going to baan dada

next month i will be heading to the burma/thailand border with my sisters to go volunteer at an orphanage.  baan dada is a small orphanage that houses a little over 50 children.  you can read more about them on their website and in the blogs of some past volunteers – here and here. many of the children at this particular orphanage are not ethnically thai. they are of the karen ethinic group, which is a minority group in burma.  the karen people fled political persecution in burma and now live in refugee camps on the thai side of the burma-thai border.  these children are not considered thai citizens and are not given full legal rights in thailand – as one of the bloggers above put it, they are “invisible.”

since i have not yet been there, i cannot speak specifically to the current state. but reading about other volunteers’ experiences scattered across so many personal blogs and websites, i am able to get a good sense of the community they have built and the good work they are doing.  while i am there, i think we will be helping care for the kids, teach some english and art classes, help with smaller building projects, etc.

i will try to keep everyone updated on my journey and experiences out there. i am trying to organize some supplies for the trip – the dada who runs the home has asked for money for supplies for the kids (supplies are cheaper for them to buy in thailand), medical supplies and computers.  i told him computers i can definitely help with!  if anyone wants to donate to these kids, or maybe has a connection at a big computer hardware company (dell, you out there?!?!?!), then please contact me. i would be happy to bring things over there.

2 thoughts on “going to baan dada

  1. Wow, good luck with the volunteering – its takes a lot of guts to actually go out there and help. Its a lot easier (in perspective) to simply through a few dollars at your favourite charity and forget about the underlying problem – in the hope that someone else will take care of them.

    A big bravo for have the courage to put your money where your mouth is and actually *doing* something about what you believe in – I wish I had the courage and the resources to do likewise!

    On a side note, what about taking the OLPCs to Thailand?

  2. thanks for your comment Shaon! i have looked into OLPC, but unless you donate $ for 100 computers, you cannot designate where the laptops go. so we shall see – maybe upon my return, i can try to get some people to donate enough for 100 laptops @ $310/laptop .

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