New's Education Fund

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our page! The purpose of this GoFundMe is to raise money for New's education and support her during the last 3 years of High School. I've listed what, why, and how we'll be supporting New below - please reach out with any questions, and thank you for all of your support!

Who am I?

My name is Yousif Al-Amin and I've spent the past 2 years living in a small village in Northern Thailand working as an education volunteer. All volunteers are assigned a host family to live with for their first month at site, with the option to move out on their own after 1 month. Anyone that follows me on social media or has stayed in touch during my service knows that I chose to stay with my host family for the entirety of my service, and over the past 2 years my host grandma, grandpa, Pii Oi, and my  two host sisters (Baimon and New) became my real family.

Who is New?

As an English teacher at Jaophorluang Upatham 9 School, I taught both Baimon and New over the past 2 years. New has excelled as a student throughout her entire career at JPL 9 school. She's consistently been at the head of her class,  has been chosen to represent our school in nearly every extracurricular event, and is a natural-born leader. Each morning and afternoon, New assists with the opening and closing assemblies for the school day. She's by far the most responsible, dependable, and mature 15 year-old I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with.  New is currently finishing up Matayom 3 (9th grade), her final year at JPL 9 school, and at the end of March 2019 she will graduate from our school. Since our school is only K-9, she'll need to go to another school to complete her 10th-12th grade years. Typically, less than half of the 9th graders from our school continue onto 10th grade, and many of her classmates will instead begin working as laborers or farmers to support their families.

What schools can New go to?
There are 2 options for New to complete Matayom 4-6, or 10th-12th grade:

1) Mae Ai Wittayakom
-25 minutes away (located in Mae Ai)
-Joint Chinese/English or French/English program
-Overall cost (for 3 years): ~79,000 baht or ~$2470

2) Rangsee Wittaya School
-40 minutes away (located in Fang)
-Full immersion English program (all subjects taught in English)
-Learn from native English speakers
-Focus on learning English for Business
-Overall cost (for 3 years): ~168,000 baht or $5250

Where should New go?
After consulting New, her family, my counterpart, other teachers, and nearly every source I could option #2 Rangsee Wittaya School is hands-down the best option for New. At the public school in Mae Ai, the joint language programs (either Chinese/English or French/English) sound really interesting, but in reality students end up learning neither language during their 3 years of study. As it is a public school, it is understaffed, the class sizes are far too large, with teachers and students alike not receiving enough support. Rangsee Wittaya, a private school, has smaller class sizes, more qualified teachers (including native English speakers), and students go on to score higher on standardized testing and matriculate at better universities. Rangsee Wittaya has the added bonus of providing its students with better connections, something that New will simply not have access to at Mae Ai.

Cost breakdown:
-Tuition: 10,000 baht/term 
-Transportation: 10,000 baht/term
-Daily food costs: 50baht per day or 7,500 baht/term
-Uniform (one time purchase): 3000b
Total per term: 27,500 baht ~$860
2 terms per year, 3 years = ~168,000 baht ~$5250 

Why should you donate?
And now the personal part of the story. For reasons I can't disclose publicly but am happy to talk about in private, New's birth mother was unable to care for her and, at 7 days old, New was taken in by Pii Oi and Yai (my host mother and host grandmother). In a culture where family and lineage are of the utmost importance and adoption is nearly nonexistent, Pii Oi and Yai made a brave and beautiful decision to take New in 15 years ago, and she has been raised as one of their own ever since. Pii Oi has never made New feel like anything other than her daughter, and New is Pii Oi's real daughter as much as she is my real sister.

Pii Oi only received a 6th grade education and was forced to leave school to work to support herself, her siblings, and her mother and father (my host grandparents). Pii Oi continued to care for her parents and New, as well as her other daughter Baimon, and years ago she went to Bangkok to find a better job to support her family better. She put herself through night school to receive her GED while working full time, all to support her parents in their old age and her daughters' schooling.  On top of all of this, Pii Oi did it while being a single mother, and not once have I seen or heard her complain about a thing.

Regardless of whether New attends the public school in Mae Ai or the private school in Fang, my host family needs and deserves a helping hand. They opened their homes and hearts to me, a complete stranger, and over the past 2 years, they ensured that I never went a day without a full stomach or heart.

A few months ago, I stopped calling them my host family and simply started calling them my "family," because that's what they've become for me.

After they provided for me so generously the past few years, I feel compelled to help my family by helping New pursue a better education. The positive consequences of your donation are limitless. By helping put New through the rest of high school, your donation will allow Pii Oi to focus her efforts on saving for New’s college education, as well as take better care of her parents and other daughter. The high caliber of education at Rangsee will also help New get into a better university, likely with a scholarship, and may even open doors to allow her to come study and work in America. New will then, in turn, be able to support her grandparents, mother, and sister when she starts working in the near future.

Thank you so much for reading our story. Even if you can't donate at this time, please share our GoFundMe and help spread the word.

Best wishes,
Yousif Al-Amin

Donations (80)

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  • Rachel Seaman
    • $150 
    • 5 yrs
  • Amanda Back
    • $10 
    • 5 yrs
  • Anna McGillicuddy
    • $83 
    • 5 yrs
  • Ethan Grant Blonder
    • $750 
    • 5 yrs
  • Joey Ho
    • $200 
    • 5 yrs
See all


Yousif Al-Amin
Fairfax, VA

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