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The stunning road to Srinehru Hmong School on Doi Pui becomes a river during the rainy season.


A welcome cup of hill tribe java att he coffee plantation just before the village of Khun Chang Khian.

Before: dangerous broken toilets, leaking septic system and very bad odors.

After: New bank of safe, clean toilets for 175 Srinehru students.

Two happy Hmong students with new toilets, septic system, canteen and clean water!

 

 

 

15 October 2005: Khun Chang Khian, Thailand

Srinehru Hmong School Gets New Facilities from FERC!
If you had a high-powered telescope and knew exactly where to look, you could see the Srinehru Hmong School peeking through the jungle on Doi Pui. Standing on the mountain, you feel like youíre a few hundred years in the past looking down on Chiangmai in the present.

As the crow flies, Srinehru School is about eight kilometres from the centre of Chiangmai. By roads, perfect to non-existent, itís considerably further. You take the scenic, beautifully paved road to Wat Doi Sutep for 20 miles, then several more past the Phu Ping Palace. Soon the road narrows to one asphalt lane snaking through the jungle. At the junction to the town of Doi Pui, you take a right towards the national park and the road degenerates quickly. The right fork at the first park building takes you down a dirt road to the main park that will test your courage, driving skills and your vehicle. From the park to the village of Khun Chang Khian where Srinehru is located, youíd better have a 4-wheel drive, an off-road motorcycle, a bicycle and massive legs, or a Honda Dream with a native Thai chauffeur and several tranquilizers. Youíll wonder whether youíre on a road or river bed. During the rainy season, it can officially be called a stream. The good news: Itís an absolutely stunning trip (especially in January when the Japanese cherry trees are in bloom) with a welcome stop at the coffee hut at a 30-year coffee plantation just before the town where you can reassemble your skeletal system.

Stories of kids injured in the toilets and being portaged to the hospital in Chiangmai during the rainy season compelled FERC (Foundation for the Education of Rural Children) to help the school. About 175 children attend Srinehru. Though theyíve had donations of solar power facilities and a fancy computer room from other organizations, itís difficult to concentrate on learning when your legs are crossed because you donít want to tackle the toilet. The entire septic system was disintegrating, the water system was marginal and the canteen had to serve lunch in several shifts. The sinister odours confirmed the need for assistance. The money for the project was raised in February 2005 at our 6th Annual FERC Gala Give and Live Benefit at Baan Wongmalee, but Mother Nature prevented construction completion until September.

Several folks from FERC, the Rotary Club and the Thai Worldwide Foundation ventured up one dry Saturday in October to see the completed project and were greeted by most of the school children playing on the school field, dressed in their multi-colored, traditional Hmong clothing. All of the facilities are built soundly and are now being used routinely. After a couple of growing seasons to cover the excavation and construction remnants, the buildings will complement the sweet, serene atmosphere of the school. We were treated to a few songs with clapping, wai-ing and thanks from all the children.

The septic system, new toilets and canteen addition cost about 400,000 baht with a substantial portion of the expenses incurred by the transportation of materials up the mountain. The delivery of the water tank was halted by water from the sky and the stream road. The Rotary Club and the Dutch nonprofit Samsara Foundation added another 30,000 baht for the water purification system. Annelie Hendriks from Samsara supervised the construction of the entire project.

While the rest of the folks rattled their bones back in their trucks, I chose to stroll the five kilometres to my motorcycle left near the park entrance. It was a bright sunny day, perfect for a stroll through the mountains. At the coffee hut, I met a couple of travelers from Belgium, and after a bit of conversation about why I was walking through the jungle with a riding jacket, gloves and helmet, the Muslim woman gave me 500 baht for another of our donation recipients, Childrenís Garden orphanage near Doi Saket, as her humanitarian service during the Islamic month of Ramadan. That money will take care of all lodging, food, education and medical expenses for the 30 kids at Childrenís Garden for a day. Then I met another man on the road, Ron Bator from Canada and Chiangmai, who is looking for projects to help with a newly-formed Betterment for Life nonprofit organization. I think Iíll make it a point to walk through the jungle everyday.

Previous DAY TO DAY updates:
FERC Give and Live Benefits USA Concert Tour 2006
Raises One Million Baht for Thailand's Children

26 August - 6 October, 2005: All across America
FERC's 6th Annual Benefit Gala!
19 February 2005, Chiangmai, Thailand
There's more to give than money.
28 November 2004: Children's Garden, Doi Saket, Thailand
FERC's First Give and Live Benefit
September - October 2004: Chiangmai, Thailand
Two years ago I wasn't sure I'd live two more minutes.
27 July 2004: Sansai, Thailand
Day to Day has become month to month.
21 March 2004: Chiangmai, Thailand
R & R and R & R for the R:
rest, relaxation, roots and rubber for the road...
20 December 2003: Chiangmai and Pai, Thailand

Later DAY TO DAY updates:
Give-Live-Ride Thailand Charity Motorcycle Ride 2007!
January 2007, All Over Northern Thailand
220,000 baht, fireworks, badminton and love!
16 November 2005, Children's Garden, Doi Saket, Thailand

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© 2005 by Give and Live, USA
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Srinehru students in traditional Hmong dress sing thanks for their new facilities.

Multinational meeting in the new Srinehru canteen! (Back row: Marc Dumur and Frank Wieks from FERC. Second row: Cosima Schaub, violinist from Germany; Monica Weber, Luxami Utaipol and Celeste Tolibas-Hollander from FERC; Annelie Hendriks from Samsara; Pongtada Suriya from Thai Worldview Foundation. Seated: Annelieís sister Ingrid; Sirirat Chareonwong from the Rotary Club; and Varunee Suriya with Worldview.)

Canteen extension allows students to eat together as well
as adding more room for assembly and meetings.

The water purification tank was waylaid by the water during the rainy season.

A walk in the woods...
another donation to my spirit
and to Children's Garden!