When international youth of Bangkok show up in the city's largest slum community, good things can happen. Like playing basketball, or learing Thai boxing, or jumping rubber band ropes- Thai style.
Unquestionably, its a crash of cultures with expat kids from around Asia and around the world, but its an opportunity for the expat kids and Thai children and youth to connect and have fun together even though often spoken language is not a part of the mix of life together.
Step Ahead has made ways for the children of Klong Toey and the often highly priviledged expat youth of Bangkok to spend good times together every week. Its a step ahead for the local Klong Toey kids to know they are not forgotten and able to connect with other kids from around the globe, and an opportunity for Bangkok expat youth to learn that they actually can learn from their new friends from Klong Toey Slum Community.
Khun Wimon makes amazing Japanese Sushi in a very unexpected place: Bangkok's largest slum community. This microentrepreneur has changed her family's life in many ways by the innovative work of her hands. She once made Thai noodles to support her family, but when her young adult son essentially became her marketing consultant, the movement was set to see her increase her daily income many times over.
Watch and see how your support of Step Ahead through globalgiving has made such an amazing economic impact.
Meanwhile across the country from Bangkok, to the rural villages of Southern Thailand, and to the poorest villages of the Northeast of Thailand, Step Ahead continues to create new economic opportunities, and add inputs of mentoring and training. Further, Keeping Families Together and the Child Development Centers helps care for and bring hope to some of Thailand's neediest families.
Kate and Anissa Arrive to Discover Big Steps Ahead.
We always tell Step Ahead volunteers to be ready for anything when they come to join us, and as a dear old mission mentor from Texas, Earl Kellum, always said, "Brethern, we'll treat you so many ways, you are bound to like some of them." Well, these social workers, one from the UK and the other from the USA, coming to serve with Step Ahead in a mammoth task - seeking to forge new Thai government policies in reference to Family-Based Orphan Care, at least got off with some big training steps. It's a big job, but Kate and Anissa got a great introduction with a free elephant ride soon after their arrival. The elephant expedition owner when he heard of our foundation's work to help poor families keep together (explained in Southern Thai language) decided our new volunteers should enjoy Southern hospitality and their elephant ride for free.Our next steps in approaching impacting Thai government policy will likely not prove so easy. It will require significant patience, networking, meeting, research and building the body of work in Thai that will make a path up and through the mountainous jungles of historical understandings that can put children and families at-risk. Kim has become a leader in this non-institutional orphan care movement today with nearly 30 years serving some of Thailand's poorest and most vulnerable children. We are excited that now seems to be the moment to press forward and trust God to act and use us to see change happen for Thai families.
As ever, we thank you for your important support, prayer and standing with us and Step Ahead through the years and today.