From the beginning of 2002 untill 2017 the Samuel Foundation has been active in Thailand with educational projects, since 2005 it has officially been recognized as an international development aid organisation. Initiated by Gerd Mathia, a former Düsseldorf marketing and product consultant, who has been living in Thailand for many years, the Foundation supports and cares for school-age children and young people in their education.
The Samuel Foundation was located today in Chiang Mai, the former capital in the north of the country. It began its activities in the province of Lampang, a remote region with an agricultural character east of Chiang Mai. Although school education in Thailand is free, transportation, uniforms and school materials are not. These additional expenses add up to a considerable amount and many families in the poorer provinces are unable to cover these expenses. Without help, it is therefore not possible for many children and adolescents to achieve any kind of qualification. The Foundation has therefore concentrated in Thailand on the support of children and young people in their education. In addition to the funding of going to school, the Foundation offers important accompanying training units, such as computer and English courses to it’s students, as well as afternoon care.
School education as a guarantee of future prospects
At the same time, there were up to 70 children and young people in the care of the Foundation, which were distributed among local primary schools, provincial vocational schools and the universities of the country. We have been able to support many of them over the years from primary school right up to successful professional graduation.
In addition, the Foundation has also repeatedly supported school facilities in the region. For example, in 2005 it renovated the kitchens of two village schools. Since then, 120 schoolchildren have received their food there every day. Over the years, the Foundation has also borne some 80 per cent of the running costs for the school meals.
In 2003, the Samuel Foundation comprehensively renovated the children’s home “Home for Hill Tribe Children”. Located in Mae Kachan in the north of Chiangmai, the Children’s Centre for orphans from the surrounding Hill Tribes was fairly run down due to the lack of adequate funding and was equipped by us with new sanitary facilities, kitchen and new furniture.