Rainy Chan with the happy children of Pa Dang Vilaage

Everyone celebrates special events in their lives differently or not at all. Some of us are fortunate enough to have the means or people to celebrate with. Most recently, I was deeply touched by a request to help a celebration of a 50th birthday. It’s a special mark of an event in one’s life.

The birthday wish was to encourage people to donate for a charitable cause, which was to raise fund for a teacher salary at a remote Red Lahu hill tribe village in Chiang Mai. The fund will give an access to education for hill tribe children who otherwise would not have the opportunity or would have to travel long distance away from their family to the school.

On Nov 14, Rainy Chan and I traveled to Chiang Mai to visit the village of Pa Dang in Mae Tang district. We traveled through what is now referred to as the “ring road” of Chiang Mai tourism area, known for white water rafting, bamboo rafting, Elephant Nature Park, hill tribe villages, biking trails and scenic mountain ranges. But high above this area, at the end of the paved road, we traveled about 7 km on a steep dirt road to reach the village of Pa Dang. Here, about 1,700 m above sea level, lives a small Red Lahu community where children ages between 3 and15 years old need a schoolteacher.

Located 1700 meter above sea level, Pa Dang Village

The director of Mae Tang District Non-Formal and Informal Education Center learns about our “Kru Su Doi (Teacher to Mountain) project, which is financed through the Himmapaan Foundation. The project has raised fund to hire a teacher to teach at a small school in another Lahu community near Pa Dang village. Since the village is located in a mountain, these hill tribe children had to trek up and down steep hills to get to their school or stay overnight in the school. For the small children, they would simply not go to school because they are too young to travel. This project ensures that the families and the community stay together and the children receive proper education.

At Pa Dang School, the Himmapaan Foundation will receive 5 years of teacher salary, supported by Ms. Rainy Chan for her 50th birthday celebration. Friends and families are welcome to participate in this project. “It’s an amazing way to celebrate, to receive gifts that give so many, one that would make such a big difference in people’s lives”. This is what Rainy had to say.

For Asian Oasis and the Himmapaan Foundation, we believe that it is our role and responsibility to provide the opportunity and bridge the gap in individuals’ social well being.

Classroom at Pa Dang Village. Children learn in group depending on age and level.

Children of Pa Dang Village singing

Pa Dang Village

Books at Pa Dang Village School