THE EQUITABLE Education Fund (EEF) is now exploring ideas on how best to engage all sectors in extending educational help to underprivileged children.
At its public forum in Chiang Mai yesterday, local leader Phairat Maichompoo presented the Bt10 Chiang Mai Fund as a model. Established in 2017, this fund started with a Bt10 donation from every willing Chiang Mai resident for the purpose of preventing cash-strapped children from dropping out of school.
“Within one month, donations reached Bt2.7 million. So, we could help as many as 230 children,” said Phairat, who is now the vice president of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organisation and secretary for the Chiang Mai Network for Education Reform.
He said the fund granted scholarships on the basis of children’s character, motivation and patience. Each scholarship recipient received between Bt5,000 and Bt30,000.
“Our fund proved a success. So, I think we will be able to reduce educational gaps in the country if there are similar funds in other areas too,” Phairat said.
EEF president Prasarn Trairatvorakul praised the Bt10 Chiang Mai Fund as a good model, emphasising that it showed that people could contribute to the cause instead of waiting for help from the government alone.
“We hope to promote the model across the country,” Prasarn said. According to the EEF, 620,000 children in Thailand are from very poor families.
The Chiang Mai forum is the first of four events the EEF has planned to brainstorm ideas from various sectors.
The second forum will take place on August 21 in the Northeast province of Surin, the third on August 22 in the southern province of Surat Thani and the last in Bangkok next month. “We also welcome opinions via www.eef.or.th,” Prasarn added.