It was only abandoned ditches and a dream: A fish and vegetable farm for the families of Maechaem. By July it was reality. The pools and cisterns were built and flooded, the gardens laid out, and the donated fish arrived in big plastic bags.
Village kids put in the first fish. They'll feed them and watch them grow. Soon there will be a steady supply of healthy protein in their families' diets, and the kids will have lifelong skills.
Kru Vin is the charismatic leader of the project, bringing villagers and volunteers together, but he quickly points out that many generous donors and volunteers make these projects possible.
Here are a few.
Working alongside the Maechaem villagers are students from Maejo University Department of Fisheries. They give their own time, underwrite their own expenses, and receive no college credit.
While the Maechaem kids are learning to raise fish and frogs, these students are developing skills in community organizing that will benefit Thailand when they move into leadership roles.
Whether it's a fish farm or a chicken coop for an orphanage or emergency flood cleanup, these ongoing projects are making a real difference at the local level. They depend on free labor and donated supplies, but they need a little money too. (They had to pay for 3000 feet of PVC pipe to bring water to the fish farm.) If you'd like to know more, you can contact Vin at firstname.lastname@example.org.