Baan Than Namchai Foundation
On December 27 2004, the day after the Indian Ocean tsunami, staff from the Duang Prateep Foundation was on the ground in Phang-nga Province, helping amidst the chaos in the aftermath of the disaster. Shortly afterwards, foundation staff set up play centers in tents, income generation activities were started by the DPF and the orphans from the disaster, came into the full care of the Duang Prateep Foundation.
It soon became clear that there was a need for a home for children who had no one else to look after them. After a prolonged period working out of tents, an important step forward was made when the Duang Prateep Foundation was able to open the Baan Than Namchai home for child victims of the tsunami, in July 2006. It is now over six years since the disaster. Baan Than Namchai and the adjacent Hands Across the Water building now provide a home for over seventy children.
Not all of the children are tsunami victims now and not all of them are orphans, but all of them have good reasons to benefit from the care provided by orphanage director Ms. Rotjana Phraesrithong and her colleagues. In addition to the residential centre in the village of Phru Teaw, there are further canters in the villages of Baan ITV and Baan Nam Khem. As well as helping children, there are community programmes, income generation activities and there is the Baan Than Namchai based Nithan Caravan puppet troupe, a sister troupe to the one based in Bangkok.
Early in May news was received that the Baan Than Namchai Foundation has been officially registered by the Thai authorities. As a result, all Duang Prateep Foundation work in Phang-nga Province, and the puppet troupe based there, will leave the DPF at the end of the present calendar and financial year. From January 1 2012 the Baan Than Namchai Foundation will be operating fully independently of the DPF.
The single storey dining and kitchen building is on the left. The girls live in the Hands Across the Water building in
the middle and the boys in the Baan Than Namchai building on the right.
Ms. Rotjana Phraesrithong, who has been in charge of tsunami relief work for the Duang Prateep Foundation since January 2005 will be in charge of the new foundation. Rotjana will be helped by Dr. Supphawut Manochantr who is leaving his work as assistant to the secretary general at the Duang Prateep Foundation to be manager at the Baan Than Namchai Foundation. Dr. Supphawut relocated to Phang-nga at the beginning of June, where he is working with Rotjana to ensure that the new foundation is fully ready for independent management from the start of next year. Rotjana is also supported by a board of trustees, which includes Duang Prateep Foundation.