Baan San Fan’s primary role is to provide a place where vulnerable children can come and receive the care and attention which they need. The kids here come from a variety of places across Thailand and for a variety of different reasons. The original orphanage was formed after the tsunami but those children have now grown up and the newest additions normally come because their families have financial problems (often related to addictions) and can no longer provide or care for them. The alternative for many of these children would have been living on the streets and eventually involvement in the drugs or prostitution trades.
Drug addiction and alcoholism are serious problems but here in Thailand, unlike in many Western societies, there is insufficient funding available from the government to help street children. For that reason independant orphanages such as this one are essential in order to protect vulnerable children from those that are ready to take advantage of them.
Gai and Sam unselfishly dedicate their lives to providing care for these orphans and ensuring that they have a chance in life. They are schooled (locally), fed and loved and many will have the opportunity to go onto to higher education or to find employment in the local communities.
Baan San Fan is currently home to 10 children aged 8 to 16 with 4 more studying at University. We plan to give a home to many more children in 2016.
The chicken farm has become a good way of generating not only a revenue but a sustainable source of food too. Baan San Fan now has a certificate confirming that we are an organic provider of chicken eggs and meat and we sell our produce to a number of local organisations. Sam has become an accomplished livestock farmer over the last few years and has created a thriving business which also complements other areas of our organic farming programme by producing fertiliser for the palms and vegetables.
Because of its rural location Baan San Fan has plenty of land available for cultivation and there is always plenty of rain! We use these resources in a variety of ways and we do our best to grow enough fruit and vegetables to at least help out with the food bill – which isn’t inconsiderable!!!. This is an ongoing process and the orphanage is always looking for different ways to feed itself.
As present we have a number of fruits around the complex (bananas, pineapples, mangoes and papaya) all of which taste great when fresh. These are used almost exclusively within the orphanage and now that they have reached maturity they are a great and sustainable way to provide us with fruit.
We also grow all sorts of vegetables and salads such as beans, chilies, lettuces, tomatoes and many more.
Gai and Sam have both converted to the Christian faith and, since its opening, the orphanage has been run in accordance with the teachings of the bible. The majority of the kids convert to Christianity but its certainly not mandatory. Either way, they are all urged to attend Sam’s services which are held every Sunday afternoon.
If you share our faith and come to the orphanage as a visitor you are welcome to join in and maybe say a few words to the children. If you don’t share our faith you are also welcome; we are happy to receive anyone (regardless of their religious beliefs).
Partnerships are very important to Baan San Fan because they give us access to resources that we wouldn’t normally have. Obviously funding is important to us and this is always going to be a major part of many of our relationships, but, we also like to get the children involved with community and environmental projects. This is good for the orphanage and good for the children.
If you are interested in working with Baan San Fan we’d love to hear from you. Whether it be selling our products, sending us volunteers or providing us with expertise, all your help will be gratefully received.
Wicked Diving are the ethical dive operator based in Khao Lak. They offer diving, snorkelling and educational experiences to the Similan Islands, Richelieu Rock, the Surin Islands and Khao Sok National Park.
Andaman Discoveries specialise in community-based tourism, island discovery, and long-term volunteering in Southern Thailand.
Andaman send us volunteers and help us with funding, advice and development.