Phad Thai for Education

Friday, August 24, 2007 | posted by Global Playground News |
Naovarat Branagan, a Maryland resident, is winning the hearts of many children in developing countries. Driven by her own experience growing up in Thailand, she has decided to donate one hundred percent of the proceeds from her catering efforts to Global Playground's projects around the globe.

About a decade ago, Naovarat decided to put her culinary expertise in authentic Thai cuisine and deserts to use for the benefit of nonprofit organizations. By catering various functions during the past ten years she helped raise funds for the Washington, DC based Hainan Association and Wat Thai Theravada Buddhist Temple. Now--with great pride--she is helping Global Playground by cooking up the best phad thai, spring rolls, and satay around.

Naovarat feels a deep personal connection to Global Playground and its commitment to giving children in developing countries access to education. Having grown up in Thailand, Naovarat can personally attest to the significant lack of resources in Thailand's educational system. Fortunately, she was lucky enough to attend school in Bangkok where she could learn in actual school buildings rather than in the small roof huts found in rural Thailand. Through her catering efforts, she hopes that others will be able to look back on their childhood and be thankful for having a similar experience.

So far, Naovarat has catered two functions in the Washington, DC area for Global Playground's benefit. One of these functions was Global Playground's "An Evening Under the Stars," which took place this past April at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and raised several thousand dollars for Global Playground's project in Uganda. Thanks in part to her efforts, Global Playground has fully funded its Ugandan project, and now Naovarat hopes to help raise even more money for Global Playground's next project, which will be in a region near and dear to her heart--Southeast Asia.

Naovarat's giving does not end when the dishes are done. Recently, she and her husband donated fifty pounds of school supplies, which two Global Playground board members personally distributed to many thankful children and their teachers in Uganda, Thailand, and Cambodia. "You should have seen the smiles on those kids' faces when we handed them the school supplies that Mrs. Branagan and her husband donated," board member Doug Bunch said. "One teacher even cried when we handed her a box of pencils."

"It feels really really good to be able to give," Naovarat said. For her, it is a dream come true to help others, particularly in her native Thailand and other developing countries. She was brought up to believe that "we should share what we have" and that the material things around us do not last. The selflessness and sincere commitment to education that Naovarat has shown is a true inspiration. A little goes a long way, and she has shown what a difference a little giving can make!

- Emily Lapolice

To book Naovarat Branagan's catering services within the Washington, DC area, please contact Global Playground at 1-800-998-9348. All proceeds will benefit Global Playground's various projects around the globe.