Updated: Jan 3
by Rosalie Tieges - Founder TCDF
At the start of 2020 I would like to wish you a wonderful new year! A year of good health and happiness and a year of personal development with new goals, hopes and wishes.
I hope you can look back at last years plans and wishes and that you feel thankful for what you have, blessed by what you received and that you can say you have achieved some of your goals- or even all!
Looking back at the plans, wishes and reports at the beginning of last year for my foundation- the Thai Child Development Foundation- I mostly feel gratitude.
Also I can safely state that we have certainly worked hard and achieved a lot.
However some things that were a one sentence bullet point on a white board above my desk looked like a piece of cake in January but the process turned out to be the size of a bakery during the rest of the year. More on that bakery later…..( did you know that stressed is desserts spelled backwards?)
But making lists is good, because we not only plan in the important things but also actually see what kept us so busy, what really kept us so busy (not on the list?), what did we did get done and what we have actually achieved! Often while working hard on tasks and looking at those lists we think “ if only I would be done I will be sooo happy!” However once it's done we often forget to take a moment and actually feel that happyness we were working towards.... I for one am at that point already looking at the hundred things that I want to do next. And with me there are probably many more and I have the feeling that the high numbers of burn outs among my pears might have something to do with this virtuous trait.
So my resolution is to -like always- set clear focus points and make action list but with more awareness:
Focus on the big picture
Systematize the work by with my team
Invest in training more long term "hands on helpers"
Divide the goals into week, month and -very important at TCDF- the seasonal goals
And..... schedule in the moments to celebrate our successes and express our gratitude!
And at our end of year party we made a great start with that and absolutely celebrated our kid's successes!
We celebrated our impact on the lives of children in need! We celebrated these individual successes we often do not communicate because there is so much more to accomplish concerning the development of underprivileged children. And there are so many children in the world who live under even harder circumstances and have no one to even help them. But we must be grateful for the few we CAN help and for these few children we did change lives and we should celebrate it!
Children learned how to walk without support!
Special need children were able to go back into the education system at our special school!
Children were successfully placed back into public school (partly) again!
Children were operated by specialists in Bangkok and now receive physiotherapy at TCDF
and children went back to school in their new school uniforms- eating at least one healthy school lunch a day- and are able to join with friends outside the home again!
Most of the 216 children supported by TCDF last year where there to celebrate and … to receive their once a year “birthday” gifts! It was a wonderful celebration!
Our special needs students performing music and dance! The woman elderly club performing a Traditional Thai dance! Local people came to show their support with cooking, donating food and snacks! Children from the cities came to pass on the toys and clothes they had grown out of!
And…. we celebrated (and showed off proudly ) all the wonderful things that have been achieved in the last year thanks to our sponsors at Mount Never-Rest (our TCDF forest school location and Ecologic Thailand resort for charity / 1 million star nature retreat)
Almost 5.000 fruit trees and plants were planted in our new food forest and the farm is growing!
We have new dormitory rooms to host interns, volunteers and students groups!
The yoga sala and sport fields are in daily use and protected by the new dug beach and beach enforcement along the canal to prevent further flooding!
We have a new medical care & physiotherapy room AND outreach bags for the 90 !! local women who have signed up as volunteers to be the eyes and ears of TCDF in the villages and the first contact with children in need. (This program is ready to start with a number of big team training's in the first half of 2020!)
And the poles and roof are up for the big occupational training center right next to the school! And with the help of new sponsors in 2020 we can build the work stations! The last year the teenagers and young adults with disabilities have increased their occupational abilities tremendously! Every Friday we host an open day at TCDF and sponsors, volunteers, parents and local people are welcome to come and join with the productions! Making herbal soap, shampoo, dish wash soap, laundry detergent & softener. Picking the eggs, mushrooms and organic vegetables and packing them for local sales. Printing T-shirts, yoga pants and SAY NO TO PLASTIC BAGS- shopping bags, and so on. Lots to learn together and everybody is welcome!
We are seeing an increase in local visitors that come for a cup of (locally grown, hand picked, home roasted organic local !) coffee or tea with a piece of cake from the TCDF bakery! People walk in for coffee & cake and to relax a bit and they leave having learned all about the foundation and the children that need help.
And to jump into this opportunity of hosting more local visitors TCDF is putting the occupational training production center on the 2020 wish list!
Thanks to local sponsors and volunteers the poles and the roof are up and in 2020 we are looking for sponsors to help us help and invest in 4 production stations :
A professional Bakery station & coffee shop (products are coffee, tea, cakes, bread, bamboo cups, spoons)
Farm Fresh Food production & packaging station ( dried fish / mushroom / vegetable snacks, dehydrated fruits, and also cooking courses!)
Art -Eco station ( decorated plant pots & nursery, up-cycled art products)
Soap station: room for expansion in order to increase the sales is needed now we are taking orders from local schools and businesses!
We really can see the increase in orders and sales last year and with the big expansions of the farm this year we are hopeful that the years to come TCDF will be SELF SUFFICIENT ON A LOCAL LEVEL -NOT JUST IN FOOD BUT ALSO IN FINANCE! But until that beautiful day comes (which we will celebrate loudly and you are all invited!) we are still in need of your support for the daily running and we hope you will donate towards the children and the projects of TCDF again in 2020.
On our 16 acre property surrounded by river and jungles (Mount Never-Rest) there are always so many things in the oven....
And unfortunately there is a child in need of sponsorship, or a project without funding to match every sponsor. If you would like to sponsor in a sustainable way too but don't know towards who or what please do not hesitate to reach out to me personally! I would love to have a chat with you and discuss the options and needs so we can together create a customized sponsor program that you feel good about!
Do good, feel great! Everybody can make a difference!
Happy new year, make it a good one!