The Thai Child Development Foundation supports children in Thailand in their development with projects on Medical Care and Education. Small scaled, direct, honest and individual.
Ingrid van der Straaten has been involved with the foundation as ambassador and co-founder since the start of the foundation in 2004. This is her story.
"About 20 years ago I was quite successful working as an educational consultant in Holland. I loved the work: to be able to start projects on education, learn about how organizations and people work together, meet the people on all levels of the organizations, and – together with those people – develop educational programs, train the trainer sessions, create curricula and educational material.
I made a lot of money. And I was actually doing what I loved doing and doing something I was pretty good at!
EXCEPT ....... IT TOOK SO MUCH OF MY PERSONAL LIFE, MY TIME, ME...
Working up to 70 hours a week cost me dearly.
My social life, my personal relations: this work I liked so much had a negative impact on me, my friends, my loved ones and my health.
In the year 2000 I decided that doing what I loved should never mean losing what I loved: friends, quality time with loved ones and family, a private life and my health. I took some time of before burn out would hit me and decided to go to Thailand and volunteer on educational projects for 3 months.
It was then and there (from moment one on), I discovered that I needed to be in a place, a culture, an environment where I could live my dream, still do what I loved to do and be happy to live a meaningful life. Thailand was that place.
I met this amazing young woman, named Roos Tieges, who not only decided to live her dream to help others (being 22 years of age and me struggling at 42), but also gave ME insight in the ‘meaning of life.
I decided to go back to Holland, quit my job and start a project in Thailand, together with Roos. And so we did. In 2003 Roos started her own project and she asked me to join: the Thai Child Development Foundation started right there and then.
And here I am now, after all these years, still living the dream. working together with that young woman who now is also one of my best friends. I did meet the love of my life, got married to him, work and live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world, see smiling people around me daily and I can truly say that I am happy and that the work I do, does make a difference.
For myself and for others.
The foundation helps about 80 kids in the area, has 6 local people are working full time with the children.
And the resort we set up to support the foundation Eco-Logic, Resort for Charity shows hundreds of visitors and guests, both Thai and Western that social enterprising is a wonderful concept and that we can make that difference on a daily base.
Not bad he?"
More about the foundation: www.thaichilddevelopment.org
More about the resort: https://www.ecologicthailand.com/