Thursday, 13 August 2009
A Quick Trick Thai Chick Factory!
Children enjoy Guides and Scouting at our village school
Cleaning teeth after the lunch we've been providing for them.
With a big donation we've just built the school a new chicken house
Headmaster and staff inspect the eighty new chickens.
The headmaster signs for the first 20,000 baht towards the costs.
A record is kept of money paid for lunches and capital items.
Children look after the chickens and record the eggs laid each day.
Three months' feed has cost 21,420 baht, eighty chickens 16,000 and cages 7,500. We now need to raise donations to pay off the 45,000 baht borrowed to pay for them. (Approx US$/Baht 34, Euro/Baht 48, Pound Sterling/Baht 55.)
Helping Out At Our Village School
Times are particularly hard at present for the people in my rice growing village in Surin province in Thailand and as a wanderer from a wealthier world I’d really like to do something to help.
It’s Thai children who have the simplest needs and so the village school in Ban Mahachai is the obvious place to try.
In my blog called, “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, 12 December 2008 I told you about the plan set up through the generosity of a Japanese friend to benefit the school. You can find the details on www.adoptavillageschool.com in which our key project has been providing the children with lunches during the school day.
My blog of 19 January 2009 called “Thai School Girls Are So Appealing” tells how your generous response enabled the lunch program to be continued.
At first our idea was to provide the school with IT equipment but on hearing that almost half the children were below the recommended body weight, we started with something more basic, to make sure they have at least one proper meal a day.
The teachers tell us that the childrens’ general health and their concentration in the afternoon has improved since we started and we are keen to raise more donations to keep the lunch program going. In response to my appeal, readers of this blog gave us many donations for lunches, though more funds are still needed of course!
The new school chicken factory!
The big news now is that we have recently had a major donation of 50,000 baht which has been used to build a substantial shed for raising chickens for eggs. When news came of the offer, the teachers leapt at it, had estimates quickly drawn up and within weeks a substantial shed was built, using that money.
Now eighty chickens, cages and feed for three months have been bought and eggs are being produced. The bad news is that the cost of these was 45,000 baht which has been borrowed and we now have to raise the money to pay off the loan.
At present the shed is at half capacity and on the same figures (ignoring the cost of additional feed) a further eighty chickens and cages for which there is plenty of space would cost about another 24,000 baht. In the longer term this should be our aim.
A first donation of 20,000 baht has already come in to reduce the loan, collected by an energetic friend from his contacts and colleagues in Thailand and Europe. This money the new headmaster received and signed for a few days ago.
However, to pay off the rest of the loan we still need 25,000 baht and perhaps as much again if we are to expand capacity with a second purchase of eighty more chickens. The aim is therefore to raise 50,000 baht if the project is to reach its full potential.
Like the lunch program, I therefore hope the money will come in as it’s a dream project that has everything going for it. All the hard daily work with the chickens is done by the children themselves. Every day a team of three kids are responsible for measuring the feed and putting it in the bins for the chickens, ensuring the water is flowing, and collecting the eggs and putting them in trays. They then have to report to Khun Thongchai, the teacher in charge and account for the number of eggs collected and for any eggs broken, and make up and sign the accounts book.
Another book records sales of eggs to local people and already shows the money slowly flowing in. All this provides a valuable discipline to the children in demonstrating how a business should operate with proper accounting. It always strikes me that as there is little formal employment in rural Thailand, this is an essential skill for the poorest of people running small farms and micro-businesses in the countryside. No accounts are generally kept and nobody knows what if any profit has been made.
At present the eggs being laid are small but their numbers are increasing and the chickens should be productive for about two years. When laying at their maximum, I hope that the eggs will provide sufficient income to make the project self-sustaining and allow a surplus of eggs to be used for school lunches. If the teachers could then include calculating the profitability of the business within the school math curriculum, the project would feed both the childrens' bodies and minds.
That’s why it’s such a perfect school project. Chickens round here are scrawny free range things and this experience of how to raise eggs properly in an efficient commercial way should be immensely beneficial for a generation of children.
We now need some donations to ensure that all the hard work that the teachers have put into the project comes to full and long-term fruition. They are very proud of their achievement so far and immensely grateful for what has been given to the school.
Every Little Helps!
Donations for lunches or the chicken project can be made in any currency to my Paypal account at www.paypal.com with reference to Andrew Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or do please email me at email@example.com if you prefer to do an ATM transfer in baht direct to the project’s account with Kasikorn Bank.
Most people round here are pretty poor. Farming is marginally profitable and there is little paid work. A daily wage is perhaps 150 baht or three Pounds Sterling, yet things such as medicines cost much as they do in the West. That’s why the needs are great and hy a small project such as this can really help the children. Because it’s still small, donations are not tax deductible though every cent, penny and satang is used effectively as there are no expenses or deductions before the money is spent.
Small surely still is beautiful!
The “Thai Girl” Blog August 2009