Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Lifestyle: Kids are doing it for themselves



PHUKET: As part of its philosophy to teach young Thai students the importance of self-sufficiency and respect for the environment, the Yaowawit Boarding School and Lodge has developed a model agricultural project which demonstrates the fundamentals of independence for small farmers.

Located in the middle of a Phang Nga jungle, far away from the glamor of international tourism or even modern Thai life, the Yaowawit School was founded by a German philanthropist and an American architect with the support of Princess Maha Chakri Siridhorn and the Thai government.

The school is home to 120 students, age four to 18 years, who are accepted from around Phang Nga based on their financial and personal needs. Some are survivors of the 2004 tsunami and all come from fractured homes where one or both of their parents are dead or missing.

Sabine Kraus is the Project Manager for Yaowawit.

“Our goal is for these children to develop their personal inner resources and to become productive members of their society. Our teaching stresses the importance of being responsible for one’s own actions as well as one’s effect on the local environment. We have developed the 10-station Learning Center so the students can see how to make organic foods in a way that does not harm the environment,” she said.

With the help of committed volunteers, Christian von Aufess and Addy Ukhatarn, the Yaowawit School has taken a large portion of their 120-rai piece of land to develop agricultural products.

“We are constantly under pressure to raise funds to continue our operations. We are hoping that by growing most of our own foods, we can become self-sufficient. We are currently able to get some revenue from rice cultivation and palm oil production, but it is not enough,” said Sabine.

To create needed revenue, the school has added six rooms which are rented to visiting groups or others who want to help the school and explore the surrounding beauty. They are also developing products based on what they produce at the farm, such as massage oils and organic drinks made from Thai fruits and herbs.

Students learn how to make organic fertilizers from vegetable scraps and rotting organic materials. A station with water pumps, powered by students who pedal bicycles, is connected to a canal bringing water directly onto fields of vegetables. Recycling is core to the program. Learning to be innovative with objects that most people would throw away, the students decorate old shoes and helmets as planters for young vegetables or flowers.

The 10 different stations in the project are designed to create a self-sustaining farm. The fish pond was seeded with 2,000 small catfish that are being raised for sale in the local community market as well as for use in students’ meals in the school restaurant.

“For our school to become more self-reliant we need the participation of local and international sponsors. We are fortunate to receive support from the Swiss Education Group, the German Embassy and a few corporate and individual sponsors, but we still need the help of the community and people who can donate their time or some funds to keep our school in operation.

“We invite people to sponsor a child for only 2,000 baht a month or to volunteer their skills in art, dance, sports and so on, to share with our students,” Sabine says.

To learn more about the Yaowawit School Kapong, visit or call Sabine Kraus at 082-283 8355.

— Bruce Stanley


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thais more relaxed about Covid-19

Bangkok6 hours ago

‘Win’ motorbike taxi drivers protest against GrabBike in Bangkok, Thailand

World6 hours ago

China not cod-ing about its zero Covid policy as it tests fish

Sponsored2 days ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Travel6 hours ago

Affordable but stylish hotels in Koh Samui for your next holiday

Thailand6 hours ago

Female soldier seeks help after being abused by senator’s wife

Crime7 hours ago

2 fake monks make up to 40k baht per day scamming villagers in northern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime8 hours ago

Man stabs wife’s secret lover to death in rice paddy in central Thailand

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand movie legend Sombat Metanee has died, aged 85

Crime9 hours ago

Teen soldier murders cousin for allegedly raping his mother

Video9 hours ago

Thaiger Unfiltered

World10 hours ago

Monkeypox victims told to avoid animals after pet dog is infected

Thailand10 hours ago

Elephant rips mahout’s body in half in southern Thailand

Thailand11 hours ago

2 men on a motorcycle rob a gas station in Chon Buri

Thailand12 hours ago

PM Prayut suggests studying Buddhism to cope with rising electricity bills in Thailand

Thailand12 hours ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11