The New Life Foundation
Under the patronage of H.R.H. The Princess Mother
In our Foundation, persons with a physical or mental handicap
are taught survival and provided for.
Office : Budhasataan Center, No 1, Tapaeh Road, Chiangmai 50100
Tel. (+66) 053.276 514 or 053.241 689 (+ Fax)
E-mail: ahac.[email protected]
The New Life Foundation was established in September 1964 (2507 B.E.). The objectives of the Foundation are to assist and help rehabilitate patients who have recovered from Leprosy and from Mental Disorders. We help them to learn how to lead a normal life and happily find jobs that make them stand on their own feet.
For this purpose the New Life Foundation has set-up three village-style complexes:
- Trisapawakarm Village Complex in the Chiangdao District of Chiangmai Province.
- New Life Village Complex in the Lee District of Lampoon Province.
- The Halfway Home Village in Hangdong District of Chiangmai Province.
The New Life Foundation also has 2 Homes for the Elderly where we support poor elder members who are not able to help themselves with shelter, visits of medical doctors and nurses etc. And we give pre-school child care services in our Lee and Chiangdao villages.
The New Life Foundation assists and supports members to gradually stand on their own feet.
The New Life Foundation is a charity organisation without religious, political or government affiliation resulting in a harmonious mix of Buddhists and Christian members amongst our villagers.
In 1955, an American volunteer called Mr Robert M. Wolf, wanted to help lepers recover from this disease and return their lives back to normal. He urged those affected by this debilitating disease to set-up their own village to enable them to help each other as members of the same community. With the support from both the Thai and American governments, the New Life Foundation was established in 1964.
The first project was set-up as Trisapawakarm Complex in Chiangdao village no.5 in the Pingkong Sub-district of Chiangmai province. It developed so well that it is presently self-sufficient.
Those members who completely recovered from mental disorders are moved to the Halfway Home at Hueydindam, Hangdong in Chiangmai.
Those members who recovered from Leprosy, have been moved to the New Life Village in the Lee District of Lampoon province.
Activities to support our villagers :
- Donate monthly allowances and rice, and provide medical services to the crippled elderly who have no one to take care of them. They stay at our elderly homes in Chiangdao and Lee (in Chiangmai and Lampang province).
- To organise monthly medical follow-up visits to the 3 villages of the New Life Foundation.
- To work jointly with the Leprosy Center, Region 10 in Lamapang province, to prevent and treat the leprous patients. Every month, medical doctors from Phrapadaeng hospital will visit the villages.
- To assist and offer medical services to families staying in the village or to transfer them to hospitals if necessary.
- To invite knowledgeable people to educate the members in fundamental healthcare such as from Lee Community Hospital, the District Healthcare Center, Chiangmai University’s Medical faculty, McKaen Rehabilitation Center and Chiangmai Mc Cormick Hospital.
- To give pre-school child care services in Lee and Chiangdao villages. This includes nutritious lunches to help lighten the parents’ spending burdens.
- To send the members’ children to appropriate vocational training centers: skills gained there are to be applied for the betterment of the village.
- To urge all members to cultivate the land and plant fruit trees.
- To urge all members to raise some animals like pigs, poultry and cows. This project is done with the cooperation of the Livestock Department as well as the Bank of Cows and Buffaloes who donated some cows. This bank is also under Her Majesty’s Patronage.
TENETS OF THE NEW LIFE FOUNDATION
- Urge all members to lead a normal life and to face obstacles by themselves.
- Help to rehabilitate those who have recovered from Leprosy and Mental Disorders and teach them how to re-integrate in society. At the same time, the foundation urges the general public to acknowledge them and to wipe away discrimination.
- Each member has the right to own a piece of land where they can build their home and work the land which can be handed down to their children.
Villagers of the New Life Foundation in Chiangdao
receiving blankets during the cold season
PROJECTS SUPPORTED BY THE NEW LIFE FOUNDATION
1. Trisapawakarn Complex, Chiangdao District, Chiangmai province
There are a total of 548 persons. Of these, 87 have recovered from Leprosy and they live with their children. 146 members have healthy children of those that were previously infected with Leprosy. Most family members work on the land. They have a cooperative store where their agricultural produce is sold directly.
