One December morning in 2005 the Bangkok Post Foundation received a long-distance telephone call from the United States. The caller said that he had been checking on the Bangkok Post Foundation and its policy of helping students who want to study but whose family cannot afford to support their studies.
He was impressed that all students under the care of the foundation are granted educational funds until they complete their highest education, and that the support is non-binding, except for the graduates to return home to help develop their local communities.
In addition, every baht donated to the foundation is spent on the students’ education without deductions for management expenses.
Shortly after, he travelled to Thailand to meet with the foundation’s representatives. The man said Thailand had been kind to him and his family during hard times in China’s civil war.
Now with a successful business, he wanted to return the favour by helping poor Thai students in their education so they can help develop the country.
He suggested that the Bangkok Post Foundation enter into a cooperative arrangement with his own foundation to further help poor students.
To launch the campaign he would make a $25,000 donation, with regular contributions to come annually. He asked only that a proper account be kept and be properly audited and was told that this was already standard practice at the Bangkok Post Foundation. Agreeing to provide regular contributions, he expressed his preference for orphans as recipients of his largesse.
Thus began a fruitful partnership between the Bangkok Post Foundation and the benefactor who modestly asked to remain anonymous.
From the beginning in 2006 up till today contributions from this benefactor have benefited 169 poor Thai students ranging from primary
level to master’s degree, each student receiving support worth 7,000-120,000 baht a year, depending on their level of education and their subject of study.
The only change to this arrangement has been made since 2009 due to strict controls on charitable donations from the US. The new controls now mean that contributions to the Bangkok Post Foundation must be channelled through the Give2Asia organisation.
For the coming year of 2016, there are likely to be 27 Thai students at various levels enjoying the benefits of this generous and anonymous benefactor.