Donations secured by
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
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,
A Message from Mark LaMaire
Greetings from Thailand!
Eva and I have had a productive first week back in the country. We recently returned from the villages where we've been helping send 30 children to school for the past three years. As always, the hospitality was fantastic and the people were happy to see us. We were delighted to find out that our program has been running smoothly. The driver we hire to bring the kids to-and-from school is very reliable and shows up on time every day. When we visited the school we found out that some of the children we sponsor are doing better than others, and that the girls generally do better in classes than the boys. Also, attendance varies by season because many of the boys have to help their parents in the fields during harvest time. The school we've been sending the kids to only goes through 9th grade and it is getting to the point where several of the children are getting ready to graduate to high school. While there is no tuition for grade school and middle school it costs about $100 per semester to enroll in high school plus extra fees for uniforms, food, etc. Of the four children who will be graduating middle school in the next two years one child's parents don't want their child to go on to high school, one child doesn't want to continue school, and two girls are hoping to attend school but their families are concerned that they will not be able to afford to send them. One World Family has agreed to sponsor these two girls individually and will monitor their progress to assure that they are keeping up with their studies. The girls names are Ma Tu Rot and Ma Yu La. Ma Tu Rot is a 15 year-old girl of the Lisu ethnicity who's father is dead and who's mother supports her, three siblings, and a handicapped cousin. They subsist by farming peanuts. She will be the first child we help send to high school in March, 2014. Ma Yu La is a 14 year-old girl of the Lahu ethnicity who's father lost a leg during a landmine explosion while working in the field. Ma Yu La has a baby sister and it is difficult for her parents to provide for her due to her father's disability. She is set to enter high school in March, 2015. We are excited to see the progress of these girls and are happy to provide them the opportunity for a high school education.
While in the villages we were also able to buy some much-needed new shoes and backpacks for several of the students. We are now in the city of Chiang Mai where we will be meeting up with some of our contacts here before continuing on to the border town of Mae Sot. There we will visit the orphanage where we sponsor several Burmese refugee children to attend school and will also visit a number of refugee schools and orphanages whom we help support. It is always a blessing being here and seeing the hope and spirit that shines on in spite of poverty and oppression. Thanks to everyone who has helped support our work, we couldn't do it without you!
A Message from Mark LaMaire
The next couple months will be exciting and challenging for the One World Family team as we continue our work with displaced and marginalized communities in Southeast Asia. In January I will be travelling with a small team to Thailand to visit the villages we've been sponsoring since 2010. The purpose of this visit will be to check in and make sure all the villagers we work with are happy with the educational sponsorship program and to address any concerns they may have. While in Thailand we will also be visiting a number of schools, clinics, and orphanages to distribute critical funding to trusted organizations who are entrenched in the struggle for human rights and opportunity amidst a landscape of increased turmoil for ethnic refugees.
We are also proud to announce that our partner organization, Learn To Live, will be sending a team of volunteer health care specialists to Mok Mai, Laos this January. During their visit they will be teaming with another NGO to start a maternal health care program which aims to lower the extremely high infant mortality rate in this isolated region. One World Family acts as fiscal agent for Learn To Live. We wish these brave doctors and nurses all the best as they carry out this important and challenging mission.
Thanks to every one who has supported the work of One World Family, we couldn't do it without you. As we gear up for 2014 we are still in need of funding to assure that all the children we sponsor can continue their education for next year. Please consider donating by clicking the icon at the top of the page. Blessings and thanks!