Since the March 5 update, we have made tremendous progress.   We have received an very generous gift of 26,384 Thai Baht (about 850 USD). from American friend John Gottried, bringing the total to 74,354 (2360 USD). We are now within 7646 (about 245 USD) of the total needed to build the house.

On March 14 villagers and volunteers took down the existing house and prepared the site. 

We had plenty of little helpers from the village. Here's one:

On March 15 we laid the foundation of concrete pillars, very carefully checking everything was level and true.  

Then we attached 9 Concrete pillars, each 80 cm tall.  To these we connected wooden framing members, 250 cm high, also with great care, checking and-rechecking until everything was perfectly level. 

On March 16 we framed in the basic structure. working until dark.

On March 17 we put on the sheet metal roof. This will provide some shelter for the rest of the job.

We hope for completion in one to two weeks, depending in part on the availability of skilled volunteer workers and arrival of materials, now impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.  

Deepest thanks to many generous donors who are making this possible.

Please see original post below, "A House for Withun" for full details on how this project began, and why.

If you are outside Thailand and wish to donate, you can do so through Paypal to  If you are within Thailand, please contact Aj. Thongin Nuntarat at that email, or phone him at 083-038-5191 for banking information.



In the past week we have received an additional 9,000 Thai Baht, raising total contributions to 47,970. Our goal of 82,000 by March 16 is in sight, thanks to generous donors, including student volunteers. 

If you are outside Thailand and wish to donate, you can do so through Paypal to  If you are within Thailand, please contact Aj. Thongin Nuntarat at that email, or phone him at 083-038-5191 for banking information. 




Withun Jabuh is 7, a member of the Lahu Hilltribe.  His mother abandoned him when he was 2. His father had already gone to prison to start a 20 year sentence for a drug offense. He was arrested at a military checkpoint and convicted of transporting the drug  YaBa (Madness Medicine).

Withun became a virtual orphan at 2.  His paternal grandparents, Natoh and Jagah, took him in, though they lived in extreme poverty and barely had enough for themselves. 

As volunteers of Project Protein, we’re in touch with a lot of villages in Chiang Mai Province.  Sometimes when we see a special need, we add “personal projects,” apart from our main emphasis on sustainable agricultural methods. 

These personal projects are not funded in any way by the general grants and donations we receive for Project Protein.  Funding comes exclusively from  individual friends and supporters.

Project Protein was working in Chiang Dao District. We learned that there were a number of very poor families with students in the local school, unable to pay for supplies or for healthy nutrition beyond noodles and rice.

We asked the teachers to identify the five poorest families. As part of a private project, our friends fully funded all five students for a year.

Withun was on that list. His family was the poorest of all because they lacked decent shelter, had no running water, electricity, or toilet facilities. 

 We met and spent time with Withun and his family, and added a new personal project “A House for Withun.”

A volunteer engineer made detailed drawings and a materials list.  They are for a simple one bedroom house 6 by 9 meters, with one bedroom and a gravity toilet.  He estimated the cost at 160,000 THB ($5300), a huge sum to raise from friends.  We are thinking of every way we can to simplify and reduce that figure.  Relying primarily on donated vs. purchased materials could save 30%, or 48,000 ($1600).  Volunteer labor could save another 30,000 (down to 82,000 or $2730) .  Additional simplifications of the plan may create further savings.  

As of today, February 29, 2020, we have received 43,000 THB ($1433) in generous donations from Western and Thai friends. We still need 41,000 ($1,366).

Next week (early March, 2020) village volunteers will take down the existing house. Construction on the new house will begin on March 16.  We are hoping and praying that we can raise the remaining $1366 by then.  

Contact Information:

Yvonne Ziegler Tel 089-058-8451
Suzanne Pitcher Tel 098-679-9377 
Laura MacDonald Tel 093-234-0231
Thongin Nuntarat Tel 083-038-5191 


Thanks to a big gift from FAWCO Foundation, Project WIN/Project Protein helped the village at Ban Pa Ka Nok, Amphur Samoeng, Chiang Mai Province create six agricultural miracles.