2. The New Life Complex Village, Lee District, Lampoon Province.
There are 468 persons. Of these, 61 have recovered from Leprosy and live with their children. 156 members have healthy children of those that were formerly infected with Leprosy. Most members work the land and there is an agricultural cooperative store. The New Life Foundation also supports the Kogchang village complex which is nearby our village in Lee district.
3. Halfway Home Rehab Center in Hangdong, Chiangmai
These facilities can accommodate 80 persons who were formerly treated at Suanprung Psychiatric Hospital in Chiangmai and recovered from Mental Disorders. They live here temporarily to be rehabilitated, to learn agricultural practices and how to re-integrate themselves in their families and society. Normally, a group of 30 members will take turns to live in this village on a regular basis. Those patients that have no family are allowed to stay at this complex permanently.
4. Scholarship Fund for the children of all members.
The New Life Foundation is now also taking care of the second and third generation of these villagers and provides scholarships to give these kids a better chance in life. This project was started in 2001 with a Charity Concert at Payap University. To ensure the continuity of this commitment, we only use the interest of this fund. In 2002, we were able to distribute our first two scholarship for secondary education.
See our pictures below on this page.
SENIOR HOMES OF H.R.H. THE PRINCESS MOTHER
There are two Senior Homes which can accommodate 60 people each,
for those members who have recovered from Leprosy but who are crippled or old and have no relatives, can stay together.
– Somdejyah Building, New Life Complex, Lee District, Lampoon Province.
– Somdejying Building, Trisapawakarm Complex, Chiangdao, Chiangmai Province.
The Foundation gives them a monthly allowance and some rice which they have to cook themselves. Some officers are available to help them if needed.
Healthcare is available when they are sick.
Rehabilitating exercises are provided by officers from the Leprosy Center, Region 10 in Lampang.
Initially, HRH The Princess Mother donated a sum of 200,000 Baht for the construction while the rest was donated by the general public.
The New Life Foundation gratefully appreciates any donations of money, food, clothing, blankets, sports equipment as well prosthesis and wheelchairs for the physically handicapped. Every donation, however small, does help us more than you can imagine…
Your financial donations can be made as follows:
Either by mailing your international money order directly to our office which is located at Nr 1, Tapaeh Road, Chiangmai 50100, Thailand.
For the Scholarship Fund, you can make a bank transfer to Savings Account Nr 501-280384-2 at Siam Commercial Bank, Tapaeh Branch, no 17 Tapaeh Road, Chiangmai 50100, Thailand. SWIFT Code: SICO TH BK
If you send us this form for Donations, we will be happy to send you a Tax-Deductible Receipt.
Name : ______________________________________________________
Fax : ______________________
E-mail : ___________________________
Present Financial Supporters:
1. H.R.H. The Princess Mother’s Charity Fund
2. The Foundation of Somdej Phrasrinakharin,
The Princess Mother’s Charity Fund
3. Public Welfare Department
4. The Ministry of Public Health, The Secretary General’s Office
5. Social Welfare Association of Thailand
6. Private Donors
INTERVIEW WITH OUR FOUNDER
Khunying Buphan Nimmanhaeminda
From: Chiangmai Mail on Saturday 12 February 2005.
It is always pleasant to interview some of our senior citizens. People who have become an indelible part of the local culture. Khunying Buphan Nimmanhaeminda, is one of those. Her family name is known all over Thailand, not just in Chiang Mai, and her immediate family and children, and grandchildren, are now substantial figures in their own right, covering many fields of endeavor.
We met in her garden, a spacious and quiet green area, complete with birds and wildlife. She really came across as the ‘queen of all she surveyed’, though she would never see herself in that light.
At 83 years of age, she looks back at a lifetime of service to the people of Chiang Mai. A lifetime involved in education and service to the people. She should be retired, but she has not, being still very much involved with the New Life Foundation, the charity she started and proudly has the late Princess Mother as its patron. While we chatted, we drank Jiaogulan tea, a most refreshing beverage, grown by the people assisted by the New Life Foundation, as part of the practical help given to recipients of the Foundation’s largesse.
