Baan Dada Children’s Home and Community Services is a project of the Neohumanist Foundation and is located near the Thailand / Burma (Myanmar) border. Baan means “house” in Thai and Dada is Sanskrit for “brother”. Baan Dada supports 61 disadvantaged children: 50 currently live at Baan Dada and study at either elementary or high school, while 11 children live away from the home to attend university.
The Home we have Created
Baan Dada started in 1994 as a boys’ home in an effort to protect the growing number of orphaned and disadvantaged children in the area. Many refugees and migrant families moved to this area due to poverty, disease, and political repression by the Burmese military Government.
There are two Dadas at Baan Dada who are responsible for the development of the children, the home and many community-based projects in this area.
The main objective is to empower the children through education, both formal and non-formal. They are encouraged and taught many subjects, including music, handicraft, art, language and technical skills. The children are taught to practise vegetarianism and respect all people, creatures and religions, based on the Neohumanist philosophy, “love for all created beings in this world”.
Baan Dada supports the local area by providing jobs for single mothers and families, who help care for the children, and assist with farming, construction and weaving projects.
The home is proactive in helping itself. The children draw cards and bookmarks to sell, and take part in musical, cultural dance and yoga performances. Baan Dada grows many fruits and vegetables, and have planted rubber trees for future harvest. Of course, we also welcome support from volunteers and donors!
Location and Background Information
Baan Dada is situated in Huay Ma Lai, a remote village near Sangkhlaburi in the Kanchanaburi province. Close to the Burma border in western Thailand, it is approximately a seven-hour drive from Bangkok.
Huay Ma Lai is situated in a beautiful natural setting near one of the few remaining rainforests in Thailand, however the political situation in Burma has greatly affected this area. The area is home not only to Thai people, but also largely made up of Karen and Mon coming across the border. These Karen and Mon people are persecuted by the Burmese military dictatorship and many have been driven from their homes to seek refuge in Thailand.
These so called ‘hill tribes’ are not fully recognised as Thai inhabitants and therefore don’t have the same rights as Thai people. They face major obstacles in acquiring adequate health care, education, and employment opportunities. To protect the social, political and economical well-being of Thailand, they are not allowed to leave the area without permission from the government.
The construction of a dam in 1982 to generate power for the local area and major cities, caused ecological destruction which changed the face this area. Local villages faced mandatory relocation and lost their traditional land and jobs.
Most of the non-Thais have a low level of education and are living in impoverished conditions. They are presently dependent on bamboo and thatch for shelter. This means they are often involved in illegal logging, therefore increasing the serious stress on the local eco-system. Lack of employment, proper medical care, education and sanitation has reduced family life to a struggle for survival in this remote, undeveloped area.
The Neohumanist Foundation is a non-profit social service organisation registered with the Thai Ministry of Social Welfare. Its aims are to contribute to sustainable development of the individual, the community and the environment. The Neohumanist Foundation is inspired by the philosophy of Neohumanism as propounded by the philosopher and visionary Shrii P. R. Sarkar in India.
The staff of the Neohumanist Foundation are dedicated full-time volunteers who work for specific projects. Other temporary local and international volunteers also contribute to the project’s development.
“All that humans see externally in multiplicity is intrinsically One. Here all blades of grass, wood and stone, all things are One. This is the deepest truth.”
Come and learn about the home we have created!