Baan Marina

Baan Marina is a residential vocational school for young women from poor families who are in danger of exploitation by human traffickers. The Baan Marina Foundation is currently celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. The girls and young women study needlework and tailoring and attend government non-formal education classes. The facility is run by Spanish and Thai Catholic sisters, Misioneras del sagrado corazón de Jesús y de María,  and is non-denominational. Through a link-up with the nearby temple, Wat Phra Singh, Buddhist girls receive dharma instruction from the monks there. The quality of the needlework training they receive is so high that girls are assured employment upon finishing the 2-year course. After they finish, they can continue to live at the home but are required to supply their own food. Aside from their expertise in sewing, the girls learn leadership skills and often find themselves in respected positions when they do return to their home villages. The sisters provide emotional and maternal support that instills confidence and maturity. It is a truly remarkable institution with branches in the northern provinces of Payao and Lamphun as well. Nearly 200 girls are enrolled at any given time. Upon completion of the course they are eligible to enter weekend programmes at local universities leading to a bachelor’s degree after two years of study. The Foundation supports non-formal education expenses of the girls studying in Chiang Mai, a total of 50,000 baht ($1650) per year. Incidentally, two young women became our Kla Son scholars.