 There's a new pond to raise fish for food and sale,


And a first-ever Earthworm Hotel, where natural rich fertilizer is made from dirt and garbage.

There's also an all-organic vegetable garden, enriched by the work of the earthworms and runoff from the fish pond.

And an all-new village-wide poultry operation

Village children and their families learn recycling, and the latest sustainable farming techniques, guided by volunteers at the local agricultural university. 

These are some of the volunteers who helped create the miracles at Amphur Samoeng.



BCTFN (British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy) fully funded a complete Project Protein installation at Amphur Phrao.  That meant a fish pond, poultry operation, and village vegetable garden and orchard. Village elders decided not to include a mushroom hotel. There were also new sanitary toilets for several families. Seven hundred meters of blue PVC pipe was laid to bring fresh spring water to feed the fish pond, and to supply the entire village.(See previous website pages). 

These three showed up early for class
Recently, City Life sponsored a training:  Villagers learned  skills in hydroponics, composting, and making organic fertilizers and non-toxic pesticides.  They even learned to make soaps for bathing and washing dishes.


The forest supplies everything
needed to repair the chicken coop roof
 As work ended at Chiang Dao, the team learned a nearby village needed a smaller  version of Project Protein. Volunteers quickly named it Chiang Dao 2.0, and realized that the generous City Life gift for the original Chiang Dao project could also cover their modest needs (plus a training program at Amphur Phrao).  Project WIN/Project Protein provided a flock of healthy chickens, feed, and supplies needed for a village-wide poultry operation.  They repaired the roof on the coop, brought bagged medium and cultures for mushroom cultivation, and some plants for the village vegetable gardens. Volunteers also offered advice and consultation on sustainable methods as requested by village elders.   

Everything but the chickens
Two hens (of thirty) watch the kids make their new home ready. 


New guests in the Mushroom Hotel.

 Mushrooms and eggs ready to sell.

Chiang Dao 2.0 says thank you to City Life!


The sixth full installation of Project Protein is at Amphur Phrao. It's an hour by car and another rugged hour and a half by four wheel drive.  Like the five previous villages, Amphur Phrao will  have a fish pond, a poultry operation, a communal vegetable garden, and a fully operational "mushroom hotel."  Villagers will learn to make organic fertilizers and pesticides, and school children will run everything, under supervision of their teachers and parents.  

What's new is the toilets.  When the teams arrived, they saw that 6 homes lacked a working toilet and 5 had no toilet at all.  Fortunately, when there is adequate slope villagers can build a complete gravity flushing toilet facility including an area for bucket showers for less than 1000 Thai Baht (about $30 US each), if the materials for all 11 toilets were hauled in at the same time, and experienced volunteers worked beside them. 

 All they needed was concrete, PVC pipe, some roofing material, the actual ceramic toilet (210 Baht or about $6), a cheap lighting fixture and some wire.  The wall material is available for free in the forest, and the villagers are highly skilled at turning bamboo into everything from strong beams to woven mats.

The vegetable garden is three-tiered: a level for fast-growing leafy vegetables, another for slower maturing crops like corn, and a mixed orchard for fruit trees like jackfruit and mango. Later this year villagers will learn to make low-cost organic fertilizers and pesticides. As with all phases of the projects, sustainability and independence are key.

Water from mountain springs, for drinking and cooking, also fills the new fish pond, nourishes the gardens, and supplies the new toilets.

Today the water in the new fishpond is curing and will soon be ready for fish.  The chickens have been moved to the big new coop where there's room for many more, and plans for the mushroom hotel are ready.  The first new toilets are in.  Amphur Phrao villagers are proud of it all, and grateful to the principal donors at British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN), volunteers from Project WIN/Project Protein, and look forward to the coming year and completion of all phases of the project.  



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.