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Welcome to One World Family Online
The One World Family International Peace Organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose goal is to promote understanding in a fractured world and to enrich the lives of its citizens through the strengthening of cross-cultural ties. We work to provide access to education and basic health care for Burmese refugees and other marginalized people throughout Southeast Asia.
All One World Family projects depend solely on donors like you to continue operating. Please consider donating whatever you can to our cause.
A Message from Mark LaMaire
We're excited to announce that the first recipient of our new high school scholarship program passed her high school entrance exam with flying colors, has enrolled in classes and will begin school next week. We met Maturos during our last visit to Thailand. She was picked for the scholarship by her eighth grade teacher who recognized her as an exceptional student but who's single mother, a peanut farmer, had no means to pay the $220 worth of fees it costs to enroll in Thai public high school. Although its difficult to imagine, many girls in rural Thailand aren't able to receive even an eighth grade education, and its rarer still that they get to go on to high school. One World Family is honored to help Maturos achieve her dream of being the first woman in her family to graduate from high school.
We're also excited about a fundraising event we have planned for this Saturday. The second annual Asian Fashions Fundraiser will be held at 825 Third St. in New Orleans (Eva & Mark's house) from 9 AM until 4 PM on April 19. We'll be selling lots of amazing clothing we bought in Thailand as well as other clothes donated locally. We'll also be selling hundreds of vinyl records and CDs donated by WWOZ DJs and a good array of other yard sale items, all priced to move. We'd love to see you there!
A Message from Mark LaMaire
Greetings again from Thailand,
Since leaving the villages two weeks ago Eva and I have been fortunate enough to be able to help a number of needy organizations working with the Burmese refugee population. In Chiang Mai we visited a small orphanage where 15 children live in a two room shack on the outskirts of town. The adults who watch over these kids are barely able to scrape enough money together to feed them and clothe them. This is the type of place that One World Family wants to help the most because they obviously have the greatest need and because they have no other organizations funding them. This need is evident by the squalid living conditions and the malnourished look of the children. However, we are still skeptical about blindly giving money to a place like this simply because they are unaffiliated with any larger organization so there is no real financial oversight to speak of. We ended up buying them enough rice to feed the kids for a month. We also donated cleaning and hygiene supplies, clothing, a tank of gas for the truck that brings the kids to school, and several pounds of meat, a luxury which they had not been able to afford for months. We will be sending two volunteers to make a similar donation in March. If you or anyone you know is going to Chiang Mai in the future please let me know as we would love to send more volunteers to help this ramshackle home for high-need children.
After leaving Chiang Mai we went to Mae Sot, a small city near the Thai/Burmese border which is a hub for NGO's and refugee activity. The scene there is very uplifting and inspiring. Dozens of refugee schools and orphanages thrive in this community. They are generally run by individuals who have, themselves, fled Burma as a result of persecution by the country's militaristic government and who now dedicate their lives to helping children in similar situations. The funding for most of these places comes from a patchwork of individual and institutional donors, with One World Family fitting somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. We were able to provide the following assistance in Mae Sot:
-1 months worth of rice and 10 new desks for New Blood School and Orphanage, where 400 students study and 200 children live.
-1 months worth of rice for Agape Orphanage and School, where 180 students study and 60 children live.
-New beds for all 50 of the children living at New Wave Orphanage and School (previously the children had been sleeping on concrete floors).
-School supplies and teaching materials for the new Mae Sot Blind Centre, which has three students.
-One year's educational sponsorship for three children living at the SAW (Social Action for Women) Safehouse.
It was a true blessing being able to help so many children during the last three weeks in Thailand. Greatest thanks to everyone who donated money to make this happen, you are the fuel behind this project and we couldn't do it without you.
Blessings and thanks,