Thai Freedom House is a language and art community learning centre for refugees from Burma and Indigenous Peoples of Thailand founded by the awesome Lisa Nesser in Chiang Mai twelve years ago. The centre is supported by its Free Bird Cafe and by donations and by the work of volunteer teachers. Nok and I also volunteered there for a time some years ago, before moving to Mae Mut and have stayed in touch with Lisa, but this was the first time we had the opportunity to host the group for a sleepover, in all about forty students of various ages came along with some family members and volunteers, and Lisa of course.
The lives of these children and their families are quite precarious and difficult, some of the children don’t have the necessary paperwork to enrol in Thai schools. Lisa has been working tirelessly for this community for twelve years, often on the brink of running out of money, having to move the school at least four times, it’s a testament to her never say die attitude that the place has been able to survive and it’s now become a Chiang Mai institution. Some of the older students are now being tutored towards their university entrance exams, some hope to go back to Myanmar some day once the situation there is more peaceful.
These are some of the images from the weekend, everyone had a great time, swimming, singing, cooking, playing and eating together, it was remarkably smooth and everyone was so helpful that the clean up on the next day only took a few hours. We managed to get our coffee harvest done too….
We are very happy when our place can be used this way, it fits in with what we are trying to do and what we believe, that nature gives us most of what we need to be happy and that clean air and healthy food should be available to all, which unfortunately is not always the case.