After the team meeting, we decided not to waste the first month of 2017 and began our project right away. Of course, this was our first time, first task in the first month. Each team member was searching for a location of the first project. Finally, thanks to one of our friends from Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, we found the place. This guy often spends his weekend riding bike in the countryside. While taking some rest, he also looks out for communities that are in need of aid. He would pass on this information to friends and seek the best way to help the communities.
In January, our friend had a plan to visit and support a rural community in a remote area where villagers still use water from waterfall for household consumption. In such place, at night, the only lighting one can get is from a lamp or small candles village kids bring with them when wandering in the dark. In other words, this is a community without electricity and water utilities. You can forget about the Internet or WIFI access.
And this is how our first project started. We were involved in a development project in Ban huay Sai khao, Phrao District, Chiang Mai province. Though the village is only 120 kilometers from Chiang Mai downtown, it takes over 3 hours to commute to the area. The village is located deep in a valley and travelling there means riding through a red dirt road.
Phrao District is surrounded by neighboring tourist towns. Phrao itself is not connected with main roads making the district a peripheral community. Budget allocation from the government is also marginal according to economic priorities. Mae Waen Sub-district of Phrao has a population of approximately four thousand. Most of them are hill tribe villagers who work in agriculture.
For this charity project, our team supported and supplied equipment and tools to enhance the locals’ basic infrastructure. We planned to accomplish the following:
At 5 a.m. of Sunday January 15, 2017, our team began the journey. We wanted to reach the site before sunrise. There were so many things to get done before the day ended. When we arrived, we were warmly welcomed by villagers and community leaders who came with machines and tools. It seemed as if the whole village stopped their daily work and came to give us a hand. We unloaded stuff from 7 pickup trucks and divided the tasks according to the plan. The pressure of working against the clock were soon gone and replaced by the sounds of laughter from kids and villagers who came to support us. Everything was in chaos but work went smoothly and finished earlier than planned. Before dusk, we completed many tasks.
Who would have thought how much we could accomplish within just one weekend? We do not know how long villagers’ smiles will last. All we know is we went home exhausted but our hearts were overwhelmed with joy. We are proud of what we have done today.
Please stay tuned for our next charity project. You can support us at www.harempants.com and www.suredesigntshirts.com