We need a permanent home! Help build us one!
Note: When you are donating its in CAD instead of USD. Here's a helpful conversion calculator to USD: click here
We want to build a permanent home for all of the kids, gym, visitor accommodations and a self sustaining garden. The need to build these kids a house is pressing. We have run out of room to house all the kids we have. Currently we live in two small apartments where we have to drive 14m daily from the village to the countryside to take the kids to the gym.
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. For the last five years, Wor Watthana has made it our mission to provide a safe place for the children of Isaan, Northeastern Thailand. We give the kids freedom to have fun as well as the support structure and education to help them grow into conscientious adults.
Build us a safe house so we can help all of the kids that need us.
The current obstacles we face:
During monsoon season the kids will get soaked in the back of the truck. Often we face flash flooding issues and the road from the gym to the village will be covered. One year it flooded so bad we had to take a boat! We are worried about the safety of having so many kids in the back of the truck, it's so full we can't fit any more kids.
We have ran out of space in the small apartments we rent. One apartment houses Frances, Boom, their daughter and one of the girls. Because some Bpaet and some of the other children didn't have consistent housing they are now staying with us, which means we’ve had to rent an additional apartment next door for the extra space, but its still not enough.
We’ve decided now’s the time to make a big move.
Some of you may be thinking, "why is building a house in Thailand so expensive?" Well, the answer is simple. About 30% of the money raised will be used to purchase a large plot of land. The area will need to be big enough to accommodate our gym, as well as the home that will house our growing family.
About Wor. Watthana and Isaan
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 and the community center we have built, come in, and we need to expand to keep these kids safe and give them opportunity to make a life for themselves.
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$150,000.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How did we start?
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.
- Laurence Lord
- Dan Bartholomew