Thankyou for your ongoing support for the project in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Your help leads to the exapnsion and sustainability of this project.
Over the past few months our project with the elephants has excelled.
Our Partner foundation has now introduced a new Elephant, young Male Boon Choo to the herd. He is the grandson of original project elephant Thong Dee.
Unfortunately Thong Dee Passed away in late December of old age. It is amazing we are able to continue her legacy through Boon Choo who is adapting slowly but surely to forest life. He is starting to follow Long May, a young female, and learn from her.
Boon Choo is starting to forage for food himself which is a good sign of progression.
Donations to this project have also helped support five new male elephants and their mahouts.
Our other work continues ethusiastically. Lanaguage lessons continue to empower the community opening the door to opportunities for education,employment and improved communication.
We are continuing to support the community with our eco-bricks. This ongoing project where plastic and other debris is repurposed in the form of eco-bricks ensures plastics and other waste doesn't find it's. The eco bricks can be used in the village.
We thank you again for your support of this project. There is a planned fundraiser to walk to the Mae Chaem happening at the end of February. So keep an eye out for updates!
The Chiang Mai project team.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Elephant Welfare and Sustainable Income in Thailand project.
We are pleased to report that in Huay Pakoot our project has managed to hire a new mahout for the young female elephant Bifern. She is the cousin of baby Lah Lah.
It is great to see Lah Lah and Bifern spending time together. Bifern has been been a great help for Lah Lahs development, whilst living in the forest.
This has also helped Bifern's owner free up more time to focus on their own income and increase the time they can spend with their family at home. Bifern has now moved completely into the conservation forest and is happily enjoying her life there.
Our research work continues. Recently an intern was analysing the data on one of our elephants, Thong Dee. She was comparing the difference between data taken in the morning and data taken in the afternoon. The aim of this project was to not only gain a wider knowledge of elephant behaviour throughout the day but also help decide whether, if possible, we should start taking afternoon data on more elephants to learn more about elephant behaviour throughout the day.
We found her analysis and research really helpful and look forward to using it to potentially adjust our schedules and hopefully expand our database.
Our project has also had a focus on plastic reduction. We have had awareness raising campaigns on social media. We have also been working on an eco bricks initiative in the village to ensure plastics are reused in a meaningful way that does not impact the environment. It's also great to acknowledge where local businesses are saying '"no'' to plastics. One example is a local cafe using bamboo straws and avoiding the use of plastic straws. Tackling the issues of plastics goes hand in hand with the objectives of our project.
We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to providing our next update.
We thank you for your ongoing support of our project.
Let's begin with a celabration. Lah Lah recently celebrated her third birthday! Time goes by quickly and it has been a joy to see Lah Lah learning and developing in her first three years.
This project focuses on education and creating economic opportunities for the community as well as caring for the welfare for elephants.
Education includes English lessons. Being able to speak English is a valuable asset in a country where tourism is so important to the economy. After a couple of years of very little tourism, connecting with the tourism market is more important than ever.
English skills also open opportunities to employment and further education. Your support helps with practical resources for English lessons.
Another focus of the project is supporting community incomes . Community members have a range of. skills and developing these into income stream is sustainable in the longer term. One example is weaving as shown in the image. If you consider this skill, there is potential for selling woven items as well as teaching weaving to visitors to the community.
Our project includes workshops where we can support community members to learn about small business and income generating activities.
Our elephant research continues and our project continues to collect data on elephant behaviour, specifically their interactions with each other and their iteractions with the mahouts. We also monitor how they spend their time.
This allows us to quantitatively monitor the effectiveness and outcomes of our project for the elephants and hopefully show that elephants can be successfully reintegrated into their wild environment. It helps show the health benefits the elephants have being in the forest.
Every two months the mahouts gather for a meeting to make sure they’re getting the most out of taking our goals to see their elephants. It’s always a great chance for our project staff to get to know them in a more informal setting and teach them about the data we collect on their elephants.
Your support allows us to supply the resources for collecting this valuable data.
We really appreciate your support with this project and as Lah Lah continues on to her fourth Birthday we hope that our project can grow and expand with your wonderful support.
The first priority right now for everyone in Huay Pakoot is to support their families and their elephants, and any donations will be evenly split between all 70 elephants in the village and will help the mahouts to feed and look after them. The donations will allow the mahouts to spend more time with their elephants rather than striving to earn income elsewhere, which will drastically improve the elephants’ wellbeing and health. We will leave you with the story of Thanapol, who is a mahout in his early 20s in Huay Pakoot. At the moment, Thanapol wakes up at 6:30am to spend some time with his elephant, Lulu - making sure she is well-fed and healthy. He then travels to the corn fields to help his parents plant corn - he is there all day, leaving around 4 or 5pm. He then assists his uncle in mahouting for another elephant, and will not return to his wife and baby until around 6 in the evening. This is a testament to how hard the community members are working at the moment for their elephants and families. I want to thank all the supporters of our project through this time, as you are making such a difference to the community. Many of the villagers say they cannot wait for the international tourists to return and that they really miss the ‘golas’ (foreigners) being in their village, as it is boring without them! They are all so grateful for any support from afar and look forward to welcoming visitors back when the situation improves.
We thank you for your ongoing support of this project. Lack of tourism has affected communities worldwide, and the village of Huay Pakoot is no exception.
Villagers of Huay Pakoot brought elephants back to the village once tourism wound down in the country meaning that income for many families was severely affected.
Thanks to your support and the dedicated efforts of the villagers we are happy to report that the elephants remain healthy and well-fed. Some of our team were able to visit recently and were able to report that the families in the area have been able to ensure this, despite the challenges of the fragmented forest areas.
In the past, areas around the community were thick with forestation. Over the years, large scale farming, often at an industry level, has affected the forest. The result is less opportunity for the elephant to roam and feed in the area putting additional stress on the families. The village is eager for reforestation in the area. A reforestation project will lead to longer-term benefits. Reforestation will support the elephants and other wildlife in the area for many years to come.
The challenges brought about by the global pandemic have highlighted the need for alternate livelihoods. It has been on the agenda for some time in Huay Pakoot, but the current situation means that creating new and sustainable sources of income is a higher priority.
The crisis has meant that the village has really pulled together villagers are in discussion about ways they can develop eco-tourism. Our team were excited to visit the village recently and hear that the families are working together to formulate plans for eco-tourism. We are keen to support these initiatives so that once tourism opens up in Thailand the community is able to sustain itself. There are many skills within the village and being able to develop crafts, for example is a great way to share the local culture as well as create some income.
Over time we have been able to support English lessons for the local community. Being able to speak English is an asset. When communicating with tourists, a valuable skill. Once people have some English and are confident to communicate with tourists their vocabulary and confidence can expand. The lessons have helped them with their first steps. We are keen to continue supporting these lessons and support the community members to be able to b effective in their ethical tourism ventures.
Tourism is still quiet in Thailand however as things open up again, local tourism can be the key to re-establishing livelihoods. Your support can help reach several goals; the reforestation of the local area, skills development of the Huay Pakoot community and keeping the elephant population in the area healthy despite the challenges facing the community..
We thank you for your ongoing support and as we mentioned, excited to hear how well the community is banding together to develop income opportunities in the local area. And great to hear the elephants are doing well. Your ongoing support is deeply appreciated.
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