It is Christmas Day 2013. I recently returned from Thailand after an overwhelmingly successful three-month trip.
Based on the incredible generosity of our donors and all our efforts, I am happy to report that the rabbit farm is thriving beyond all hopes. When I arrived at the end of September we had approximately 2,600 rabbits. While I was overjoyed, the quicker than expected success created an overcrowding problem which required an immediate solution. We have ordered the construction of a third barn that would hold about 500 single cages to allow more rabbits to grow to maturity and have ordered readymade cages from China. Until the third barn was built, we acted swiftly to put the extra rabbits to good use. As discussed below, we have not only donated a significant amount of rabbit meat to various orphanages but we are now selling the excess rabbits to various restaurants and retailers, which is driving us towards our goal of having the rabbit farm be self-sustainable.
Tasanee at Safe Haven Orphanage is doing great. It was nice to see the children and see them enjoying the Newborn House, which we funded in 2011. We gave the Orphanage lots of rabbit meat, which they enjoyed. They love to eat it and it gives them plenty of protein and nourishment, which is desperately needed. Additionally, we continue to donate a significant amount of rabbit meat to support the children of the AGAPE Orphanage and Learning Center in Myanmar.
Chef Herve Frerard from "Le Beaulieu" (The best rated restaurant in Bangkok) visited the rabbit farm while I was there. Chef Frerard has been moved by our work and has pledged his support. We are working with him to organize training at the rabbit farm in early 2014 for the cooks from various NGO around Mae Sod to teach them different and more effective means of cooking rabbit meat for their children.
We engaged a law firm to formalize "The Rights Of The Child" as a recognized foundation in Thailand as it would give us many social, financial and recognition benefits. Once that is done we will receive a certificate of health from the department of agriculture, which will further our goals. We expect the formalization to be complete in the second quarter of 2014.We also hired a public relations and marketing firm to help further our presence in the world of NGO as well as to redo our social media presence, which is sorely needed. We likewise expect that our social media sites will be updated in the second quarter of 2014. Here are the latest updates from the rabbit farm as of today:
1) The local department of agriculture advised that we should build stainless steel stations to process the rabbit meat. This is currently being built and once completes, will help us process the meat in a more beneficial manner. 2) The new third barn has been completed and the cages have likewise arrived.
3) Electric and water installation in the new third barn will be completed as soon as the cages are permanently positioned .
4) We have hired a full time supervisor for the rabbit farm who is also a Veterinarian. He will be able to help us grow the rabbit farm and make it more efficient.
5) We are now selling rabbit meat to one wholesaler who delivers to various retailers and restaurants. The idea is to make the rabbit farm become self-sustainable through the sale of excess rabbit meat.
To all of you that have supported us on this journey THANK YOU. We know the road has been bumpy but we are getting there. Our goal is that by the end of 2014 we are profitable, philanthropic and that many more children will have a protein balanced diet and a better chance for a good life.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and God Bless you.
May the New Year bring you to Mae Sod to see what you have helped build and the children’s lives, which you have changed.
April 22nd. I left Thailand for the US to have abdominal surgery. When I left the rabbit farm we had approximately 1200 rabbits and barely enough cages to house them so after I left :
The rabbit population has grown to over 1600 and we are very short of cages.
The man from whom we rented the farm passed away and left the land to his three daughters who have no interrest in having us as tenants at a very cheap rent. They want to sell the land.
One of the employees on the farm got bitten by a cobra about three weeks ago.
The rabbit farm has been under water for the past few weeks.
PLEASE NOTE THAT NOT ONE OF THESE EVENTS WAS IN THE PLANNING FOR THIS QUARTER.
SO HERE WE ARE TODAY.
My surgery went very well and I am on my way back to Thailand in four weeks.
We will lower the amount of rabbits we have by incresing the population of children receiving rabbit meat.
A week ago I purchased the land from the three sisters after long convaluted negotiations. We now own the land that the rabbit farm sits on.
The employee who was bitten by the snake is well and is back at work thanks to the fast thinking and acting by his fellow employee.
The flooding at the farm seems to be under control as all the rabbit cages are about three feet off the ground and there is only four to five inches of water on the ground. I will deal with this issue next month when I get there. Now that we own the farm we may need to do some land improvements.
So what can I clearly state: It has been tough being away but everything is under control (at least I think so !!)
The personel rewards of this project is getting emails like this.
Sorry for my reply late all the time cause of many reasons . I'm trying my best for my school . on 5-8-13 we got rabbit meat 75 kgs from The Rights Of The Child.Thank you very very much for everything God bless your job and your healthy. I hope your kidney is better and better now. right? The children will be stronger and stronger and good health as well.
With all the best wishes and all our loves,
David (AGAPE family)
To all of my friends, funders and supporters who have helped me make this dificult jouney so much more enjoyable THANK YOU.
We can not forget that on July 24th we celebrated my kidney's first birthday. WOW - INCREDIBLE
I will write to all of you again in about two months upon my return and make an asessment of the situation on location at the rabbit farm.
We can definitely use some more money as we will need to buils an aditional barn. Go to GlobalGiving's web site and look for project number 12293.
I thank life for having given me this opportunity.
PS. To improve our rating in GlobalGiving we need about 40 friends to make a monthly recurring donation of any amount ($3 a month would be great, more would be better). I am asking you and asking you to ask your friends as well.
PPS. I became a grand father for the second time yesterday morning. Thank you L & G.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU and one more time THANK YOU to those incredible people that have supported this project. My personal health has put a big dent into this project's time frame (Kidney transplant 10 months ago, reconstructive abdominal muscle surgery 10 days ago) I am doing well !!!!
Now the important stuff :
With the money we raised, plus a little bit from myself as well as the workers at the rabbit farms willingness to work for NO pay for a few months, we were able to complete the second rabbit barn which includes a watering system, an electrical system, a ventilation system and about 200 new rabbit cages. We had to build a retaining wall to protect the farm against the famous Thai floods. All went very well and the farm looks impressive. We now have, as of the last count at the end of April,1199 rabbits. ( Males 75, Females 316, Young 808 ) I will get the latest count next week.
The MOST important thing we accomplished was at the beginning of the second quarter. We distributed our first rabbit meat to Safe Haven Orphanage ( 40 Kilograms ). They have received that every week since then as well as 140 kilograms of rabbit meat to Agape Orphanage and Learning center every week since that incredible day in early April. We were also able to record the age, weight and hight of the children.
I was also able to land a few paying customers ( Bangkok Restaurants ) for rabbit meat, which will help support this project. We found a fertilizer company and are in the process of negotiating a long term contract for the sale of the rabbit manure. Whatever we can get is great, for the moment.
We have started the process of getting a health certificate or veterinary certificate for he farm and hopefully will have that in place by the end fo the year.
As you all know, this project is very dear to my heart. A glorifying moment in the life of HE was my ability to bring to my home in Thailand 10 orphans from Safe Haven Orphanage for Thai New Year. It was GREAT and we spend three days at the beach and the ocean. They had never seen the ocean. They played on the beach, swam in the pool and learned how to rollerblade. What a fabulous time we all had. I cooked to my hearts content, they ate it all.
In conclusion: So much more to do. .Need help. Please volunteer. Come and visit..
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