Jae Lee Village School, Krabi Province, Thailand

The lunch farm project is now well underway at Jae Lee Village School with the support of ChallengeAid donations.

As soil in the region is poor, children in Grades 2 and 3 are growing vegetables in hydroponic tanks. Kale has already been harvested, with 90 per cent being used in the school kitchen and 10 per cent being sold to parents.

Pupils can now have fresh vegetables in their school lunches every day. The school will be putting in more hydroponic tanks to extend the scheme shortly.

The Project

Jae Lee village is situated on Ko Lanta island in the Krabi province, just off the South West coast of Thailand. This region was one of the worst affected by the December 2004 tsunami and is now having to face up to the longer term problems caused by the disaster.

The village has a population of 1,153 and the school provides education for local pupils. Almost half of these children were seriously affected by the tsunami and many find themselves without one or both parents. There is no safety net for these children. Scores of families have lost their incomes and livelihoods and are facing very real poverty in this small, rural community.

Many children are simply not getting enough to eat and some suffer from malnutrition. There is an urgent need to provide these children with at least one nutritious meal per day. The school has around 6,400 square metres available next to one of the classrooms where a lunch farm can be cultivated. Students will be able to grow a variety of vegetables and fruit to provide one healthy meal for each child every day.

Prawns will also be farmed, in tanks using rainwater captured from the school roof. The farms eventually become self sustaining – and during the holidays the whole community can benefit from the extra food, so nothing will go to waste.

ChallengeAid will support Jae Lee Village School by funding the establishment of such a lunch farm.

The Jae Lee school has been identified by the Pattaya Orphanage Trust, a UK charity working with this school and others in the region similarly affected by the tsunami, and being helped through the lunch farm project. The Pattaya Orphanage Trust will be monitoring progress through visits to the area.

The trust funds several other projects in Thailand, directly helping many hundreds of children and young people each year. These include an orphanage, schools for blind and deaf children, a vocational school for young disabled people, a street kids project and the Camillian Centre, which cares for HIV positive orphans.

For further information on the Pattaya Orphanage Trust and the lunch farm project, please visit: