Ban Mae Bam School
December 2012 – This small school is located about an hour from Chiang Mai. It serves local farm children, some of whom travel up to 20 km to get here. As the student population has grown, the infrastructure has lagged behind. 125 students shared one toilet and a broken wash basin. We initially intended to fund additional sanitary facilities but the headmaster had a more pressing concern – no transportation for 42 students who lived too far away to walk. The government does not provide buses so the school must contract for transportation services.
Given that these children might not even get to the school, the lavatory situation seemed less of a problem.
Thainitiative started our first fundraiser to help this small village school. Our little town of Pocatello, ID pledged $750 and we donated the full amount to fund transportation for these 42 students for one semester. In addition, our affiliates, a group of teachers from Chiang Mai, collected much-needed school supplies for the children from donors in Thailand.
The sanitation problem was resolved when a Thai businessman in Chiang Mai donated labor and materials to build a four-stall lavatory at the site. Lavatory construction was well underway when we arrived.
The students were very grateful for the help. We got a real treat that afternoon. The girls put on a traditional Thai dance for us and the boys demonstrated their skills with drumming. A tour of the village farmland was next and as the evening wore on we were treated to kow lam (sweet rice cooked in bamboo) and traditional music by the local band. Fantastic.