02 December 2010

Orchard schools branch out

Some 50 migrant children receive a primary education at an orange orchard in Chiang Mai's Fang district.  For many of the children, it is the only “school” they have ever known. © UNICEF Thailand/2010/M. Thomas

By Nattha Keenapan

(The story was published in Outlook, Bangkok Post on December 2, 2010)

CHIANG MAI, Thailand – Inside one of the many sprawling orange orchards that stretch  across northern Chiang Mai’s Fang district near the border with Myanmar stands a simple, one-story building with a rough concrete floor, sticks of bamboo for walls and a thatch roof.  Once used by the orchard’s owner to store sacks of fertilizer and farm implements, it is now utilized for something much more precious and important – a place where migrant children can receive an education.