Helping Thai Kids
There are, of course, many worthy causes one could contribute to. Especially in Asia. As I live in Thailand I quite naturally try to help Thais. The above picture is of four students in Nakorn Phanom, northeast Thailand, at Ban Pueng High School. Three of the four are being supported in their studies by TLCB (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Brotherhood - men who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War but not in Vietnam). Natana, the second girl from the left has gone to another province, and I can't remember where, but she will be with relatives that are better off than her parents, so she will be continuing school after almost having to drop out.
However, there are lots of other students that are not so lucky, and the need is always greater than the supply. If you know of some people who would like to help, or if you would like to, they can either do it through TLCB or through John Middlewood. John lives in NPK with his Thai wife and is very knowledgeable about the needs of students in the area.
He took me around to about a dozen schools and it is obvious that wherever else Taksin contributed, it sure as hell wasn't for education. John also knows how to bargain and in some cases gets better deals on supplies, building material, etc. than the Thais do. He also makes certain every cent goes where it was supposed to go. John runs a Christian mission but donations to causes are separate and religion is not involved.
As you can see if you click on the picture, the kids are really fine, decent kids (having spent just a few days up in the area, I found nothing to do which wasn't fine and decent. Alas. :-) )
If you donate through TLCB, it will be tax-deductible, or, if you don't care about that, you can otherwise simply donate through John directly. For example, 10,000 baht keeps a Thai kid in high school for one year. Twenty thousand baht keeps a college student in college for one year. You'll also get a letter from the one you sponsor from time to time telling you about how they are doing.
You can also specify a particular project you might like to get involved in, such as building a small school library or paying to supply the books. In my own case, I am supporting one college student (below) and in memory of my mother have paid to build a fresh water system for a school, which schools there desperately need. I'll be doing more in the future. I hope if you can you will contact John and do what you can to help these kids: firstname.lastname@example.org.