Mountain Climbs Bring Food and Knowledge

North Thailand TCD Expansion, Thailand


During the coronavirus lockdown in Thailand, GHNI staff members were largely relegated to their homes along with most of the country. Travel between provinces was forbidden except for a select few locals. Despite this, GHNI staff members in Thailand helped coordinate and fund food relief trips, both within the city of Chiang Mai and in the mountainous province nearby, where we are laying the foundation for longer-term Transformational Community Development (TCD) work.


On the first trip up the mountain, our partner delivered food to 100 families, and on the second trip they delivered food to 202 families in eight villages; there was also a third trip with photographs, but no figures on the amount of food distributed. These relief efforts were in response to the economic hardships caused by the coronavirus lockdown in Thailand. Further, educational materials on personal sanitation, hygiene, protection, and treatment regarding the coronavirus were translated, printed, disseminated, and taught to villagers and to locals to help prevent the spread of the virus in their communities.


As we now try to transition away from relief and toward development, GHNI staff members and local partners have been discussing with our friends in the villages exactly why their supply of food ran out so quickly once the quarantine set in. From these discussions, the decision was made that our local partner and five local champions will each set up gardens on their land. These gardens are designed to provide nutritionally diverse crops to feed a family that will yield their harvest at various points throughout the year. Gardening like this is new to these communities, most of which farm rice and forage or hunt for additional nutrients.


The plan is that once these gardens are built, the champions will begin training their neighbours and fellow villagers on how they too can build their garden. To train the villagers on the best agricultural practices, GHNI staff members have coordinated a two-day agriculture training at ECHO farms outside of Chiang Mai. Our local partner and the five champions from the villages will come to learn about adding nutrients back to the soil, composting, organic pesticides and fertilisers, seed collecting and harvesting, and F.A.I.T.H. (Food Always In The Home) gardening principles. The participants will leave with the training and seeds they need to go back to their villages, implement their training, and share their knowledge with others. We hope this training will help the champions teach better agriculture practices, thus helping families address food security issues resulting from COVID-19, as well as potentially provide a source of income for families who have extra vegetables to share or sell with their neighbours.


TCD Update

  • Food - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many families in these communities have received basic food relief, including rice, oil, eggs, and noodles. The families in need were identified by local religious leaders in the community. We hope that the upcoming training on F.A.I.T.H. (Food Always In The Home) gardening will help address the food security and food diversity needs in these villages.
  • Income Generation - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families have lost their source of income, whether that means not being able to go to work themselves, or their son or daughter who lives in the city is not able to work to send them money. Ideally, if people start growing their gardens, then this will limit their need for additional income to buy food and also potentially allow them to have vegetables to share and sell with others.
  • Wellness - Our local partner took three trips up to visit these villages during the quarantine. He distributed COVID-19 prevention materials and lessons for leaders in each of the communities so that they may share them with their neighbours.


Thank you!


Madison and Trey