Farm Friday:
Education changes “farmers” lives in Thailand

Written by Plant With Purpose on July 11, 2014 in Farm Friday, General

What comes to mind when you think about farms? Images of tractors, flat cropland, fields of wheat, chickens, barns, and a farmer in overalls are typical pictures that characterize the American farm.

Farms in developing countries mean every square inch of property owned by a family which holds value in cultivating sustenance from the ground. It is the lives of these “farmers” that Plant With Purpose has seen transformed over our 30 years as an organization. These next few months we will be sharing stories of family farmers who have been impacted by Plant With Purpose starting today in Thailand.


By Brittany Raab
Education is often considered one of the surest paths out of poverty. We know that learning is not just something set within the classroom, it is an essential part of life. Jai Boonla understands this firsthand. Jai works hard to provide for his wife and four children, but can’t shake the feeling that those with a better education have more opportunities and receive higher incomes. His conclusion? Without education, life is tough.

13071517795_8921cf8430_kWith this in mind, Jai became motivated to seek a different direction for his life. Previously, he worked for the forestry department in Thailand and brought home the equivalent of $2.00 USD a month. The opportunity to acquire new skills presented itself to Jai in the form of Plant With Purpose workshops. Before he knew it, Jai found himself participating in every training held. He says, “The knowledge gained from the Plant With Purpose training events is the most important thing that I received, even more important than the physical possessions.” Though illiterate, Jai is now educated in animal vaccination and keeps them healthy with proper care.

But it doesn’t stop there. Jai shares this knowledge with his neighbors and helps them with their farm animals as well. He has become known as the “Plant With Purpose volunteer” that neighbors turn to whenever they are in need of know-how. Despite his elderly age, Jai has an eagerness to keep growing. He shares, “I still want to take every opportunity to learn all I can.” This is especially important as he states, “No one wants to hire you in your later years if you remain with a minimal education.” Jai is making education a priority for his children in hopes of pushing them toward a brighter future.

“The knowledge gained from the Plant With Purpose training
events is the most important thing that I received,
even more important than the physical possessions.”

13071431655_38ae192631_kJai realizes that the skills Plant With Purpose teaches—such as sustainable gardening, beekeeping, and caring for farm animals—will be tools that sustain him in the later years of his life. And that is one lifelong lesson he is thankful to learn!

Owning pigs, goats, cows, or chickens for a local community members does so much more than ‘just’ provide food. These additions, matched with workshops, have the potential to transform a family and change the future outcome for their children, just like it did for Jai. Plant With Purpose is raising funds to grow 30 new family farms. An integral part is caring for farm animals and learning sustainable farming techniques. Consider giving today so that others like Jai can take steps out of poverty.

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