- 100% of items and funds donated to our Children’s Project are used to improve the lives of the less privileged children
- All funds are always turned into much needed equipment, we do not donate cash
- We do not deduct any admin fees and all expenses of facilitating the projects are covered by our company
- In addition to donations of funds from our company, we donate manpower and time of our staff working within the projects
- Participating is easy! Check out how you can pack with a purpose when visiting Elephant Hills Read more about our successful co-operations and becoming a partner through sponsorship
Our purpose & objective
As a tourism business based close to Khao Sok National Park it is our company objective to work with the local community and based on past experience we feel trying to help children is a very good way to do this. We hope the revenue from operating nature tours and funds donated by our guests and partners can help the children to have a better future and also to learn about the importance of conservation of nature and the local environment for the next generations.
The children’s future near to Khao Sok National Park could involve employment and business within the tourism industry and if the new generation has more comprehensive awareness of this unique area, they might be able to make a living out of it as they grow up. It can be challenging to transform the mindset of older generations, who often had very little money and lived by hunting and poaching wild animals, but if the local children have appropriate resources for their education and are made aware of the importance of preserving the nature, it can have a great positive effect to this very special area.
Elephant Hills Children’s Project was founded over 15 years ago, to help less fortunate children by supporting their quality of education and thus providing them with the freedom to make their own choices in life. We are helping the schools in Khao Sok and Mae Hong Son by donating books, stationery and art supplies, musical instruments, seeds and gardening equipment, sports and playground equipment and have also coordinated building a library, bathroom renovation, installing water filter system and arranged English teaching.
Engaging the local community
One of the very concrete ways to support the children in Khao Sok, and much loved by our guests is the traditional Thai dance performance by the local students. Rotating between the schools, the students come to perform Thai dancing or “Ram Thai” as a part of our evening program. This is a wonderful way to maintain the important local traditions and for the children to meet people from all over the world and practice their English, whilst the earnings help to fund their studies.
Being part of Elephant Hills’ evening program gives the rural children a chance to be proud of their culture and to interact with tourists from various countries and cultural backgrounds. They are highly keen to introduce themselves in English, present their beautiful dresses and earnestly practiced choreographs – a little performance not to be missed!
In addition to various other activities, we run a project called Trees Can Talk, which teaches the young children the importance of conserving the forests and wildlife, and encourages them to think out of the box when it comes to respecting the nature in their everyday life. Every year ahead of National Children’s Day we arrange a writing contest for the students and reward the best essays on nature conservation.
The goal of the project is to encourage the children to care for their environment. It also inspires them to seek new ways of preserving the flora and fauna of their home – the unique Khao Sok National Park and its surroundings. Many students discuss and brainstorm ideas on their essays with their friends and at home with their families and relatives, which helps to create positive associations on nature conservation, and can initiate change in the older generations.
Supporting the rural schools in Mae Hong Son
Many of our elephants and their handlers originally come from the Northern Province of Mae Hong Son, and especially from a small rural town called Mae Sariang, not far from the Thailand – Myanmar border. As we have a close connection to this area through our elephant park employees, we also try to help the rural schools situated in the nearby villages. There are dozens of schools located in some of the most remote and mountainous areas of the country, suffering from insufficient resources and in need of help to prevent a cycle of poverty by improving the education. Mae Hong Son is the poorest province in Thailand, and in addition to stationery and educative material, donations of warm clothes and for example toothbrushes and paste are warmly welcomed.
Get to know some of the schools we support
Wat Tham Wararam School
The Wat Tham Wararam Primary and Secondary School was founded in 1960 and is situated just around the corner from our elephant camp. More than 300 children from kindergarten age up to grade nine study in this school and are being educated by 20 teachers. Our Children’s Project made it possible to provide them with gardening equipment and seeds, as well as new school uniforms for some of the less fortunate students. We also teamed up with Thomas Cook’s Children’s Charity and renovated their bathroom buildings. Most recently, we delivered stationery and art supplies donated by our lovely guests.
Baan Yaplong School
Around 150 pupils attend the Baan Yaplong School, which was founded in the 1950’s. It’s located on the left side of the main road 401, about 5 km from the Elephant Hills resort, when you are heading west towards Khao Sok National Park headquarters. The pupils, from kindergarten age up to grade six, can enjoy a library which could only be built by our Children’s Project in co-operation with our partners. Some of the recent donations include stationery and art supplies, as well as sports and gardening equipment.
Baan Mae Tob Tai School
Mae Tob Tai School is located in Mae Hong Son Province in the mountainous Mae Sariang District. This school has 48 students, and it provides kindergarten and primary education. Twelve students are from very remote areas and therefore stay overnight at the school during the weekdays. The four teachers work extremely hard not only educating the students, but also cooking lunch for the students and taking care of the students who live at the school. The most significant contribution to this rural area from our company has been building a new dormitory for the school. Within our Children’s Project we have donated clothes and food supplies, as well as playground equipment, dried food and two pigs for their animal husbandry project.
Helping children with special needs
OT Freeland, the only private school and clinic dedicated to education and therapy of children with special needs in Chiang Mai province, was founded in Mae Rim district in 2012. We at Elephant Hills, inspired by the amazing efforts of the founder, Mr. Ped and his team of occupational therapists, were one of the first companies to support the institution. With our donations, we helped to cover some of the costs of construction work, teaching equipment and the first training courses.
Today the institution provides exercises, classes and therapy through various kinds of methods including neurofeedback, musical therapy, art therapy and horse therapy. They also maintain a teacher-student ratio suitable for children with developmental disorders such as autism, individualized curriculum, as well as flexibility and patience – all of which are very challenging aspects for government schools often suffering of lack of resources. Many families travel long distances from surrounding provinces to receive therapy that has given their children evident, positive results.
How can you help?
Pack with a purpose
When planning a visit to Elephant Hills, please consider supporting our Children’s Project. The least little bit of space in your luggage can make a difference, if you fill it with one of the following items:
- pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, notebooks, and other stationery
- warm clothes for children living in the mountainous areas of Northern Thailand
- watercolors and crayons
- chalk, both for blackboard and sidewalk
- educative toys and games
- kids’ toys, playdough
- toothbrushes and toothpaste
- piggy banks
- books (very basic English books: colors, animals, weekdays & months, simple phrases)
Become a partner
We are actively looking for individuals, travel agencies and other companies to co-operate with our Children’s Project through sponsorship. We have established several very successful co-operations with partners all across the globe, which are much appreciated by the rural schools, agents, operators and us at Elephant Hills. Doesn’t that sound like Win-Win-Win to you?
Some of our joint projects include a school bathroom renovation, providing school uniforms for less fortunate children and improving the quality of education by donating musical instruments and sports equipment. Together with our partner we have also contributed to a school’s gardening project which greatly boosts the school’s aspiration to become more self-sufficient and teaches the students important life skills.
To stay updated on the latest developments and donations of our Children’s Project, please follow us on Facebook & and Instagram, and sign up for our Newsletter at the bottom on the right-hand side. All latest project news and updates are listed on the news page on our website.
If you, or your company would like to get involved, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] to discuss the options.