nations. Since then, people living near the border areas came to live here gradually. “Enfants du Mekong” built a vocational training center in 1993 providing room for women working in the textile industry. In 1994 they pulled out of this project and the three buildings were used as a primary school. By now – 17 years later – the buildings are all rotten and in very bad condition. We are building a new school in partnership with Child’s Dream (childsdream.org), including the required furniture. This will provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for the children and thereby the attendance rate should be in- creased too. The villagers will contribute their share by leveling the land, filling up the foundation and building a fence around the school.

Here is a picture of the old school:


And one of the kids in the village:


For more, see Child’s Dream.

2010 Project Ideas

See an article about HIHF’s Haiti donation in the Big Island Weekly!

June will be, almost certainly, another month in N. Thailand.  I expect that David, Kana, Jenna, and I and Rob Balsavich will undertake (with general board agreement) projects similar to last year.  Perhaps building two generators rather than one, again blankets, hoe heads, and bio-sand water filtration systems (or items as suggested by Silla).  I’m also thinking that small photovoltaic lamps, a couple for each village, would be good.  We should be able to buy the lamps in Thailand, at relatively little outlay for HIHF and very useful for the non-electric villages.  I would also like to continue making money donation for the Croston house for food and medicine.  If we build only one generator, $3,000 should be sufficient.  If we build two, maybe $3,700.

I would like to start talking seriously with Child’s Dream about building either a small school or a small medical clinic.  Since we’ve been working with the Lahu, I would be pleased if the school or clinic could be built in the vicinity of Lahu villages.  A three room school, according to Child’s Dream, should cost between thirty and forty thousand dollars.  A one room clinic much less.  If this sounds like a good idea to the board I’d like to start the ball in motion.  Perhaps find the location this summer, and build at the end of the year.  Do we want to do the whole project on our own?  I was thinking of asking Rita at Kids Ark if they’d like to go fifty-fifty with us, or see if Child’s Dream has other donor’s who might like to go halves.  My thought is that we can use the school and villages using the school as our main focus for future efforts — books, life necessities, educational programs, etc.  I’m particularly interested in hearing the thoughts of Mark Bleadon, our man in Chiang Mai, on these, or other, ideas.  Don, in Vientiane, Laos may also have some valuable thoughts.

In July Kana and Jenna will go to Japan and I’ll have my own adventure up the Mekong River to the Yunnan district of China by cargo boat.

If any of the board members are interested in coming along, you know we’d be very glad to have you.  I’ve been in contact with the manager of the Lanna Moon (http://lannamoon.com ) serviced apt. in Chiang Mai.  Cost wise, a nice room for two is just under two hundred dollars for the month.  Airfare from Kona to Bangkok, return, should be around $800.  Maybe a hundred dollars more from the West coast, maybe 200 more from the East Coast.  Airfare from Bangkok to Chiang Mai about $39 one way, bus would cost less.  Meals should not cost more than $5 a day, about the same as the best Thai massages in the world.  Some days we organize the projects with meetings, or get involved with this or that, but there’s a whole lot of time for the folks that come with us soak up Thailand and have some fun.  People can come for the month or any part of it.

My boat trip, July in general, will likely have little to do with HIHF.  Some good information can be found here  — http://blog.holachina.net/?p=262  and again, anybody’s welcome to come along.

Best wishes, Kurt