Here is a fine opportunity to make a real difference in the world
We need your help with a compelling opportunity in Chiang Mai, Thailand to develop a very special home providing pre- and post-natal care – and job skills training – to marginalized, at-risk women.
This is an appeal for your help in funding what can become a magical place -- caring for abandoned, marginalized, pregnant women. Please read on.
Here’s the backstory on this special home called the Wildflower Foundation.
(You can skip this part if you want to get to the "bottom line" more quickly)
Ten years ago a Vietnamese man, Michael, and his American wife, Elizabeth started the Wildflower Foundation. During those ten years they acquired a large plot of land close to Chiang Mai and began building the care facility of their dreams so they could meet the pre- and post-natal care needs of impoverished, at-risk hill tribe women. Last year, after much deliberation, they decided that it was important to them that their children be educated in America. So, they began a search for a successor to continue the work they had begun at Wildflower.
After a lengthy selection process, Michael and Elizabeth decided to pass their foundation on to the Good Shepherd Sisters of Thailand. This is a group I know well, having already worked with them in each of their other five locations in Thailand. I know them to be unequivocally committed to the health, welfare, and education of disadvantaged women and children – and to do so in a highly professional, religiously inclusive way. After three years of working together closely I support them fully.
This gift of the Wildflower Home is a wonderful blessing for the Sisters. It is a beautiful facility serving a heartfelt need … it presents some challenges as well.
In any event, the blessings are a 2-1/2 acre plot of fine land, in a good location, several sturdy, functional buildings, and an ample water supply -- coupled with an opportunity to address a compelling need and to improve the lives of some women that, otherwise, would have little hope. The challenges show up in the form of ongoing projects and deferred maintenance, along with a facility that is way, way too large for the 10 to 12 women they currently serve. Economic feasibility is somewhere around three times that number for a total of 40-50 women.
Here are a few views around the property. I think these will give you a sense of the need.
I’d love to show you some pictures of the women and their babies here. But, given their life circumstances, posting their pictures on-line simply is not a good idea
I can tell you a story, however. Imagine this: Imagine growing up in a remote hill-tribe village. Imagine being an ethnic minority in Thailand, an ethnic minority rarely helped by the Thai government. Imagine not speaking the Thai language. Imagine being 15 and pregnant. Then imagine being beaten by your "man" and abandoned. Imagine having no family to turn to. Imagine having no real job skills. Imagine not having enough money to even buy food.
What would you do?
If you were fortunate, you'd find Wildflower where you would be loved, cared for, afforded a safe birthing experience, trained in a job skill, and put back on your feet so you could get on with your life.
You can change that situation
You can help us offer that opportunity for a fresh start at life to upwards of 100 such women each year
I'll show you a few more photos from around the property just to reinforce the sense of need
So -- that’s where we are now. Great property. Challenging physical needs. Rapidly increasing demand to help many disadvantaged women. Limited resources to move ahead.
We've accomplished quite a bit already. As a result of a future search conducted last fall, we’ve gotten a pretty clear picture of what needs to be done in terms of making best use of the property and attaining a workable scale. To bring those needs into clear focus we’ve been fortunate to engage the pro-bono services of a Thai “Community Architect” to develop a master plan for the facility. He has already done some superb work for us.
Here's our architect, Net, at work -- along with a first draft of his master plan
Our next step is an all day meeting planned for May 10th. Attending will be:
• The two Sisters, Supapawn and Siriporn
• Jid, the Chairperson for their oversight committee
• Net, the Thai Community Architect
• George, a Thai with extensive experience in hydroponics, aquaponics, integrated agriculture, organic practices, and sustainable agriculture.
• Roi Crouch, a non-profit consulting colleague of mine from Ashland, OR, and
Together, we will focus our collective best efforts on developing an action plan for moving ahead to implement the master plan for the property. Needless to say, that will take money – a substantial amount of money. In fact, here’s a preliminary budget of what is required to bring this property up to a safe and usable condition, and to achieve the necessary scale for sustainable operations.
Therein lies the problem – and this appeal for your help. I realize this is a lot of money, and I also think it is a great value. Once these improvements are made, and the facility is brought up to a feasible scale, Wildflower will be serving upwards of 100 vulnerable women each year. What this means in practical terms is that the women will receive appropriate pre-natal care, a safe birth, post-natal care, child care where needed, and job-skills training so that they can depart as confident, contributing members of their communities.
Picture a shady oasis just outside the main city
Picture 50 women living there in safe, caring conditions
Picture ponds and streams
Picture fish growing in those ponds
Picture healthy livestock
Picture a large kitchen garden
Picture a plantation of fruit trees
Picture state-of-the art, integrated agriculture
Picture how Wildflower is growing in sustainability
Then picture 50 happy children in the day care center
Picture 50 women receiving practical training
in employable job skills
Picture how tall these women are standing on the day they leave Wildflower to begin the rest of their lives
You Can Help Make This Happen
Please join me in making this project a reality. To get this fundraising of to a good start, I’m personally committing to a 50% match for the first $25,000 contributed.
Four times each year, I’ll be on-site personally to insure that our money is being used appropriately and wisely.
You may contribute by sending a check made out to the "SE Asia Children's Foundation" to
9715 Cherry Street
Edmonds, WA 98020
Or you can make a credit card donation
All contributions are tax-deductions to the maximum extent allowed by U.S. tax regulations.
Thank you for reading this lengthy appeal
Thank you for passing it along to your friends and acquaintances
Thank you for helping make it a reality