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Thailand Photos:  School in Esan

Bhutanese dancer: Paro festival

Childrens's thank you letters


Beyond all expectations...

What originally began as a small project for children at risk, has now grown beyond all expectations. Children of the Forest's beautiful new home provides a safe and nurturing place for children to learn and develop, a place to help the children reach their potential, free from the cycle of poverty.

New home for children


All the things we take for granted..

The number of students in the free school has now risen dramatically from the original estimate of 50 when the school opened in 2005. Now more than 250 students eagerly attend and enjoy their lessons in simple bamboo classrooms. All of the children are given lunch each day. They also receive free health care. For many, this is their only opportunity to receive critical treatment for conditions such as malaria, TB and other serious infections.

Free School

Bhutanese dancer: Paro festival

Weaving Class

Learning to knit and sew which can be used to earn a livelihood

Bhutanese dancer: Paro festival

To these young children vocational training means self reliance in the future

Learning to make a living, learning self respect...

As a form of healing and expression, the arts and crafts are an invaluable and important part of vocational training. Many of the students at the school are already approaching working age although they have just started school. It is therefore essential that a strong vocational program is developed in order to create an alternative to the deplorable factory and plantation conditions. This particularly applies to the Karen and Mon ethnic groups who are consistently underpaid and are only given a fraction of the regular authorized wage.

More workshop plans include weaving, cooking, extensive farming, pottery, batik, construction and carpentry. During the training, all aspects of the vocation will be discussed. For example if farming is being taught then it is not merely how to grow crops but also where to buy seeds, how much is invested and once the crop is ripe, where to sell, and price to sell for so that a profit is made. Instilling the knowledge and confidence to manage the whole process is essential if the students are to find independent alternatives to the widespread uncertainty and exploitation of daily contract labor.



Many projects, many joys...

Vegetable gardens, fish ponds and mushroom growing also give the students valuable vocational training. These projects also provide a source of food and income for the home, free school, single mother's project and outreach programs. The children are able to maintain a close relationship with the land which has always been part of their traditional lifestyle.

The children enjoy working in the garden.


Bhutanese dancer: Paro festival

The head gardener passes on his expertise and shares his life experience with the children.

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