With the Cambodian school project more than sixty percent complete, Global Playground announces its third project. In conjunction with the Samsara Foundation, Global Playground will build a $13,385 library for an existing school in northern Thailand.
In May 2007, board members Doug Bunch and Edward Branagan met with the executive director of Samsara -- a NGO based in Chiang Mai, Thailand -- to learn about educational issues in Thailand and to discuss potential projects. They learned that although southern and central Thailand have experienced relatively high levels of educational development, the northern and eastern regions have lagged far behind in comparison. Enhancing access to education for children in those regions is now a key goal for both the Thai government and Global Playground.
With the support of local communities and the Thai Ministry of Education, Samsara has built educational infrastructure, such as dormitories and libraries. It has also cultivated relationships with more than one hundred public schools in the Mae Hong Song province of northern Thailand. According to Edward Branagan, "The close, well-established, and extensive relationship that Samsara has with the Thai Ministry of Education and the local hill-tribe communities, along with its proven track record, make it an ideal partnering organization for Global Playground."
The library will benefit the "hill-tribe" communities, or ethnic minority groups, which predominantly populate northern Thailand, and whose children remain at school throughout the week given the long distances that they must travel to attend school. "With the opening of the library, children will be able to pull a book down from the shelves, place it on a table, and sit down to discover a whole new world," said Doug Bunch. "It will be great that these children will have a place to continue their studying and learning after normal school hours."
Construction of the library will begin in early November and is expected to be completed by February 2009. Global Playground intends to visit the project site in early January 2009 and hopes that shortly thereafter the library can be used as a platform to initiate cross-cultural communications among children in Thailand, Cambodia, Uganda, and wherever Global Playground goes next!Learn more about the Thailand project here.