United Missionary School, located in Chiang Rai, Thailand, educates approximately 2,200 hilltribe children. The school provides classes starting at the pre-school level and through high school. Many of the children who attend the school reside in children’s homes in Chiang Rai or travel significant distances every day to get to and from their hilltribe and school. The school teaches Thai (which is a second language for the children) and provides English classes as well.
The school also houses approximately 350 children in on-site “hostels”, in four buildings, two for girls and two for boys. The school itself receives government funding but the hostels do not.
Between 60 and 80 children reside in each hostel. The lower part of each structure provides some rough wooden tables for studying and limited locker space for clothing. The children sleep in the upper area, which is one open room with bunk beds. It is extremely hot and stuffy.
About 120 of the children had no mattresses and slept on thin pieces of plywood. In January 2013 we bought and delivered 120 mattresses for these children, which will improve their living conditions.
The principal at the school speaks English and has welcomed our involvement. We plan to provide some other “luxuries” in future years, such as towels, hairbrushes, pillows, sheets, etc. The towels many of the children use are threadbare. If you find yourself in Chiang Rai and wish to combine your trip with some social charity, please feel free to stop by with a donation for the hostels.