Foundation for Life

To Mould the NeXt Generation, so they may have qualities of self-control, reverence and a sense of responsibility, ready for good works. We run activities that help children and youths attain physical, mental, spiritual and social maturity, giving positive teaching to the social evils facing youths today and encourage them to express what they learn through practical service to the communities. We empower the young to be purposeful and responsible for their own future and that of the environment
Oct 28, 2016

Failing Forward involves Musing Backwards and Aiming Upwards

The participants in the Bowling event
The participants in the Bowling event

What our organization was trying to achieve and why

In the Project "Character and Leadership Training for Thai Youths" , the aim of the Foundation for Life was to help Thai youths be persons of good character, being able to challenge themselves and others in doing good, and buidling their future upon moral and just values. In order to do that, we have to painstakingly take time to be involved in their lives, instill right values and being exemplary in action.

The nature of this type of developmental work is for the long term, and thus, the funding needed to sustain it, has to last a long time too. In order to fund our activitites for the children and youths, we needed to attract both volunteers and donors, to help in giving to and raising the funds to this end.

The idea or method that we tried

One idea that came up was to organise a Bowling Event to raise funds for the Project. The committee had seen this done by an eduational institute and thought that it would be a good idea and something that we could try for ourselves. We were to encourage friends and well-wishers to form teams of 3 to bowl together, and registration fees were incurred. In this way, we hoped to be able to raise the funds for our project. 

Why the idea or method failed 

In our enthusiasm to raise funds, we were focusing on the details of how the event should run, the target amount to aim for, and then we realised that our grassroots leaders and volunteers were mostly truely grassroot level people, whose contacts, friends and supporters were mostly family members, fellow employees and villagers. In addition, they were unlikely to be bowlers, either! 

As bowling is a sport geared towards the population who are better off financially, and who lived in cities where bowling alleys are in existence, our reach for donors were limited to city dwellers who have an interest in bowling, or who are bowlers themselves. On top of that, although we had about 50% of our members living in the capital, the majority were from the poor to lower income groups. Basically, we did not have enough participants to offset the rental charges of the Bowling alley.

To put it bluntly, we did not have the clout for a bowling competition as a fund-raising event.

What we learned from the experience

We learnt through this experience that if we want to raise funds, the more participants, the merrier. In order have more people involved in the fund raising event, the activity has to be one that most people are able to easily participate in.

Secondly, we have to expand our areas of influence and find ways to reach out to a wider audience, than just friends and family alone. While at the same time, each individual volunteer or member need to have a sense of urgency about the project and the current needs, that having enough funds will help to fulfil.

Lastly, we needed to  effectively and simply put our ideas across to people so that they can see and appreciate the needs of our project.

How our organization is using that experience to improve our work

From this experience, we have included activities that most people are able to take part in, for example, participating in a walk rally.

In order to widen our publicity, we were very fortunate to be included in the Global Giving network, both in the US and the UK, and we will work at being on this network as it increases our visibility.

Meanwhile, we are still striving to instil a sense of urgency to our workers and volunteers, that children and youths need help urgently before it is too late to help them form good habits and traits that will carry them safely through an unchartered future, and therefore the urgency to have the funds to enable the developmental work to go on.

Finally, it is an on-going effort for the Foundation to communicate effectively to those within and outside our walls, so that lives of Thai children and youths may be strong from inside out! 

Hence, to fail forward, we need to muse back to see how we can aim up.

Thank you for reading our report.

Oct 20, 2016

In Remembrance of Our Beloved King Bhumibol

The Royal Funeral Procession to Grand Palace
The Royal Funeral Procession to Grand Palace

In Remembrance of Our Beloved King Bhumibol

The Foundation was at the height of preparations for the National Leadership Camps to be held this week, when the sad news of the demise of our king Bhumibol was announced throughout the kingdom, on 13 October 2016.

This set the whole nation into mourning and grief. Many events, including concerts, competitions and even some graduation ceremonies, were cancelled or postponed indefinitely.

At the same time, the government announced 1 year of mourning for the Thai people and for all public offices and educational institutes to fly flags at half mast for 30 days.

Meanwhile, the Foundation also felt the deep grief with all Thais in the country and round the world, and decided to postpone the National Leadership Camps to be held next year instead, as the camps were originally planned within the week of the king's passing.

During this week, thousands had flocked to the Grand Palace grounds to pay their respects before the portrait of the late monarch and sign farewell messages during the day, as Buddhist rites were performed and attended by the Royal Family and government officials. The Royal Household Bureau will start allowing mourners to pay tribute inside the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall in front of the monarch's body from October 28. Millions of mourners are expected to attend, as many poor villagers are making the long trip to the capital city from the provinces, to pay their last tributes to their beloved king.

In response to the king’s teaching on doing good for the society and to show love and tolerance amongst fellow citizens, the Foundation went to the Sanam Luang, near the Grand Palace, to give out snacks and drinks to fellow mourners there.

The Foundation is thankful for the help and support of donors, and for the extension of sympathies from people all over the world.

With thanks,
Vena Lung (Project Leader)

ps. The photographs are by courtesy of the local news from The Nation Multimedia and The 

The Thai people wait outside Grand Palace
The Thai people wait outside Grand Palace
The nation mourns for beloved king
The nation mourns for beloved king
The funeral rites by the royal family
The funeral rites by the royal family
Last minute cancellation of Leadership Camps
Last minute cancellation of Leadership Camps
Foundation distribute snack and drinks to mourners
Foundation distribute snack and drinks to mourners
Aug 3, 2016

Preparing and Collecting for the Winter Months

Morna and Family courier Beanies for  the Project
Morna and Family courier Beanies for the Project

Preparing and Collecting for the Winter Months

It may seem that the winter months are a long ways away, however if we consider that it takes about a week to knit a beanie (winter cap), there are only about 15 weeks before 1 volunteer can “churn” up 15 beanies for those needy in the highlands of Thailand.

It was with great gratitude that the supporters and volunteers of the Foundation, both local and overseas started to respond to the needs for warm items to be knitted and collected in preparation of the winter monthhs ahead.

When a Morna's family came for their personal holidays, they decided to personally courier about 200 beanies that were done by volunteers in Singapore.

The same for Narcissus, who knitted and donated extra yarn for the project.

There was also a call that i received today from Nipaporn, previous volunteer who helped knit beanies for us 2 years ago. She had moved from Bangkok to Hatyai, yet she was still willing to volunteer to knit beanies for us this year.

The Foundation is thankful for all the willing hearts and hands that gave financially or personally knitted the warm items for us!

Any comments or feedback is most welcome, so that we may better immprove our reach to the needy.

Best regards,

Vena

Narcissus brought knitted the beanies she had done
Narcissus brought knitted the beanies she had done
A trolley full of knitted caps
A trolley full of knitted caps
Donated yarn and beanies
Donated yarn and beanies
 
   

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