Hill Tribe Hope

Kiwis bringing hope to villages in Northern Thailand

Kiwis Bringing Hope to Hill Tribes in North Thailand

A bunch of Kiwis from 4 Churches and a Hamilton Cafe have got together and decided to "love their neighbours"

These new neighbours are a cluster of Karen Hill Tribe Villages in North Thailand.

This is made possible by a partnership with Christchurch based Kiwi Aid Agency, Bright Hope World (BHW) and Thailand partners, Integrated Tribal Development Program (ITDP).

Real Change that Brings Hope

Northeastern Thailand is a rugged, mountainous area commonly known as the ‘golden triangle’ –notorious as a heroin-producing region. For decades, many of the poor Hill Tribe farmers in this area have grown opium for the drug trade. They make little money from this, and some have also sold their children into the sex trade in Bangkok to supplement their income. Many of the farmers borrow money from loan sharks that charge as much as 10% interest a month, making repayment almost impossible.

But for the past 21 years ITDP have been able to provide water, sanitation, irrigation, health and education for literally hundreds of these villages, improving their overall standard of living

Coffee is a Key Connector

A key initiative in this process has been the conversion of local farmers from opium crops to coffee, lifting incomes well above drug trade earnings.

Bright Hope World buys the coffee at above fair trade prices from villagers and imports it to New Zealand, Australia and the US where it is roasted and marketed as ‘La Mai’ - meaning ‘pleasant’ in Thai.