Hill Tribe Hope

Kiwis bringing hope to villages in Northern Thailand

It Started with a Coffee

When researching the idea of setting up a local Cafe for charitable purposes in Hamilton, members of City Bible Church (CBC) discovered this great coffee with an amazing story from Thailand.

Lamai coffee was by now being imported by Bright Hope World and distributed around NZ to churches and individuals - providing both a better income for poor Hill Tribe Villages in North Thailand and funding to a prostitution rehabilitation ministry called Rahab Ministries in Bangkok.  The people at CBC loved the idea of empowering the village to prevent child trafficking while also supporting Rahab, rescuing women from prostitution and restoring life.

So when Cafe Agora was opened in Frankton Village (Hamilton, NZ), La Mai Coffee was the obvious bean of choice.

After an initial research trip to Thailand to see the work of ITDP and other Bright Hope World partners, it was clear that buying coffee was not enough and so plans formed for the first CBC project trip.

Turning on the Tap in Huay Sai

CBC was joined by St Andrews CHB (Waikpukurau, NZ) in February 2012 as 12 Kiwis installed a clean water and sanitation system in Huay Sai Village, 3 hours north of Chiang Mai.

This was not the village originally chosen but ITDP changed location and prioritised this project. One week after the team returned to NZ a wildfire swept through Huay Sai burning 14 homes to the ground. CBC and St Andrews were quick to respond to this crisis for their newly formed friends and provided the funds needed for emergency relief and for the rebuild of the villages. The changed location was not by accident as God placed His people in the right place at the right time.

More Taps in Kraw Lor Blur

In June 2012 another team from CBC and St Andrews installed clean water and sanitation in Kraw Lor Blur Village, 6-12 hours southwest of Chiang Mai (travel times depend on rainfall and mud!).

By this stage, ITDP had identified a cluster of 3 nearby villages and these had become the focus of upcoming projects.

Preschool in Krae Maw Kee

In February 2013, a team of 10 people from Mt Albert Baptist took a 8 hour 4WD journey south from Chiang Mai to the Karen village of Krae Maw Kee (near Kraw Lor Blur) where 80 families live in a basic, subsistence lifestyle. ITDP identified an opportunity to provide education from preschool through to grade 3, feeding into other estabilshed schools in the region, and sanitation for the wider community.

The team worked alongside ITDP and the village; gathered rocks and sand from nearby streams, mixed and poured concrete by hand, laid blocks, completed 7 toilet buildings for the school and individual households, ran children's programmes and a medical doctor on the team ran health clinics to meet basic health needs most days.

Krae Maw Kee preschool building completed - February 2014

Another combined team from Mt Albert and CBC returned in February 2014 to plaster concrete block walls, add the doors & windows, line the interior, finish exterior flashings and painting and also to install a water supply to the toilets.

Kraw Lor Blur Pre-school building underway – February 2014

A team from St Andrews visited Kraw Lor Bur in February 2014 and started construction of a preschool building. This project was completed early 2015.

SCHOOL IS OPEN at KRAE MAW KEE (June 2014)

Krae maw Kee preschool is open! Apaporn is the new teacher and classes have begun. A team from New Zealand visited in early June 2014 and were able to be in class for a lesson. Thank you to all who have given, prayed and got their hands dirty to make this possible.