WHY THEY CALL IT VILLAGE NUMBER FIVE

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.














CLEAN AND ORGANIZE IN FIVE EASY STEPS: CHIANG DAO NEARS COMPLETION

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.







VIP VISITOR FROM ITALY

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
 

OUR NEW CHICKEN COOP AND CONCRETE FISH POND AND THE BIG PARTY

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.




SUNDAY




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.




CHILDREN'S DAY AT KHUN SAB


Project Protein Student Leaders Plan Chilren's Day With Aj. Thongin Nuntarat, Project Coordinator


Donations start to roll in



The first day of the two-day festival is for hands-on education. Children learn new sustainable methods under the supervision of their parents and teachers.  The focus is on the kids to ensure continuity into new generations. They learn about raising fish, mushrooms, chickens, and organic vegetables.





The next day devoted to educational and some non-educational fun with the volunteeers and families.






Here's a little movie of the volunteers in action on Fun Day.






Two special Project Protein supporters help for both days.  Suzanne Pitcher from Florence, Italy, and Mary Hanson from the USA and now Chiang Mai are generous supporters and honored by the villagers as visiting dignitaries. 



Project sponsors include many Thai individuals and families, as well as some international organizations. Big gifts from Australia New Zealand Women's Group and the British Women's Group of Bangkok made completion of the Project possible