Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tipping Bucket Fundraiser: the Saman Mit Community

Read about their need for an observation tower and visit to make a donation of at least $1 to help get it built! We have four days to raise $950 and we need everyone's help!

Saman Mit is a farming community consisting of 148 families located 30 minutes outside of Chiang Rai, Thailand. They migrated from the Isaan province 33 years ago when their farmlands were flooded as a result of a government hydro-electric project that dammed the Isaan rivers. Many were left without homes or land to sustain their livelihood. The land they found in Chiang Rai was fertile and well suited for their way of life, but it was too small to support the community.

Acknowledging their plight, the government has recently granted them six square hectares of land to cultivate and develop through their traditional cooperative system of farming. They plan to increase their fish stocks in the ponds, grow trees to sell, cultivate and sell rice, potatoes, and other vegetables as they pursue a goal of becoming a wholly self-sufficient community.

However, to achieve their goal, the community needs to prove to the government that they are using the land wisely, developing it productively, and protecting it from any problems that may arise, such as wildfires or theft.

Through long debate and discussion, the village council has decided that the most effective way to watch over the land’s crop development, while detecting possible problems of theft from outside private farmers, is to build an observation tower. The observation post will be located high atop a hill that provides an ideal purview of all the lands within the 6 hectares of the co-op. The tower will be thirty feet high, built by community members and HELP International development volunteers. The community has come to HELP International looking for a partner to help with construction, fundraising, and business consulting workshops that aim to boost productivity, sales, and land efficiency.

Remember to tell friends and family about this fundraiser, too! Thanks!

Go to for more information about the non-profit organization partnering with us on this.

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