Huay Pakoot is a small and remote village in the hills of northern Thailand, 4 hours drive from the city of Chiang Mai. People here have lived alongside the elephants for hundreds of years. Their love for elephants and expertise working alongside elephants has therefore been passed on from generation to generation going back over two centuries.
Elephant tourism plays a crucial role in helping to generate the income needed to support not just the families in the village but, of course, the elephants themselves. As a consequence of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many places have now closed. Elephants and their mahouts (care takers) have been left with no option but to return to their home villages - often walking long distances at the height of the hot and dry season. These arduous journeys have taken many days - the elephants at Huay Pakoot had to travel over 4-5 days with their mahouts before they were back home.
The big concern is there are now over 50 elephants in the village and it is the height of the dry season. There is simply not enough food to provide for their elephants. Elephants eat 10% of their body weight, that is around 250-300 kg per day so you can imagine the costs involved in ensuring they are adequately fed. People in Huay Pakoot now are facing the task of having to travel 120 kilometers daily, just to find food for their elephants while somehow finding the money to cover the cost of the food and transportation. While they are struggling to support their elephants with no income, their love and respect for the elephants means they know they must find a way.
Who are we?
We are a group of people from around the world who have had the incredible opportunity in the past months to be welcomed by the villagers of Huay Pakoot to live alongside them and learn about their culture and the elephants. Now in these times of a global crisis, we are standing together with them to support the elephants, and we need your help to make this happen!
What do you get?
At the same time, we know that many of you are facing difficult times back home as well. So we want to also help make your day better, and have thought of what we can give back to you in return for your support to the Huay Pakoot elephants: Go on a (virtual) journey and meet an elephant in Huay Pakoot! Through a video call, you can see and hear the elephants in real time, observe their behaviour, and learn about these majestic animals and the Karen tribe culture and tradition of living alongside elephants.
And if you fancy learning new skills from home or would enjoy a personal piece of art for you, each of us are offering our specialties for your support, from poems and drawings to CV reviews, your personal rap and crafty conservation sessions for kids.
How you can help
Each and every donation is helping! And please share it also to your friends and family. Together, we can make it happen!
Depending on the amount of your donation, you are unlocking our different rewards (please see list below). You can choose any one reward up to your amount donated. After making the donation, e-mail us at [email redacted] with the amount you donated (e.g. a screenshot) and the reward you would like to receive, and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible!
200 £ - Meet an elephant!
Face-time with the elephants in Huay Pakoot to learn about them, about mahouting, and the local culture. Ask everything you ever wanted to know about elephants! (it can be in English or Thai)
150 £ - Upcycling & Sustainability Workshop by Sophie
Learn about why and how to live sustainably, including some resources for homeschooling, as well as suggestions of longer-term home projects that can be done as a family. There will be some eco-friendly crafts within the session, where you can do your own upcycling.
120 £ - CV / Resume review by Tom
Get your CV and/or resume reviewed by Tom, and with his expert feedback get ready to land your dream job!
100 £ - Your Rap by Myles
Your personalized rap about you or a topic you choose, written and performed by Myles!
90 £ - Karen Cookbook
Receive a collection of traditional Karen cuisine recipes for you to cook at home. (PDF)
80 £ - Recipe Book by Jonny
Jonny is sharing his secret recipes from around the world that will definitely spice up your menu. (PDF)
60 £ - Drawing of your favourite animal by Chigusa
What is your favourite animal? Chigusa will create a piece of art for you. You will get a high-quality digital version of it to print out on anything you want.
50 £ - Poem by Liane
Choose a topic or a few keywords, and Liane will turn them into a beautiful poem for you.
Let’s make this happen together, and help the elephants in Huay Pakoot! They say elephants never forget and certainly we and our elephants will never forget you and your support at this most difficult of times!
DonationsSee top donations
- Emma Baker
- Suzanne Grace
- Mary Lee
- Jonathan Thames
- Ashleigh-Jayne Church