Lost and Forgotten
Our previous highlands project ("CIC--Community-Initiated Change," funded by the Boeing Company) made us aware of the paucity of available services for marginalized intellectually, developmentally and physically handicapped children and young adults among ethnic minority populations. Chiang Mai city and its environs are a powerful magnet for many indigenous people, who come seeking work and services. Unfortunately many are exploited, neglected, have little access to education, health and other public services. The project was initiated to identify and support these children and young adults to make available appropriate developmental physical activities, general health monitoring, confidence and skills development and to identify sources of community support. The children become part of our ongoing activities and, importantly, a major objective of this project is to document our experience, successes and failures in a manual, and to publish and constantly update this document for the use of NGOs, government schools with special-needs classrooms and others interested in working with special-needs children.
In the mountain village of Pang Ma-O, Mae Taeng District, a Montessori pre-school was created. We established the school in a disused former health center, which was renovated. As of now, three years of Boeing support has come to an end and DBF continues the support by paying salaries for two teachers, providing equipment and continuous training. We are grateful to the Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship programme for funding this project. DBF continues its strong commitment to supporting the Montessori pre-school in Pang Ma-O.