“ I love to travel, but I hate to arrive. ”

- Albert Einstein

Friends of Foundation

Mongkolsarawisudhianusorn Foundation

Tim Knight

Bann Mueng Pea, which is located in the Khon Kaen province, is located in Thailand’s central-northwestern area of Isaan and lies in the middle of an economically depressed region. However, as seen all around this beautiful country, Thais love to help their neighbors, and the seed of an idea to help children in this area become enrolled in school, stay focused and graduate took root over 42 years ago and is still going strong today; it is a charity with a long history and an excellent story The Mongkolsarawisudhianusorn Foundation gives poor children, who might not have the means to get into a school, the resources they need. From pre-school until university graduation, the Mongkolsarawisudhianusorn Foundation is with the student every step of the way.

The three main objectives set forth in the foundations charter are: 1) to support the study of monks and students in all levels; 2) to provide both financial support to the monks and child monks who have illness or cannot help themselves; and 3) to give charity in various aspects.

The idea for the foundation started a long time ago when Khun Pichai Chamnanpri, who was living in Bann Mueng Pea at the time, had to walk seven kilometers to and from his school that would turn him into a police inspector. On his daily, long and hot walk, he witnessed many children that were not in school when they should have been. He soon found out that the parents did not have the means to enroll their children nor a way to get them to and from the school every day. So after Khun Pichai Chamnanpri graduated (he later went on to become a Police Major General), he started the Mongkolsarawisudhianusorn Foundation, and 42 years later it is still going strong. The foundation has helped thousands of students earn their degrees and create a better life for themselves and their families. The word of serious people with a serious job has made this foundation a success. The Thai’s excellent business sense has caused the foundation to have low overhead and administration costs which means more of the donations go toward the goal: the students.

Even when Pichai Chamnanpri fell ill after 18 years as the foundation’s president, he was able to call upon his close friend to take it over and continue the foundations good work. Even though he holds to the position of Supreme Commander of Thailand’s Police, Police Lieutenant Colonel Chitphol Kanchanakit still manages to find time to over the foundation and to ensure that 100% of the funds go toward helping needy students. Last year, over 300 school students and 20 university students were able to graduate or go to school.

In Isaan, a little bit of money goes a long way so when individuals and companies donated a fairly sizeable amount of baht to the foundation, this ensured continued education for hundreds of students. Uniforms could be bought, school supplies could be passed out and transportation could continue bringing the smiling children’s faces to and from school.

“We would like there to be a small museum in Bann Mueng Pea where we can display some of our province’s history, and create a study room where students can go after school and have a nice place to do their homework, study and socialize,” said Khun Tana Chamnanpri.

The art and culture center, known as Mongkol Luang Art and Culture Center, will help raise local people’s awareness of the history of the region and will become an eco-tourism destination based on sustainable development principles benefiting the local community. The center has already begun construction and is due to be completed in 2012.

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