Children's Shelter Foundation
Children's Shelter Foundation          Chiang Mai  Thailand
S o c i a l   w e l f a r e   O r g a n i z a t i o n
 
   
Joy's House  
 

Our Farm - Home for Children
Lakeland Chiang Mai

 

At our farm Joy and Ulrike succeeded in creating a new caring home for underprivileged and disabled children, some of them with physical or mental handicaps, some of them with an illness. 35 children and 7 teachers share their daily life with 3 farmer families. Most of the children experience love, care, warmth and security for the first time in their lives. Especially the deaf children are surprised and very proud of all the things they are able to do and learn.

We do not intend to care for more than 50 children. Since we have a high teacher/child pro rata, every child can be cared for and helped individually if needed.

Many of our projects are planned in cooperation with other schools, we call it integration work along to the motto "be simple, be nature". The children simply love to learn with and from each other!

School

Our deaf and mute children are taught in all important subjects by our Teacher Num who himself is deaf and mute. Num graduated at University in Chiang Mai where he obtained a Bachelor in Sign Language. 2010 he won the election becoming the president of the deaf association North Thailand.

Sign Language is the most important subject for our deaf and mute children. Until they joined our project they were unable to express themselves, other than to communicate their basic needs. Now they love to "talk to each other and to "tell" people what is really going on inside themselves. They are always delighted when they can teach our visitors the basics of Sign Language and so establish a means of communication.

Mathematics, Thai and English writing are the other compulsory subjects and IT classes are currently been planned since the computer will be one of the main means of communication for our deaf and mute students.

Our other children grades 1-9 are integrated in the local school system which is in the nearby village of Pong Khum.

Others which cannot be integrated because of their age or a difficult background learn with us in our own Learning and Training Center. Also all students grade 10 – 12 are educated in our approved Learning Center.

Our best therapy: Nature and Life

Our aim is to teach our children about themselves, to experience their own soul and understand their own capabilities and limitations. As one big family we want them to learn how to interact with other members of the family and respect each other. The main therapy or philosophy is the way of life we live with them. We give them love, trust and hope in a simple but successful way. Learning from the spirit of nature teaches them respect for life but also shows them that there are shortcomings with which one has to deal.

The largest part of our farm is reserved for biological farming, we grow vegetables, herbs and fruit trees. The wife of our major, who is a modern farmer with local knowledge shows our children how to become a farmer of the new generation; preparing good soil, the order in which planting has to be done and how to produce and use natural fertilizers, all these factors are of paramount importance for the successful harvest of a sound and healthy crop. Through our principle “Learning by Doing”, mathematics and the theoretical selling and buying become suddenly very practical when it comes to deciding what to do with our biological produce.

Meditation Dance is an activity through which our children learn how to breathe deeply and consciously, feel the connection with nature and people around them, and experience their world with all their senses. During most of the weekends, we have the honor and pleasure to have a professor from the Art Academy of Chiang Mai amongst us as a volunteer. He enables the children to understand that nature and art are connected and employs this holistic concept as therapy at the Children’s Shelter successfully.

We believe however, that the most important experience and also the most efficient therapy for everyone is the day-today-life we live with our children in the middle of nature, a meaningful, simple family life.

“I am here for you:
When you are happy, I recognize your happiness and I'm there for you with all my heart.
When you are sad, I recognize your sadness and I'm there for you with all my heart.
When you angry, I recognize your anger and I'm there for you with all my heart”

In this true spirit, love, trust and hope exist and continue to grow. We, human beings, all need these basic securities to feel safe and sound in this world.

Our biologic farm

The farm at Children’s Shelter Lakeland grows and prospers. We already harvest vegetables, herbs and fruits from our own biological cultivation. Thanks to the knowledge of the wife of our major, our devoted teachers and Volonteers, the children have become little experts in the areas biological farming, recycling, compost and know all about protecting nature.

Because our medium-term goal is to become self-sufficient, we are working hard at finding our own market for our biological products to partly self finance the Foundation.

Our Guesthouse

Our visitors have the possibility to spend their vacation with our children on the farm. We offer a varied program, from a jungle trip with our children, Hill Tribe Trekking, Thai cooking or a massage course. These activities bring both our guests and the children a lot of fun and new experiences. An overnight stay costs 1500 baht/room and the proceeds exclusively go into Children's Shelter Foundation.

Medium-term objective:

  • Admission up to 50 children
  • Biological farming leading to self-sufficiency
  • On-going: creative development of our living space in and with nature
  • On-going: Educational workshops and holidays for International schools
  • Environmental development
  • To develop more individual education for deaf children
  • Development of activities for our guests

Long-term objective:

  • Enlargement of the farm area
  • Reaching sales markets for organic vegetables and fruit
  • Creation of workplaces for handicapped youth
  • Creation of small enterprices in the villages of our children

Self-financing by:

  1. Selling fruit and vegetable, producing healing herbals and oils
  2. Tourism
  3. Education Workshops and holidays for international schools
  4. Interest out of funds from our sponsors' "special donations"