A HOUSE FOR THE TWINS

 Thanks to generous donations from friends abroad we could start thinking about a house for another family. Planning starts now.

It's for a family of five:  Sridee, the dad, is 35 and the mom, Jha Fong, is 32.  Wichit is 9 and the twin girls, Sei-Phon and Sri-Phan are 4.
      It's for a family of five:  Sridee, the dad, is 35 and the mom, Jha Fong,
 is 32. Wichit is 9 and the twin girls, Sei-Phon and Sri-Phan are 4. 

Our aim with these houses is to encourage entire villages. As they watch a new home go up, they often pitch in, learn practical, inexpensive methods.  Sometimes they are inspired to upgrade their own homes as well.  

This is the bedroom, for five people. No light, no fan,
 no mosquito netting, no blankets


We contacted the superintendent of hill tribe schools in the Mae Daeng District, about three hours due north of Chiang Mai. He and his teachers picked the five families most in need of a house.  

We picked a family in Baan Mae Gok, in part because of the isolation of the village and the problems of getting materials to the site.  We hope to show the villagers what's possible even with challenges and limited resources.

Project coordinator Aj. Thongin with Dad, Khun Sridee

Sadly, the family has no electricity, no mosquito netting, and not even a toilet.  Of course that will be remedied when the new house is built. 

This is the living room/dining room.  

Because of Covid and the recent surge we can't assemble volunteer skilled workers yet, and there are seasonal problems with  accessibility but we wanted the family and the village to know we're committed to a new house. 

The kitchen

We'll include the family and interested villagers (likely most of them) in the details of the planning, so it's a kind of community project.  We can do that now, and we can begin to identify the best sources of materials.  Circumstances will dictate start time, but we're confident we can begin building in December, now that Thailand has made plans for a nationwide vaccination program.  

Meantime, we'll continue with existing projects, like Stop the Poison, and the demonstration farm.  We just wanted our friends to know what we've been up to.  


For more information, please contact us at

  Project WIN Thailand


CHILDREN'S DAY, COVID STYLE

Project WIN has a tradition of observing National Children's Day. It's been a Thai holiday since 1955, with proclamations, celebrations, and events throughout the Kingdom. In the year of pandemic it's even more important, but has to be different.  

In normal years, the Project picks a hill tribe village and creates a memorable two-day affair for the kids. There's a day of hands-on education with learning-by-doing live stations, staffed by volunteers from the agricultural university and other teachers.  

The next day it's games for the kids,  live entertainment, and gifts of school supplies and food. Scroll to earlier years for lots of photos from those big events.

This year, due to Covid restrictions, we had to downsize dramatically.  On February 25 we went to the village of Mae Kong Sai in Chiang Dao, where there are 20 children in school.  It's an area almost inaccessible during certain seasons and quite remote, but quite beautiful, with a river running through. 

ARRIVING AT THE VILLAGE

Our toned-down Children's day including a big chicken dinner, brought to the village and served by volunteers from Chiang Mai. With the help of friends of Project WIN, they brought the meal and all the fixings and served it to all the children (not just the school kids), and when they were finished, to school staff too.

GRILLED CHICKEN, RICE, CUCUMBERS, AN ORANGE AND A MOONCAKE





The main event followed.  The volunteers, foreign and Thai, set up stations to distribute new backpacks, which the kids will fill with gifts of school supplies of all kinds, non-perishable food items, and even a few toys.  













Next year, we hope we'll be back to a normal Children's Day, but we'll treasure the memories of this one for sure. 

Here are lots more photos, all self-explanatory:










 











Aj.Thongin Nuntarat, M.A. 

Coordinator, Project WIN 

 

For ten years Project WIN has taught modern sustainable farming methods and installed demonstration projects in Hill Tribe villages throughout Northern Thailand. www.project-vin.blogspot.com.   We’ve maintained focus on educating village children in a family setting and always collaborated with local teachers.

 Along the way, with separately raised funding, we’ve also tackled short-term projects like the House for Withun in 2020.  www. https://project-vin.blogspot.com/2020/06/house-for-withun-update-june-28.html

 The House for Withun is in Huai Phong Village, Amphur Chiang Dao, about 90 minutes from Chiang Mai.  Two hundred families live in the village, including 50 school children. Almost of the families subsist with small farms.


