At Spicy Villa Eco-Lodges, we always strive to have a positive impact on local tribal villages. Everyone who works for us comes from tribal villages and we make it a point to pay them fairly so they can stay in the village and support their families. A percentage of all our profits goes to the local villages into the projects that are most needed such as school renovations, new equipment for schools, medical help, and similar endeavours. We also run the “Share the Dream Project” which is used to look for volunteers to help in the villages and in the village schools. Additionally, we also accept donations for villagers with help from Pack for a Purpose. It has proven to be an invaluable resource.
Currently, we are excited to report that we’ve had another great year full of donations for local Karen villagers. In this year, we’ve noticed some new trends. A lot of our guests don’t just use a part of their luggage to fill with donations and supplies. Instead, they bring an additional luggage bag or two with them filled entirely with donations!
We received so much donations this way, including art kits to other school supplies, from sports gear to clothes, and even sitting pillows and medical supplies!
All this has been of enormous help to village families who could not otherwise afford the supplies and to the local schools and kindergartens. They now have new sports equipment for children to play with during the breaks and after school – not to mention how glad everyone is to receive these supplies which includes the children, their families, and school staff as well!
Another trend that we’ve noticed this year is that most of the donations come from families with pre-school or primary-school children. We find this very important as it means that the children will learn how to help those less fortunate from the example of their parents which will continue to help through donations as they grow up and donate themselves. We would like to thank the parents for being great role models and for inspiring their children to grow up being aware of those less fortunate and of ways they can contribute to improve their living conditions.
We also had a group of medical volunteers come to Spicy Villa this year and help local villagers with medical issues. The closest hospital is about an hour away and not every villager can go there. Especially if their condition is not an emergency. Additionally, the hospital doesn’t have specialists for many conditions that our volunteers were able to help with. In addition to check-ups, the villagers received glasses with correct dioptres, medicine and medical supplies, pregnancy kits, and kits for new mothers and their babies.
We also received donations from travellers who came to Chiang Mai or who bought donations while staying there, even though they did not stay with us or go on the village tours. In such cases, we arrange with our drivers to collect donations from the traveller’s hotels and bring them to the village. While we are always delighted to welcome guests who bring donations, all kinds of donations are equally appreciated!
Without Pack for a Purpose, we would not have received so many donations over the past year. Therefore, we are extremely grateful to be a participant on their website. This makes it possible for those who would otherwise not know about our project to learn about it and bring the much-needed supplies.