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photo courtesy The Peace Meal Project

Group from Boulder brings hope of brighter future

If you’re a child born into the northern hill tribes of Thailand, you have little hope for a future. The poverty is severe, life is difficult and children have a good chance of ending up in the sex-trafficking trade. But a group from Boulder is bringing hope and the promise of a brighter future to eight hill tribe children. The group formed the nonprofit Charities Within Reach to provide shelter, care and educational support to abandoned, homeless and impoverished Thai kids. And they’re keeping their word.

Photo by Jim Cooke
Photo by Jim Cooke

Three years ago, CWR opened “Promise Home” in a small apartment in Chiang Rai, where four Thai children were provided for. Since then, the organization acquired a larger home with a big yard and space for eight children ranging in age from 2 to 15. The five girls and three boys live with Thai houseparents, who supervise and care for them. CWR staff and volunteers visit often to observe the children’s progress and surroundings. “My lasting impression is how happy the children seem,” says CWR board member Joan Lee. “They come from such difficult backgrounds, and yet they always have a smile and are so appreciative of us being there.”

Big and Fon (pictured above with CWR children) are the current houseparents at Promise Home, which shelters their own 2-year-old daughter, Yim. Residents Palita and Nittaya worked hard at their schoolwork and celebrated their graduation from ninth grade last February (the Thai education system consists of compulsory education through ninth grade). They can now continue on to secondary education or trade school. “I’ve already gotten ‘pinky swears’ from both Palita and Nittaya that they will continue their education,” says CWR board president Heather McCarthy. “Just think, two years ago they would never have dreamed that!”

Photo by Jim Cooke
Photo by Jim Cooke

To learn more about CWR or to donate, visit www.charitieswithinreach.org.