Khunying Buphan is a true lady from Lanna. Born in Phrae, her father was a forestry worker, and her mother a housewife, that most difficult and time consuming occupation. She was an only child, but since her family was not well off, she went to the local government school until it was time to look at her future career. Despite being unsure, as most of us are at that stage in our lives, she had relatives who were teachers, and since she enjoyed working with children, she enrolled in a vocational school for teacher training.
Following graduation, she moved to Phitsanulok and worked in its government school where she taught the children for 12 months. There was to be a change in her circumstances, however. She met the man who was to become her husband in Chiang Mai, whose family had an interest in a school in the area. They married, she changed schools, and spent the next 34 years working as a teacher here, rising through the ranks as she took on further studies, receiving awards and diplomas, until she was the Headmistress of this welknown school in Chiangmai.
During that time, she had two children of her own, with her daughter now also working in the educational field, running a company assisting young people who wish to study abroad, while her son is involved in business and he and his wife, Khunying Buphan’s daughter-in-law, live with her in Chiang Mai.
After retiring from teaching as a full-time occupation 20 years ago, Khunying Buphan became even more involved in volunteer work, with one of the main recipients of her energy and vision being her New Life Foundation. This was the charity organization of which she had been the founder more than 50 years ago, and she still remains the president today. This Foundation assists mainly those who have recovered from Leprosy, giving them the chance to resume normal, self-sufficient lives. It also helps those with mental disorders, allowing them to slowly re-integrate into mainstream life through a half-way house.
In the early days, Khunying Buphan could be seen getting assistance to the lepers in the far-flung reaches of Chiang Mai, a journey of many hours by truck and on foot. She remembers these trips saying, “Oh we used to get so many punctures!” She helped set up their own leper village communities and then to oversee their being taught to be self-sufficient by crop production. “I just wanted to help people who couldn’t help themselves,” she said simply. (And yes I then helped myself to a second and then a third cup of the New Life Foundation’s Jiaogulan tea, tea being a beverage that I normally eschew.)
The teacher in her could see a need. “I knew what it was like to be poor, when I was a child. I wanted to teach them what to do.” She was not someone who was happy to sit back and direct others to do the work. “I used myself to be the example. Just by ‘doing’. My function was to motivate them to look after each other, to be self-sustaining through agriculture.” That assistance went far beyond just giving them seedlings to grow. That first settlement was built with construction materials that came from Khunying Buphan’s New Life Foundation. Much of it she delivered herself.
Like all well-run enterprises it grew over the five decades and now has two homes for the elderly, in the villages for the former lepers most of whom were cured with the multiple drug treatment. Its villages even encompasses pre-school child care services, medical services for all members and a scholarship fund. It has been a long way from the dirt roads of Chiangdao and Lee!
Khunying Buphan says that she does not have any all-consuming hobbies. “I don’t like painting,” she said quickly. But she does enjoy reading – anything! “For me the best thing in life is to see people smile and be happy,” she said. There are many people she has helped to smile again over the past 50 years, and her contribution to society has also resulted in recognition, but they mean little for someone such as Khunying Buphan, whose best rewards in life are the smiles of the people she has helped.
As the interview came to a close, Khunying Buphan gave me two packets of Jiaogulan tea to take home to my wife. She thanked me for coming out to see her and hoped that she had not wasted my time. There are some people who are born to be ‘ladies’. Khunying Buphan Nimmanhaeminda is one of them.
New building ~ Public Welfare School in Chiangdao
On 19 December 2005, a new building was inaugurated to accommodate an additional 100 hilltribe students. More hilltribe children can now join the Public Welfare School of our Chiangdao village, where they can stay overnight from Monday to Friday as it would be impossible for them to make the trip down from the mountain tops every day. Our school can now offer boarding facilities to over 800 children.
click to enlarge
Seated is Khunying Bupphan Nimmanhaemindha and on her right Christine Olivares. Immediately behind Khunying stands Ajarn Kamol, the Deputy Director of the school. Look at the colorful tribal costumes of the parents who have come down to join the celebrations.
