Three decades of giving
In addition to supporting schools affected by natural disasters, the Bangkok Post Foundation has sponsored the education of several hundred needy students since its inception
The Bangkok Post Foundation was established in 1982 with an initial funding of 500,000 baht provided by the Post Publishing Company Limited. Its main objective was to give children from poor families the same opportunity to attend school as other Thai children.
The foundation began by sponsoring the education of eight underprivileged children.
In November 1988, typhoon Gay hit southern Thailand, destroying vast areas. One of the worst hit was the little village of Ban Saphli in Chumphon province.
The typhoon killed over 500 people and destroyed many houses and over a hundred schools in the area as it roared through. Among the buildings razed to the ground was the little Ban Saphli School, which was reduced to rubble.
The news shocked Bangkok Post readers. They wanted to help the people in the province and started sending money to the newspaper. Cash donations came to over 800,000 baht and the Bangkok Post decided to use the money to rebuild Ban Saphli School.
The first building, which has full stationery equipment and eight classrooms for pupils from kindergarten through to elementary levels, cost 1.4 million baht. However, the donations received were short by some 500,000 baht. The shortfall, however, was covered by money donated by Bangkok Post employees and board members.
After the construction of the first building was completed, the Bangkok Post Foundation further helped build an auditorium, a first-aid room and more recently a pre-kindergarten room. Additionally, it has offered continuous scholarships to needy students since it first came to help the school to the present.
Later on, the foundation has also lent its support to a number of schools affected by other natural disasters as well as providing educational facilities for disadvantaged schools in rural areas across the country. They include those devastated by the 2004 tsunami and 2011’s megaflood.
After the tsunami killed hundreds of villagers and destroyed schools and homes in southern Thailand, many Bangkok Post readers again donated money to the foundation.
The donations was used to help children whose parents died in the tsunami in Ranong province. The foundation continues to provide scholarships for these children to study to the highest level of education they can achieve till today.
In addition, the foundation has helped restore seven schools badly affected by 2011’s deluge in Nakhon Pathom, Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani provinces. Part of the funds has also been used to provide better learning facilities for six more schools in other provinces.
The foundation, in conjunction with Siam Cement Group, has also organised an annual “English Camps” intended to develop the English language skills of underprivileged school children, especially southern teens whose families have been affected by the continuing violence in the southernmost provinces, as well as blind students.
From its start with eight children, the foundation has so far sponsored the education of more than 600 needy students, including orphans and children with disabilities.
It is currently providing support for 234 students in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, vocational colleges and universities throughout the country. To date, 163 recipients have graduated from universities and vocational colleges.
Since its inauguration, the Bangkok Post Foundation has been concentrating its efforts on carrying out, as best it can, its first objective.
Additional funds and more donations are needed to continue this work since all recipients will receive the support from the Bangkok Post Foundation until they complete their highest education.
Despite economic difficulties over the past years, the foundation has tirelessly sought to increase its support for needy students by organising different fundraising events to supplement donations received from generous donors. All the donated money goes purely for the cost of education with no deductions for administrative costs.