Home is where the heart is…Help us make ours bigger.
For the last five years, our family at Wor. Watthana
has made it our mission to provide a safe place for the children of Isaan, Northeastern Thailand. At Wor. Watthana we give the kids freedom to have fun as well as the support structure to help them grow into conscientious adults.
Life in Isaan is tough with the odds stacked against you from birth. With little to no opportunities to change their fate, the kids of Isaan can end up lost to a life of drugs, alcohol, gang violence, and rape.
This is where we at Wor. Watthana, and the power of Muay Thai, come in.
In Thailand, Muay Thai is more than the country’s national sport, it’s a community. And we have embraced the sport as a base to instill strong values, a sense of belonging and self-confidence in all the kids who come through our door.
Through offering the kids a chance to stay fit and be part of an ever-growing community, the number of them showing up at Wor. Watthana has steadily increased. And while it’s wonderful to see, it now means we need to build bigger and permanent accommodation for all these children.
To help us achieve this goal, we need you fighting in our corner. Our Mission
Our little gym tucked away in a corner of Isaan has become our life’s work. Monday to Sunday, whether it’s a school day or a holiday, is spent ferrying our young charges to and from the gym where we provide a framework of activity and discipline. We step in wherever adults can’t. With little well-paying work here, many parents and potential role models have to leave Isaan for Bangkok to make ends meet. And without that all-important steadying hand, the children are left vulnerable to negative influence.
We’ve already witnessed the impact we’ve had on the community with young men like Nui and Peemai. Both these men have dedicated their lives to Muay Thai and have gone on to be offered opportunities to teach abroad. We’ve rekindled the passion to teach in older trainers like Naa Nye who’d previously given up and we’ve also helped out other gyms in the area that needed support.Who We Are
Our gym started out almost by accident when I started working out in the dirt while my husband Boom was working in Malaysia. Curious kids noticed me train and came over and asked if they could join in. From there, things quickly grew. A viral video, an initial GoFundMe five years ago, the gym being built and Boom’s return to Thailand to be the trainer and role model the kids sorely needed. The gym is located in Boom’s home town Krabueang Nok, and seeing the effect it’s had has filled him with hope for the children of his community. There was nothing like this when he was growing up and he’s proud to be a catalyst for change.
But we have so much more to do. The Kids
Since we opened, the gym has become an integral part of the local community and an important part of life for the children who attend almost every day.
Young Bpaet, for example, was abandoned at birth by his parents and taken in by his Aunt Yaa Dee. He joined us when the gym first started and is now able to take care of his beloved aunt with the money he’s made from competing. His passion for the sport has shone through and he is now a Muay Thai Isaan Champion. No small feat.
Many of the other children look up to Bpaet. His success, his drive, and his readily apparent joy serve as an example. This formerly scrappy young boy has turned into a role model. Your Impact
My husband, daughter, and I currently live in a small one bedroom apartment in a town about 14km from the gym. Bpaet and some of the other children are now staying with us, which means we’ve had to rent an additional apartment next door for the extra space. This is simply a stopgap however, and what we’re aiming for is a permanent home where we can house all the children who need to stay.
This is where you step in. Your donations have so far allowed us to support these kids but with so many more coming to us for aid, our current methods are no longer sustainable. The cost of rent and commuting to and from the gym soon adds up and we’re pushed to our financial limit as we try and provide for these kids.
We’ve decided now’s the time to make a big move. Our Goal
Our goal is to make something that will have long lasting affects not only on the kids who depend on us now but also to allow for growth in the future. To do this we need to purchase land in town, and build a home and gym with dormitories that can house the influx of kids in a more economical way.
In addition, we can also build accommodation to respond to growing requests from people around the world who have asked to train with us. We would love to be able to open our doors to a small number of Muay Thai enthusiasts each month who can experience our gym first hand and see the positive impact we are able to make, thanks to the support we receive.
To make all this happen we need to raise CAD$100,000.
We, and the hundreds of visitors we’ve received, have seen firsthand the effect our gym has had on the local community. That’s why if we want to take things to the next level, everyone’s help is needed. So, thank you in advance to everyone who plans to help - we wouldn't be here without you.