RELATIONAL-DRIVEN PROGRAMS WITH THE MOST VULNERABLE
THAT ADDRESS ISSUES OF POVERTY AND MIGRATION
Creative Life’s Education Program was established in 2013 as a direct response to the many children we knew who begged and sold flowers in Bangkok’s notorious red-light districts. Through education, mentorship and a safe environment, our goal was to interrupt the cycle of poverty and exploitation that our students and their families were trapped in. After 5 years, our model proved itself successful when our oldest student had all the tools and confidence she needed to apply for a position at a local coffee shop. She was hired and continues to work there today. Our Education Program's success inspired us to start a Scholarship Program and in 2019 are providing nearly 70 kids with scholarships, mentorship, and resources.
MINA'S WHOLE FOODS
Mina’s Whole Foods started in 2013 with co-founder and manager Mina Thapa selling homemade Thai basil pesto and peanut butter to friends. After entering the local Bangkok farmer’s market circuit, sales exploded. Mina’s Whole Foods now sells at several markets a month and has expanded its line of foods to include cauliflower salad, carrot ginger miso, hummus, and Nepali sauce.
You can still find Mina at farmer’s markets on weekends, but her business is also expanding into health food stores in Bangkok. Mina wants to use her business to help women to find freedom for themselves. The mission of Mina’s Whole Foods is to prepare wholesome quality food for customers and provide employment and training to women. You can connect with Mina’s Whole Foods on Facebook.
Phalang Jai, in Thai (พลังใจ), means strong heart. Team leader Naamfon felt called to cultivate a uniquely Thai response to issues of exploitation and marginalization in Thailand. Since 2012, she has invited Thai, Karen and American people to learn about social justice and immerse themselvesin the challenging and unfamiliar circumstances of the poor. Naamfon leads teams twice yearly to remote villages along the Thai-Burma border to build relationships and respond to spiritual, educational and medical needs. Phalang Jai seeks to create open hearted awareness and, through that, asks people to see and respond to the reality of suffering and to discover the power of action.
In October 2016, Phalang Jai launched a scholarship program to address a real need for families who can't afford to send their kids to school. Creative Life Foundation is committed to our scholarship program's success and want to build the capacity where one day all of our students have the opportunity to graduate from high school or university because we know this achievement brings the longterm solutions we strive form.
In partnership with a local pastor, this scholarship program was created to ensure children in lower school, high school and university have the support they need to stay in school. In Thailand, it is estimated that 50% of all children drop out of school before reaching the 9th grade. This program will help lower this percentage. Creative Life Foundation is committed to our scholarship program's success and want to build the capacity where one day all our students have the opportunity to attend college or university because we know this achievement brings the longterm solutions we strive for.
The Fellowship is a leadership and business training for vulnerable women. From this intensive 6-month training, CLF was able to hire 2 of the women. We are excited to have them on our team as Community Outreach workers- providing resources and support to the urban refugee community in Bangkok.
CLF has run an English clubs for children since 2010. The goal is to offer a safe and creative space for children who want to learn English. Basic English is taught in government schools but due to budget restrictions English is taught by non-native English speakers. Our English club provides a space for children to learn English not only in a safe and creative atmosphere but also by Native English Speakers. Currently our English camps run twice a year for more than 200 students!
In partnership with other organizations we visit refugees who are in detention. There are an estimated 10,000 refugees living in Bangkok which represent countries such as: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Uganda, Congo, Somalia, etc. Refugees come to Thailand because tourist visas are fairly affordable and there is a United Nations (UNHCR) office. Unfortunately, regardless of services available to refugees who come for assistance, Thailand does not recognize their status. This means many families are either living quietly on overstayed visas or detained until they are either returned to their home country or re-settled.
It is our hope that we can offer education resources to families with children through our education program and offer leadership and business training to women through the Fellowship.