The Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces of northern Thailand are home to marginalized ethnic minorities, mostly with roots in Myanmar (Burma). Originally refugee communities who were displaced by civil strife, many hill tribe members have been in Thailand for generations, yet they are not considered citizens by the government of Thailand. Hill tribe communities are extremely vulnerable. Without citizenship, they have few legal rights, including access to education, medical care, and land. Without land, these communities, who depend on farming for survival, grow even more vulnerable.
The hill tribe farmers have limited access to permanent, rain-fed fields, leaving them with barren, degraded hillsides to provide for their families. Because the problems of deforestation, poverty, and human rights are interconnected, Plant With Purpose has been working alongside hill tribe communities to help them learn sustainable farming techniques at the same time they advocate for legal status in Thailand.
Hill tribe farming families are gaining access to land and basic rights, and they are improving their livelihoods and quality of life. Through Village Savings and Loan Associations, they are also gaining access to savings and credit. And by fostering leadership development in local churches, Plant With Purpose is also equipping congregations to better meet the spiritual, physical, and social needs of their communities.
MRS. NER NAW
Mrs. NerNaw shares that her family had converted to Christianity two years ago after her son had taken the first steps to follow Jesus. This made the NerNaw family the only Christians in the community where they were almost forced to give up their land and leave because of their newfound faith. Things were definitely looking bleak.
What a difference two years can make. Today, the NerNaw family lives at peace in their community; Mrs. NerNaw’s son has even been elected to the village council. The change does not stop there. Six more families also became Christian within this short period. Mrs. NerNaw has the pleasure of hosting a worship service for the seven families in her home every Sunday. Though the fruit may not be seen for years, just like many of the trees planted by partnering farmers, one seed planted can lead to the revival of a community.
Sponsor A Village
By sponsoring a village for as little as $1 a day, you can make a lasting impact on an entire community as they are given the tools and training to lift themselves out of poverty. Sponsor A Village in Thailand today and change the future for people like Mrs. NerNaw.