Monday, July 31, 2006

Nam Jai - Thailand update

On February 28, 2006 we received this update on the Batik Project we had partially funded.
Our gratitude goes out to everyone who supported us!

In mid-2005, a livelihood project was identified by “We Love Thailand” in Baan Bang Kaya community in Phang Nga province which was in need of funding. At that time, a group of local villagers had set up production of Batik products in temporary facilities. The Batik project was looking for funding to construct a new, permanent building nearby and to purchase equipment and supplies to expand their production. Total cost of the project was estimated to be approximately 200,000 baht. With this support, the project would be able to construct new facilities (their temporary facilities needed to be returned to the community as soon as possible) and increase the quality and amount of their products. This would all subsequently improve the quality of life for the families of those who work in the shop.

In September 2005, “We Love Thailand” received a donation of 100,000 baht (approx. 2,000 Euros) from a school in The Netherlands to be used to fund the Batik livelihood project (which is a freedom project under the “Seed of Love” program within “We Love Thailand”). Construction began on the new building shortly after the funding was received. This new building was built just opposite from the previous, temporary building. In addition to construction of the new facilities, funds were also used to purchase equipment and other necessary supplies to improve and increase production.Villagers were able to begin working in the new building in October 2005. There are currently 15 – 20 people who have been trained and are working regularly at the project. Since beginning work in the new facilities, the project has seen great success. The products are selling very well. Regular customers include businesses, resorts, and individuals in Phang Nga and Krabi provinces in the south, as well as Bangkok.

Nam Jai - Water of the heart

The December 2004 Tsunami in Asia has shocked the world. No different from many others, we wanted to contribute with more than a small donation to the account of big NGO's. Thus, we started ‘Nam Jai’, an initiative to collect funds for small-scale projects primarily aimed at children.

Literally Nam Jai means ‘water from the heart’. It stands for sincere kindness and helpfulness to others without expecting anything in return. We found this concept, which is very important in Thailand, to be a very suitable name for our initiative.

In summer 2005 we went to Thailand and visited Khao Lak, the region most damaged by the natural disaster. Earlier we had collected some 2000 euro's; at Taco and Michael's primary school (De Achthoek) with a fleemarket (see the report pasted below) and among family and friends. With the help of "We love Thailand", we were taken around the region. The fact that people were doing all they could to go on with their lives, gave hope and made up for the devastation that was all around. For children there was a lot of aid, too much actually. Some kids were provided will double funding. We decided to look beyond the scope of schools and chldcare. We were given the opportunity the help a woman who had lost her livelihood - she used to have a car rental agency. Now she employs 20 people making and selling batik cloths. We also visited a primary school where we handed out the schoolmaterials which were donated by a supplier of de Achthoek. Our small contribution was greatly appreciated.

For more pictures, visit:

Nam Jai - A bazaar for Asia

A bazaar for Asia - reported by Taco Stroo

I had never quite realised that people collect so many things… or actually I did, because I am quite the collector myself. Well, everything was more than welcome to be sold at our special bazaar/garage sale at primary school de Achthoek in Amsterdam.
It started with only one pair of ice-skates on Tuesday. Only after we had put out a flashy sign at the door, did the vaults open; bicycles, bags filled with teddy bears, necklaces, old clothes, yellowed books, CD’s, games, anything… it kept on coming in. Were we ever going to sell it all?!

It was a lot of work putting everything nicely together and spreading it out, but on Thursday night, we were calm: this was going to work out just fine! In class 7b the kids had thought out precisely what the market was going to look like, how to negotiate prices, catering and logistics. Also they pulled all the genies out of the bottles to complete the bazaar with music, dance performances, an auction, a lottery and an old fashioned ball-throwing stand, with a piece of apple pie for the winner.

The bazaar opened at noon and it was immediately crowded. Especially the kids from class 5a were enthusiastically making a lot of money selling their things. It was great to see how they were enjoying themselves and how they took their jobs very seriously. After an hour, we had already collected 400 euros! It was time to tidy up in preparation of the second round.

At 2pm it was time for that second round. And again it was crowded. It was lively and the atmosphere was good. People were slowly passing by the stalls and there was music and dancing. The children were absolute heroes! As if they had done so all of their lives, they drove the prices up. They would make an Indonesian salesman proud: “I give you good price, you my friend!”. In the centre of the hall beautiful objects were auctioned, after which the lottery started. “Ticket 100045. No one? Ticket 100046! No one? Ticket 100033?”. Vincent and Kwinti even played some acoustic songs, before people started leaving.

This was it. Everyone was satisfied and we were proud. This was a great bazaar for a good cause and together with the kids we collected over 1300 euros! Amazing!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Finally, my own space on the wonderous world called internet!
Before I share my most inner feelings and brilliant thoughts with you, I want to direct your attention to

the Nam Jai blog:


my personal photopage:

Soon there will be more to follow!