Thailand, Asia

THA06c - ITDF - Support of Teachers in Village Schools

Partnership Ref.:



Mike Mann - ITDP



Funding Status:

Partially Funded

Partnership Type:

Community / Agriculture Development, Orphans & Vulnerable Children

Funding Size:

$15,000 - $99,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 33,000

Connected To:

THA06a , THA06b , THA06d


Population: 68.1 million

Life Expectancy: 68.7 years

GDP: US$4116 per capita

Unemployed: 1.2%

11.5% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

88 families are being assisted

77 children are being supported into schooling

3 people employed in partner businesses

Needs an education

Partnership Overview

The hill tribe people have to make the best out of their circumstances. They find themselves isolated and neglected and they have to fight for basic necessities. The roads are poor and often dangerous. Many of them do not yet have any papers or citizenship even though their families have been living in Thailand for generations. 

Many hill tribes in Thailand still do not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. And, because they are poor and are not afforded the same opportunities as local Thai, they are powerless in establishing such facilities.   

The Integrated Tribal Development Foundation (ITDF) is seeking to do something about this situation. Providing clean water and proper toilets/bathrooms significantly decreases water borne and other diseases among villagers.  Water can also be provided to start ponds and raise fish as a protein supplement and for irrigating village vegetable gardens.  

There are also few clinics in these villages and if there are schools, the government does not provide enough changing livesprograms to help children develop to anywhere near their full potential. They are not taught to think creatively and solve problems. Teachers do not perform proper teaching activities and are frequently absent. There are few study/teaching materials and monitoring/evaluation approaches. Children aged up to 7 years old that attend government schools are unable to communicate well in the Thai language and have trouble understanding what teachers are saying.

Lack of communication is a big obstacle that keeps children from doing well in local government schools. Many children leave school because they are placed in classes that are not suitable for their age and knowledge level. All this has played a part in hill tribe children developing distorted social values. They cannot develop as well as they should and adjust with changes in society, making it difficult to enter Thai society as equals.

History of Partnership
new water tankSince 1990, the Integrated Tribal Development Foundation (ITDF) has assisted hill tribe people to cope with the many changes that are taking place. Development has predominantly been brought through small projects such as drinking water and sanitation, irrigation systems, farming, income generation, fish farming, the establishment of a coffee cooperative, self-help groups and micro-enterprise loans.

To date, in addition to aiding minority groups in Thailand, more than 250 villages and 6 tribal groups have received assistance.

Bright Hope World's association with ITDF commenced in 2005 with the purchase of coffee to import to New Zealand. While travelling in the hill tribe area with ITDF personnel it became obvious that there were many opportunities to partner with ITDF. This began with the funding of water and sanitation projects (THA06d), it then moved on to micro-finance loans (THA06a) and the funding of some key personnel (THA06b).

As BHW began to talk about what was going on there, a number of donors wanted to become involved. Some of those donors were churches in New Zealand. These churches grouped themselves together to form Hill Tribe Hope. Initially one village was selected and the team assisted with the building of a water tank and toilets for households.

Then a cluster of vilbuilding the schoollages was selected and in 2012 two teams went to help with the building of water tanks and toilets. Many of the young people in these villages did not go to school and while the team was there the villagers asked if it would be possible to develop a kindergarten in each village and possibly a school in one of them. 

Therefore in 2013 a team went and started building the first kindergarten. In 2014 another team went to finish that building and start the development of the second kindergarten. 

If things go to plan, the Thai government will pick up the operational costs of the schools after a number of years.   


making a differenceThere are many beneficiaries of this partnership:
1) The children who get to go to school. This will give them a real boost for when they get to go into higher grades. 
2) The families whose children will get educated. This will give them a much better future in terms of employment.
3) The whole community benefits from having clean running water, toilets and a sanitation system.

What We Like About The Partnership

The ITDF partners have a great strategy and ongoing support for communities that they engage with. The changes are dramatic. They have a lot of experience working in these places and have the infrastructure to make things happen. Compared to other agencies in the area, there is no comparison.  

Educating children is a vital ingredient to lifting these hill tribe people out of their life of poverty.  With an education these village children will have better opportunities to enter Thai society.  They will be able to get citizenship, enter universities and have access to better jobs.


Mann familyKey People

Leadership Profile

Mike and Becky Mann have been providing support to the hill tribe villages in Northern Thailand and surrounding regions since 1990.

Mike is from America and is a global consultant for rural development. He serves as director of Integrated Tribal Development Foundation in Thailand, in addition to consulting around the world. Becky helps tribal farmers and women's groups, and works with parents of special needs children. She also works with ITDF, helping to market Thai coffee. They have four children, Richard, Melanie, Ryan and Robert. Richard has recently graduated from College in the USA and has joined the team.


Vision And Annual Strategy

change life

ITDF's vision is to provide holistic care for the hill tribe people of Thailand involving not just empowering them physically but also seeking to meet their spiritual needs. 

In terms of Hill Tribe Hope's engagement, they seek to come alongside ITDF as they reach and transform villages in Northern Thailand. This is done by developing an integrated plan for a cluster of villages that involves water and sanitation in the villages of Kree Mo Kee and Kraw Lur Blur, the building of kindergartens in each of these villages and the funding of teachers until the government takes over the funding of the kindergarten operations. It also involves a trip to the area by the partner churches and BHW each February.

Annual Budget
The ongoing costs for the support of teachers is US$33,000 per year.