Navin Meengoun, OHM Creative Director, had an opportunity to join a group of volunteers on a journey to a school in the remote area of northern Thailand. It was an eye-opening experience for him, and this is his travel story.
December 5, 2021
At the dawn in the northern provinces of Thailand, the weather was cold and fog covered the area. People from all walks of life, from all over the country came together to join this trip. Everyone prepared their vehicles, equipment, and supplies for the 50-km (31-mile) journey to the mountain through rugged terrain.
Along the way through rugged terrain accessible mainly by 4WD vehicles, we faced unforeseen obstacles but managed to get through with smiles on our faces.
8 hours later, we finally arrived at Baan Nong Bua school in Tak Province. The school serves 75 students from kindergarten to grade 6.
We set up, prepared supplies, and started cooking for the children.
The village has a natural water source from the mountain, but it’s quite a long distance. In 2020, we installed a 1000-meter long water supply system and four 1000-liter water tanks so they wouldn’t have to carry water back from the mountain. However, the water was not clean enough for drinking and the children became sick. This year we installed a water filtration system so they have clean drinking water at school.
We prepared equipment to complete the playground for the children.
The next morning on top of the mountain, rice soup, fried chicken, and other snacks are waiting for children at school.
At 8 AM, we brought all donated items to the front of the school to deliver to the children.
OHM has delivered shoes and sports equipment donated by its staff and customers to the teacher to distribute to children so they can run around safely.
I saw that one of the children didn't even have any shoes on, so I gave him a pair of slippers.
He kept looking at them with a big grin on his face as if they were the first pair of slippers he owns. I smiled at him with tears in my eyes.
Before we left, we dumped out the ice in the cooler we brought with us and I was shocked to see those children picked up the ice and ate it happily. There are so many things in life we take for granted that others can only wish for.
Thank you for letting me participate in this journey. I hope what we did would bring smiles to those children and all of us in OHMily.
December 5, 2021