LIBRARIES IN THAILAND
We'll be supporting t4sj members Chalida Anusasananan and TR Amsler's work in purchasing Thai language books and library materials in Northern Thailand.
This last year, our good friend Tu has begun to support schools in communities outside of Chiang Mai. She's been talking to the teachers and they've identified libraries as a place that they could really make a difference. Tu has raised money, moved furniture, painted walls and has been key in creating a new library at a local school.
We are headed back to Thailand this summer and we're raising money for Tu's work as she reaches out to another school and continues to collaborate with teachers on the needs they identify.
Initially we thought we'd just collect and bring great books from the US, but there were obvious problems. Students who speak Thai, or other local languages, benefit first by becoming literate in their home language. It is not only a strong way to leverage academic skills, but provides a space to nurture self love and pride. So then the plan became to raise money so that we can buy books when we get to Thailand.
But also Tu has made clear it's not simply about bringing books. Tu is creating libraries. When I suggest we bring legos, Tu reminded me we'll have to build tables! The schools need paint, shelves, rugs, but if anyone can handle it- it's Tu and the teachers she is working with.
In San Francisco, Chalida and I work with the non profit Teachers 4 Social Justice. T4SJ (and thus it's fiscal sponsor Community Initiatives) can accept our tax deductible donations. In Thailand, Chalida and I will work with Tu on purchasing books and materials for the libraries and handle costs through T4SJ/Community Initiatives.