 While we were building the house, we realized we also built real trust in the region, and may finally be able to do something about the families’ reliance on toxic pesticides and herbicides. 

Red, green, yellow and white boxes of chemicals are everywhere, and we know they damage the soil, kill earthworms and good bacteria, and that long-term exposure can lead to various human diseases. The poisons also leach into the soil and groundwater, making matters worse.  The villagers know it too, but felt they didn’t have options. 



 As with all of our projects, we have to show the villagers that they can be just as productive using all or mostly all organic solutions, gradually changing over until they achieve full freedom from chemicals.

The local chief agrees and he gave us a 10-rai farm (2.5 rai equals an acre) about two kilometers from the village. This land will be used as an experimental gardening plot and eventually a community learning center. We call it Rai Pu Lom (farm surrounded by mountains). 

Our first practical step is to begin working with one family.  Their farm is located at the single entrance to the village.  Everybody coming and going from the village has to pass this farm so they can see what is going on.  The Ba Family (mom, dad, grandma, and three kids 7-13) are farming their half rai of cabbage, cucumber, butternut squash, cilantro, green onion, garlic, and pumpkin, and doing it with organic methods, poison free.

 

The bigger farm that we manage, about a kilometer and a half away from the Ba Family farm, experiments with the same crops, but is adding more, including rice and fruit.  And we hope to add fish to the rice field.

We are also developing a no-burning plan, and will use the weeds, underbrush and other natural materials to create organic fertilizer.  Our goal is for the other villagers to see what the Ba Family is doing, ask questions, and volunteer to get involved.  It’s already happening.   






HOUSE FOR WITHUN UPDATE: JULY 6, 2020

Here's where it started. 
The home Withun shared with his grandparents.



UPDATE JULY 6, 2020

Covid-19 set us back a couple of months, but we kept building when we could get volunteers and materials to the site. 

Now, thanks to the great generosity of friends, it's done! 

A couple of days ago Withun's grandparents "bought" the house from the builders, in keeping with Thai custom.  They eagerly  handed over 500 baht (15 dollars US) as the full purchase price, and moved in. 

From that moment they are the owners of a brand new home with electricity, fresh water supply, indoor plumbing, a beautiful tile floor, a private bedroom and separate building for a traditional kitchen.  Donors have also provided a complete set of household furnishings and supplies.

There will also be a small, walled vegetable garden and a pond to raise fish for eating.  Withun will tend them both under his grandparents supervision, and the family will have a healthy diet.


Here's where we were three months ago.


Installing the doors


Assistant painters doing a good job


 
Hardware for the doors.


It took five poles to get electricity to the house.  


 Finishing Touches

 
Testing the beautiful new floor


A big tank for fresh clean water


The family, household furnishings, project director Aj. Thongin, and the sign that will go over the door: 
"The House That Spreads Love." 


The builder Khun Chayagon holding the payment for
 the house, and village chief Lung Daeng with the family.

Project Director Aj. Thongin Nuntarat 
and donated household furnishings



Withun and grandparents in front of the old house.

And here's where they are today.  The new home includes a traditional free-standing bamboo kitchen on the left and a fenced vegetable garden on the right.


The first night in the new house, July 5, 2020


A House for Withun was a special initiative of 
Project WIN/Project Protein, 
with completely separate funding, 
provided by friends and members of Project WIN.  


FINANCIAL REPORT 




For more information please contact Project Manager Aj. Thongin Nuntarat
091-852-2074 or projectwinthailand@gmail.com



A HOUSE FOR WITHUN

A HOUSE FOR WITHUN 

 

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 yziegler578@gmail.com
Suzanne Pitcher Tel 098-679-9377 s.pitcher@dada.it 
Laura MacDonald Tel 093-234-0231  laumac3887@gmail.com
Thongin Nuntarat Tel 083-038-5191 kruvin1978@gmail.com 









MARCH 5 UPDATE

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 kruvin1978@gmail.com.  If you are within Thailand, please contact Aj. Thongin Nuntarat at that email, or phone him at 083-038-5191 for banking information. 




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 kruvin1978@gmail.com.  If you are within Thailand, please contact Aj. Thongin Nuntarat at that email, or phone him at 083-038-5191 for banking information.