Help 100 Thai children get an education

by Family Connection Foundation
Help 100 Thai children get an education
Help 100 Thai children get an education
Help 100 Thai children get an education
Help 100 Thai children get an education
Help 100 Thai children get an education
Help 100 Thai children get an education
Help 100 Thai children get an education
Help 100 Thai children get an education
Wendy has big dreams!
Wendy has big dreams!

For many disadvantaged children, reaching for their dreams can feel quite hopeless. According to a recent government statistic only 20% of children in rural Thailand live with either parent. We have found this to be true in the many Thai schools we work with. Many of these children will live with a close relative, usually a grandma or aunt who is willing to take care of them.  They are not living with their parents because their are few jobs close to home so they have gone off to other places to find work. Sometimes the parents send support back to care for their children, but sometimes the children are forgotten and grandma is left alone to raise and support them. 

Wendy (not her real name) is one such child. Wendy and her older brother live with her Grandma who is their only source of support. Wendy is in the 9th grade and likes to study mathematics and Thai language. She also likes sports and participates in athletics at school.  Wendy's dream is to study nursing after High School so that she can take good care of her Grandma!

Every day Wendy helps her Grandma by doing housework and cooking dinner. Her Grandma was working as a seamstress making 300 baht ($10) a day, but last month she lost her job when the shop owner could no longer pay her due to the struggling economic situation in Thailand. So, almost every day after school, Wendy works part-time cutting out fabric for 150 baht ($5) a day. This helps provide for some of their daily expenses, but they are quite poor and this little family struggles to just have enough food to eat.

Without the support of Education Matters, Wendy would be forced to quit school. It is the support and gifts of generous donors like you who make it possible for Wendy to finish school and achieve her dream of becoming a nurse! 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Graduation Day!!
Graduation Day!!

The Thai school year ends in March, so this is the season for graduations! The Eduction Matters program has the goal of keeping kids in school until they graduate from 12th grade, so we love to celebrate all our youth who reach this milestone! We have found that almost 100% of the students who complete 12th grade will continue their education and graduate from college. 

This year we are celebrating with Sarah (not real name) who graduated from High School on Mach 4th. Her accomplishment is even more significant given the challenges of her Senior year which was entirely online due to Covid! Sarah came to live at Ban Sanrak children’s home when she was 13 because her father was unable to care for her. Eduction Matters provides funds to cover tuition and school expense for many of the Ban Sanrak children who do not have families.

One of the highlights of Sarah’s High School experience was competing in a math competition for her school. She was the 1st runner up in the competition which was a huge accomplishment as she was competing against many other schools. 

Sarah plans to attend the University and major in Social Work. Her goal is to graduate as a licensed social worker so that she can help children like herself who come from difficult family backgrounds. She is grateful for she received through Education Matters and Ban Sanrak andd she wants to do the same for others! We are so proud of you Sarah for your diligence and for not giving up even when things were tough! And, we are excited for the bright future that is before you! A future made possible by the kindness and generosity of donors like you!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Selling flowers is no job for a child!
Selling flowers is no job for a child!

Recently, as I sat at a traffic light waiting for the signal to turn green, I watched a young girl walk up and down the intersection, weaving between cars, selling flowers. She stopped at my car window, hoping I would buy a garland of flowers for 20 baht (about 75 cents). She was wearing a mask, so I could not see her face well, but she was certainly no more than eight years old. In Thailand, it is illegal for children to be involved in this kind of work, but the only penalty is a small fine (about $12), and most of the time, the police simply ignore it. 

I would see her every evening as I drove through this intersection on my way home from work. She was there every day. It didn't matter if it was over 100 degrees out with the sun beating down or pouring down rain. I would even see her out well after dark when there was a significant risk of getting hit by a car. 

It made me angry to see this poor child out day after day working in such miserable conditions, but what could I do about it? The Hug Project is one of our projects that works in the area of anti-human trafficking. So, I asked them if they had any ideas how to help this child. With their help, we were able to identify the girl and discovered that it was her father who was taking her there every day to sell flowers! So, next, we decided to reach out to the family and find out more about their story. 

 After contacting the father, we learned that Tina was eight years old and was living with both parents. Her dad was unable to work because of health problems, and her mom was a day laborer at a construction site. However, the mom's job was not enough to cover their expenses, so that is why Tina was selling flowers. We also discovered that her parents grew up in a rural village where sending children into the city to sell flowers was common. In addition, her father had worked as a child selling flowers, so in their minds, this was a very legitimate way to help provide for their family. Tina would make about $60 per week, so paying the $12 fine on occasion was not going to be an incentive to stop!

