8 Feb 2550

Trip Start Jan 08, 2004
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Friday, February 23, 2007

8 Feb 2550. Today we went out to some H'mong villages a fair way out from town. The task was to go to 2 schools and teach about children's rights and about what jobs children should and shouldn't do. This is all part of the project that aims at stopping human trafficking.

The trip makes me think how amazing it is that so many Stateless people live in Thailand and South East Asia. Compared to the constant news about Isreal and the way they treat their neighbours and the poor ethnic minorities within their borders, I wonder if that bit of land should have been given to someone more deserving. In Thailand, the H'mong, Karen, Shan, Akha, Lahu, .......etc are all peoples that do not have a country of their own. People like the Akha never engage in warfare. Anyway the other amazing thing about Thailand is that mainly these people do feel very much at home here. There are some problems getting these people accepting as part of Thai society, but in many ways Thailand is much much more accommodating than many places in the world.

After a long day out at the schools we got back and finally had the chance to talk to Khun Moo about my employment at Mirror Foundation. Hmmm, the news was a bit of a shock at first. They want me to try to promote them and get more English speaking volunteers to come to Mirror Art. They will give me 1000 Baht for each volunteer I get. I can choose one of their websites to promote and people that volunteer through that or directly through me - then I get the commission.

Hmmm, at first this greatly worries me. This is not a lot of money. I reckon I would be lucky to get 10 or 20 volunteers a year. And yet I reckon our family uses about 20 - 30000 Baht per month. So this isn't going to be enough for us to live off.

Thinking about it over night though I think it is a good opportunity. I was expecting to make no money this year, and so at leaast I can make some and support a good cause. Mirror Foundation only gets 9500 Baht per month from volunteers to pay for their costs, so 1000 of that going to me is a substantial amount. I think they are trying to look after me. Although there are no promises of what I could get if I moved to Chiang Rai, I think and hope that if I can get enough volunteers to come and produce enough work fro myself that they will then offer me something better. Hmmm, if I was single this would be easier to accept, but being married and with kids to look after also, it is a bit of a worry to not have something more guaranteed. But that is what I have got for now and that will have to do until I come up with another option. I think between the work at Mirror Foundation, with Antipodeans and with renting out the apartment in Bangkok, we have almost half the money we need to survive. So I will come up with a way of getting the other half.

Oh - I am using www.mirrorartgroup.org as the website I promote. If people volunteer through that I get the 1000 Baht. So if you know anyone that is interested in being a volunteer (for 1 - 3 months is best) in Northern Thailand, helping the Hill Tribe people, then please give them that website or pass them on to me.
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