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Nakon, Thailand: "My mission is to make the soil more fertile"

Education is a widespread concern of parents all over the world. This includes Northern Thailand, where many Plant With Purpose members are challenged by insufficient agricultural practices and tenuous rights to land. Plant With Purpose works with parents like Nakon to improve the crop yields of the Thailand farmer and the health of their land. This ultimately helps put goals like educating children within families' reach.

Nakon shared her family's experience with us recently.

"In the upland areas of Thailand, most families' livelihood relies on the cultivation of maize. In order to plant maize, we need to wait for rain because there is no water system that feeds our farm plots. This presents a big challenge now with uncertain weather. Some years, we’ve had to deal with extended dry seasons then delayed rain. That results in low production for the Thailand farmer, and the plants that grow are small. I have experienced challenges in recent years with damaged rice. That impacts us for the entire year. We cannot live our lives as normal when there is not enough rice to eat for a whole year. I had to struggle, and find a job that could bring in additional income to help take care of the family.

As a parent, this makes raising kids difficult. So many things have changed, in families, in the community. Kids today can connect to technology and consume media, and we have less control of what happens. Kids are more isolated, which weakens the relationships in our families.

A common concern among parents here is having the budget for taking care of their children and for an education. Culturally, many of our children marry very young, and then divorce quickly. This creates new challenges for children who get separated from their parents in the process.

I want to raise my kids in a good way. I want to invest in their school fees and support their education so they can have knowledge and take care of themselves in the future.

In the past, I never had the opportunity to receive education like what is available now. There was nowhere to study and there were no schools in rural places where Thailand farmers are, only in the big city. But no parents could afford to send their kids to school. Up until now, I have no certificates or diplomas. I do not have many options to choose a career. I only have my farm. But I hope my children have a good education and choices in the future.

The children are involved in the work we do here. We all live together in this household, so the children help with farming and housework. Their chores include sweeping the floor, washing the dishes, and feeding livestock.

Since I am still new to this, the activities I’ve been doing still need some time before I see the big differences. But I have already planted many fruit trees and started soil conservation. I have hope that these trees will grow and create both a good environment and a steady income.

I have a plan to plant more trees all over the plot. I can do these activities with my family and the neighborhood thanks to the Thailand farmer training I have with Plant With Purpose and saving with my Purpose Group."

About the Author

Plant With Purpose seeks to restore hope by reversing two of the world’s greatest challenges: global poverty and environmental damage. These problems are interconnected.

Our goal is to see creation’s life-giving regenerative cycles restored and people renewed through their relationship to God, living in healthy sufficiency and empowered to dream.

We operate in eight countries around the world. Our international work is 100% locally-led, with global offices operating both as independent agencies within their country, and alliance partners with Plant With Purpose U.S., which supports their ongoing work.

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