It was clear that if we were ever going to get Tina off the street and set her free from selling flowers, we would need to provide some incentive to the family. This is where Education Matters came into the picture. We offered to provide scholarship help for Tina (and also her 5-year-old sister, who is next in line to sell flowers) with the condition that they would promise to stop taking Tina to sell flowers after school. They agreed, and since we have begun supporting Tina through Education Matters, they have kept their word! In addition, a mentor from the Hug Project regularly visits the family and checks in on Tina to see how she is doing.

 Now Tina gets to be a kid and can focus on her schoolwork or playing with friends. She is getting help going to school but she is also getting help to just be a kid! 

Now Tina gets to just be a kid!
Now Tina gets to just be a kid!
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Daisy and her mentor
Daisy and her mentor

"Daisy" (not real name) lives with her parents and brother in Kalasin Province, in the Northeastern region of Thailand, or what Thai people call the Isaan region. Unlike the rest of Thailand, this area is relatively dry and people are quite poor. Most of the villagers in this region work as farmers, and the income from this occupation is barely enough to support a family. As a result, some families have a tough life. Often, either the father or the mother has to find work in other provinces. Fortunately, Daisy's parents are both at home. Her father works as an electrician, but her mother had to close her beauty shop due to a health condition that made it impossible for her to work with her hands to cut hair.

Daisy is studying in high school, intending to attend college after graduation. A college education is one of the few avenues for children in this region to escape the cycle of poverty.  Daisy is currently attending a government High School but still has expenses that her family must cover. Since her mother had to stop working, their income was not enough to cover school expenses. Her parents were very stressed about how Daisy could continue her education. Thankfully, a local Church became aware of their need and invited the family to apply for help through the Education Matters program. Daisy was accepted into the program and is able to continue her education!

Education Matters not only helps with scholarship funds but also provides a mentor for each student. As a result, Daisy meets regularly with a mentor who gives her the help and support she needs to make sure she can achieve success, both in school and in life! Your support helps keep children like Daisy in school and gives them a very different life!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Dee and her mentor
Dee and her mentor

Dee lives in the Isaan region of Thailand, in the most impoverished area of the country. Dee's parents divorced when dee was very young. As is often the case, the father has no responsibility to support or help care for his children. The burden falls entirely on the mother. But, there are very few jobs in Isaan, so Dee's mother was forced to find work in other provinces. So, Dee and her younger brother now live with her grandparents. Dee's mom hoped to make enough money to send back home to support the family. But, Dee's mom barely makes enough money to support herself and cannot provide adequate support. Dee's grandfather is quite old and in poor health, so he is unable to work. The only option left was for Dee's grandmother to support the family by harvesting sugar cane. That involves going out into the fields for 8-10 hours a day in the hot sun, machete in hand, and chopping down the 10-foot tall sugar cane stalks one by one. It is hard work for a grandmother!

Meanwhile, Dee stays home and takes care of her grandfather and younger brother. She also does most of the housework while grandma is out working.

Thanks to her grandmother's labor of love, the family has food on the table. But, Dee's grandmother only makes a few dollars per day, and the sugar cane harvest only lasts for a few months. They also receive a government pension, but it is only $20 a month. There are simply not enough funds left over to pay for school. Dee and her brother attend a government school that is basically free. Still, there are expenses - school uniforms, books, travel to and from school, field trips, and school lunch. The family must cover all these necessary expenses, but it is well beyond their means.

For many families in this situation, the only solution is for the children to drop out of school. This is especially true for girls. But thankfully, a local Church that partners with Education Matters became aware of the great hardship this family was facing. They helped Dee's grandmother apply for a scholarship for Dee and her younger brother.

We are thankful for this mentor who lives in the local community and saw this struggling family's urgent need! We are also grateful to all those who have donated to support Education Matters. By partnering with us to keep Dee in school, we believe she will have the skills and education to support herself and her family when she grows up. We are confident that her children will have a very different experience growing up!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Family Connection Foundation

Location: Muang, Chiang Mai - Thailand
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Timothy Dunham
Chiang Mai, Thailand
$42,828 raised of $50,000 goal
224 donations
$7,172 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Family Connection Foundation has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.