April 1, 2018


Today the Project WIN Board learned that we will be the recipient of a 2018 FAWCO Foundation Development Grant to improve the quality of nutrition, to finance education in self-sufficient production and to increase dietary protein for local hill tribe populations.  

The Project WIN Board and Project Director Thongin Nuntarat thank the FAWCO Foundation. We thank Suzanne Pitcher, who initiated contact with FAWCO, inspected our existing projects, and provided guidance throughout the application process. We also thank Mary Hanson, who wrote the application to FAWCO, and all the volunteers who make our projects possible.


Project Protein is in place and operational at Village Number Four, Chiang Dao.  Our focus now is Village Five but we'll stay in touch with Chiang Dao and all the other villages. Just last month we replenished the flock of laying hens at Village Three and stocked the pond with new fish, thanks to a private donation.  Still, it's time for an informal accounting.  Our formal financial report, coming soon, will have the details.

Village Number Four, Chiang Dao

In addition to hundreds of hours of donated labor, we received greatly needed financial support:

Australia New Zealand Women's Group supported Village Number Three, and 10,000 baht was left over from their donation.  We used it toward the raised-bed vegetable gardens at Village Four. 

The American International League of Florence donated 24,000 baht to implement the Five Step Cleanup Day including providing the recycle bins,  training in conservation and recycling, equipment maintenance, and record-keeping.

British Women's Group of Bangkok gave a total of 40,000 baht to support the poultry operation, the concrete fish pond, the Children's Day celebration and training event, and other trainings throughout the year.


The village has its new concrete fish pond complete with a thousand baby fish, thanks to hard work by the villagers and  Project Protein volunteers.  Chiang Mai Expats Club paid for all the materials, which made the fish pond possible. They made this banner to celebrate


Dateline January 20, 2018

Khun Sab welcomed three distinguished visitors today:

Project WIN Board President Yvonne Ziegler,

Friend of Khun Sab Village Debbie Singh of Perth, donor of the new chicken flock, and

Project WIN founder and director Thongin Nuntarat.

Debbie shows two members of her flock with Project director Ajarn Thongin. These hens are top-quality, fully vaccinated stock ready to produce for up to three years.

Debbie presents Teacher Aey with a surprise donation to restock the catfish pond. The tall boy in the center is 10, the student manager of the local Project Protein.


Thongin and President Ziegler share a moment.

Some of the children gather around fresh supplies from Project WIN

The visitors brought the kids' favorite orange treat


It's a tradition with Project Protein to put on a big celebration when a village completes all its target projects.  It normally coincides with Thai Children's Day in January.  For two days there are hands-on lessons to review and reinforce new agricultural methods, and lots of games, contests, and entertainment.  Project Volunteers join in the fun, and help create a joyful experience of learning and fun for everyone.  This year at Chiang Dao was no exception.   Take a look:  





When talking to foreign friends young volunteers call this place "Village Number Five" for two reasons. First, Baan Nam Bor Mai Viang Heng is a mouthful for non-Thai speakers.  Second, they're very proud that Project Protein is already up and running in four villages.

A villager and a volunteer plant a mango tree.
Project Protein is sustainable agriculture using modern but simple methods to increase variety and yields. Each village is a demonstration project to teach how to improve diets and promote independence.  

Many believe that Project Protein will become contagious throughout the region once eight to ten villages are fully operational.

Village Number Five was chosen because it is relatively small.

The project aims to show that Project Protein methods can work in a village of any size. 

Volunteers say that in spite of the village's size, there's great enthusiasm for the project.

Like the other villages, Number Five will have a fish pond, a carefully terraced three-part vegetable garden, a poultry operation, and a "mushroom hotel" to produce food for eating and selling.  

Recently volunteers from universities in Chiang Mai went to Number Five to help villagers put in the new fish pond,and draw initial plans for the vegetable gardens.  

The vegetable gardens will be arranged in three terraces, for best yields.  The top terrace will be for relatively fast-growing foods like onions, cabbage, carrots.

The next terrace will contain the medium-growing crops such as corn and bananas.

On the lowest level, villagers will plant trees including mango and jackfruit.  These will surround the poulty operation and will be nourished by chicken manure.


Thanks to a generous gift from a private philanthropic group in Florence, Italy, the Chiang Dao Project Protein installation can now be completed.  After last weekend all that's left is minor upgrading of the fish pond, building the Mushroom Hotel (November after the rains) and the final two-day village celebration in January, 2018, underwritten by the British Women's group of Bangkok. The new chicken coop is in full operation and the raised vegetable gardens are thriving, and the children are proud of their new skills.
This weekend six of Aj. Thongin's university classmates came from all over the Kingdom to help teach the  Five Step Maintenance Program which is part of every project. They spent two happy days working alongside the kids and the 14 college-student volunteers from Chiang Mai. 

The Chiang Dao Site is a traditional hilltribe village
inside a protected national park. It can be almost
inaccessible during the rainy season.

Before starting work the college
 students take a moment to mediate.
This little girl couldn't wait to shart the cleanup.

The preschool kids made cleanup fun.

Coordinator Thongin's university classmates
 and the youngest children.
Note the 5-Step poster. It will
 be permanently posted at the school.


The village near Chiang Dao has made great progress putting Project Protein fully in place. They recently welcomed a visitor and supporter from Italy, Mme. Suzanne Pitcher-Flaccomio of Florence. Khun Su-san, as the villagers and volunteers call her, has visited Project Protein sites three times in recent weeks. Two were all-day vists and one was for an overnight. Each time she closely observed the various phases of the Projects: village chicken coop, concrete pool for raising fish, a small mushroom barn, and raised vegetable beds. She also saw how the children were included in every task, because sustainable agriculture programs pass from one generation to the next.

In addition to encouraging the workers, Khun Susan is guiding Project staff through a grant application. 
This may lead to an gift next year from an international NGO.  If Project Protein gets the grant they will be able to establish full demonstration projects in three more hilltribe villages in Northern Thailand, for a total of seven. That many successful Projects  in the region will create a critical mass and potentially impact the entire North.

Volunteer Bill repairs irrigation system

Ready to water the new seedlings

Khun Su-San chats with village children

This girl is thrilled to gather the first eggs

Khun Su-san at one of the new raised beds


The entire village turned out early Saturday morning.  Before sundown they would build a strong chicken coop of local bamboo, and a large concrete pond to raise fish for eating. Sunday was the big party.  After educational games at the learning tree, they would have contests and races and music to celebrate the official start of Project Protein

Our foreign friends can't do volunteer work, but they can watch and measure our progress.
This Couple rapidly cut and shaped 
the bamboo for the chicken coop

Each piece has to fit perfectly into the design.

Thin slats mesh with strong
beams and crossbars.

The coop is ready for the 30 waiting chickens.


The party starts with learning time

If you bust your balloon first, you win.

 The littlest kids watch the show 
(or the photographer)

 Everybody gets a prize

This boy volunteered for the big relay

 Wash your face, no hands allowed. Blow on the flour.  Eat a cake. Bust a balloon. Win a prize!

The moms love it as much as the kids

We built a chicken coop and a concrete
 fishpond and had an all-day party. 
 Let's take one more picture.