Canteens, kitchen, dormitories
Hill tribe schools in the mountains
In Northwest Thailand, 250 km from Chiangmai, in the Mae Hong Son province, are 135 mountain schools located in the northern half of the province under the responsibility of the Department of Education of Mae Hong Son. The schools are located in 4 districts. 18’000 children (the majority from Karen and Hmong tribes) attend these schools. 800 teachers take care of them (includes the headmasters and janitors).
The schools are scattered through the mountains and most of the time difficult to access especially in the rainy season when 30 % of the schools are not accessible at all because most of the roads are unpaved and turn into streams.
The majority of the schools are Primary schools and some Middle schools.
At these schools the government takes care of the school buildings and the salaries of the teachers. The schools receive every year a small budget for maintenance, food and so on. The government and the schools do not have the funds available for other school facilities such as dormitories, canteens, toilets, books and clean drinking water.
The children come from three to five villages in the mountains where the school is located. One village is often close to the school and the children go back to their homes after school time. But most of the villages are more than a day’s walk from the school. There is no transportation and it means that 60 % of the children need to stay at the school during the weekdays or during the whole school term and they only go back to their homes during the midterm and end term holidays. This also means that the schools have to provide food and accommodation for the children and the teachers need to take care of the sick children too.
The children at these 185 schools are all from very poor hill tribe families. At home the majority live in bamboo made huts with teak leaves roofs. The annual income per family is CHF 180.-.
Construction of new canteens, kitchen, dormitories for teachers in Mae Sapung, Sang Wan Wittaya and Mae Naam Huu schools
Mae Sapunung is located in Mae La Noi in Mae Hong Son Province. It is a very poor school with 60 children and 4 teachers. The school owns a very old shack used as a canteen and classroom – library.