For visitors that like to feel they are contributing more than just tourist dollars during their holiday,Thailand is home to a multitude of worthy charities set up to help those in need, whether human, animal or plant species.
Visitors that enjoy the exotic beaches, dazzling sights and enthralling activities on offer in Thailand often also feel they would like to give something back to the country before they head home.
No matter where you come from, supporting charities and getting involved with charitable projects helps you stay informed about the important social and environmental issues in the destinations you visit, while also offering the chance to feel that you are doing something worthwhile with your time to help others.
Many international charities, including Oxfam, Greenpeace and World Vision, have existing projects in Thailand, and there are also a number of home grown charities that could use your help.
Below are some of the better known Thai organizations, but before you decide to contribute, it’s always best to research them in detail yourself to be sure they match your preferred way to help.
Walking on Sunshine
It has been almost ten years since the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, but its effects are still felt in some parts of Thailand. The Phuket Sunshine Village Foundation was established in 2007 to help children that had been affected by the tragedy – particularly those who lost parents in the disaster. A number of charities grouped together to build a new village to house local children in need of shelter. The Village relies completely on the generous support provided by private donors. Donating goods or food to this worthy cause is an ideal way to give a little love back to the children of the island.
Phuket Has Been Good To Us
Has Phuket been good to you on your vacation? If so, why not generate some good karma by being good back to Phuket? The “Phuket Has Been Good To Us” Foundation works to improve the lives of the island’s young people by supporting English language education. The Foundation has established formal education and extra-curricular activity schemes to provide over 1000 children with quality English education that will better their chances of securing employment in the island’s tourism sector. The Foundation’s Coconut Club also offers an extra-curricular programme for orphans or children whose families are unable to take care of them. Many visitors choose to make a contribution to the Foundation through its “Sponsor a Child” scheme.
On a Mission
The Asia Centre Foundation is another Phuket-based organization whose mission it is to support disadvantaged children on the island by providing them with care, training and education. The Foundation began as a charity responding to the need for children’s basic English language education in Patong, one of the island’s most popular tourist spots. Since then, it has established the Patong Child Care Centre, a scholarship programme, multiple sports development programmes and even the Jumpstart Learning Centre, which provides education for Burmese children on the island. Since 2002, 60,000 hours of education have been provided for young people in the Foundation’s charitable centres, with the support of caring people who want to give a little back to the island.
For Animal Lovers
Over the past decade, eco-tourism has become an important facet of many people’s vacation time in Thailand. If you are an animal lover that wants to ensure the continuation of good conservation work, then the Elephant Nature Foundation may be the ideal charity for you to consider supporting. The ENF aims to increase awareness of drastically declining numbers of Asian elephants, and to provide a safe sanctuary for elephants that have been rescued from inhumane treatment. Public donations help provide a sustainable healthy environment for the elephants to live in, including the purchase of new land for the ENF to expand their projects. Chain-free enclosures, a healthy diet and quality veterinary care are also important focuses for this worthy charity.
Love Your Planet
Many of Thailand’s private villas now boast green features and as developers become increasingly conscious of our role in protecting the environment from climate change and damage; technologies such as solar-powered energy are becoming more common. However, educating the next generation in ways to keep our planet green remains an important task. The “Rabbit in the Moon” Foundation therefore focuses on educating children about care for the natural environment. Since the Foundation’s Kids Eang Programme and Key Camp Programme were established, hundreds of children have learned more about their role in protecting Thailand’s precious natural assets This particular charity is ideal for holiday-makers that want to know they have played a part in keeping Thailand’s stunning scenery green and inspiring for longer.
by Max Vee