Chiangmai Lady honoured again by H.R.H. King Bumiphol Adulyadej
Many well-wishers joined Khunying Bupphan Nimmanhaemindha on Sunday, 15th of May 2005 when the Chiangmai Governor handed over the Ceremonial Certificates which certified that this outstanding woman has been promoted by His Royal Highness King Bhumiphol Adulyadej for her unending services to the Chiangmai community.
Whereas Khunying Bupphan Nimmanhaemindha’s family name is known all over Thailand, (not just in Chiangmai), her immediate family and children, and grandchildren, are now substantial figures in their own right, covering many fields of endeavors.
At 83 years of age, she is promoted from fourth to third class for a lifetime of service to Thai people. A lifetime involved in education and service to the people in Chiangmai and Lamphun province as the President of several prominent organisations such as the New Life Foundation, under the patronage of H.R.H. The Princess Mother.
During more than 42 years, Khunying Bupphan’s Foundation has been caring for over 1200 underprivileged Thais who have a physical or mental handicap.
For this purpose she set-up 3 villages in Chiangdao, Lee and Hangdong where these people have been grouped together to learn to become self-sufficient through agriculture and to support each other.
As Khunying Bupphan put it: “I just wanted to help people who couldn’t help themselves.”
This well-deserved award is a crowning of her life-time dedication to others.
Our heartfelt congratulations for a job well-done!
Pictures of the New Life Foundation
Some elderly ladies in our
Home for the Elderly in Chiangdao
Our oldest member (87 years) in Chiangdao looking on
while his new wheelchair is being assembled.
This was a donation from the
Rotary Thingtaingaam Club of Chiangmai
Scrap cloth from FISBA in Lamphun is
used by the villagers in Lee and Chiangdao
to make nice bags, aprons, tissue box holders etc.
Sock Knitting project, initiated in 2006 by Elizabeth Nieuwlands at the Elderly Home CAROLUSHOF in Uden, The Netherlands, where over 60 pairs of warm wintersocks were tailor knitted from donated wool for our members in Chiangdao and Lee, as they could not use standard commercial socks due to their physical deformaties.
New Life Foundation Scholarships
Scholarship support for 10 children of the New Life Foundation’s village in Chiangdao.
2005 Scholarship ceremony at the Senior Citizen home of the New Life Foundation’s village in Chiangdao District, Chiangmai.
Pictured on the backrow (from right to left) Angchalee, Ricky Op de Laak, Cory Croymans, Christine Olivares from the New Life Foundation and Ajarn Kamol Taweechai, Deputy Direction of the Chiangdao village Welfare School.
10 Children were given 5000 Baht each or about 100 Euro (120 US$).
This was a first disbursement for their scholarship which will continue for at least 6 years. This scholarship is one of the direct results of the Chiangmai Classic Concerts which we organised in 2005 as well as the direct scholarship contributions from Foster Parents in Europe.
From left to right: Ricky Op de Laak, volunteer, Cory Croymans-Plaghki of the New Life Foundation (under the patronage of H.R.H. The Princess Mother), Nielawan Booblah, one of the orphaned scholarship recipients and her grandmother.
May 2006 Scholarship Distribution at
the new Chiangdao school building.
See how these kids have grown in one year…!
2007 Scholarship Distribution
2008 Scholarship Distribution
2009 Scholarship Distribution below
CD Welfare School plaque
Group 5000 Bt smile
Kanitha Muansungkroh and grandma
Worchon and Mom
You too can help through Scholarship Sponsorship
If you want to become a Scholarship Sponsor, please contact us at [email protected]
One year’s scholarship is only 100 Euro or 120 US$.
The children are allowed to use this money with supervision of their teacher to buy school uniforms, necessities and one meal a day.
Kindly specify if you want to support a girl or boy.
We will send you a report on their family circumstances, and every year, the updated picture of your student. We can also send you every year, a copy of their Thai school report with an English translation.
Please note that it is not our aim to reward the best students, but to support those who need it most. Thank you…