Innovative, Realistic, Effective

Khom Loy is a non-profit, non-denominational foundation that has been working with Burmese refugee and ethnic minority communities along the Thai/Burma border since 2003 to improve both self-empowerment and equality.

Our projects include:
Poverty Relief for the Ultra Poor (UPLift)
Montessori Preschool Literacy Project for Refugees and Minority Children
Izara Arts Fair Trade & Handicraft Income Generation
Project Inspire

Who does KLDF work with?

We work with two main groups:

Hilltribes: Over the last 100 years, ethnic minority tribal groups have migrated to Northern Thailand to escape war, hardship and military dictatorship in neighbouring areas. The current population is estimated at over 550,000 in Thailand alone. In general, the term “hilltribe” is comprised of six separate groups: Akha, Karen, Lahu, Mien, Lisu, and Hmong. All are originally from different regions, and all have their own individual cultures and traditions. None of their languages is from the same group as Thai.

Burmese refugees and displaced people: Since the Burmese military government took power in 1962, millions of people have fled the country. Among the most disadvantaged are ethnic minorities (notably Shan, Karen, and Mon) whose villages have been destroyed by the Burmese junta in areas along the border. In addition, huge numbers of ethnic Burmese people live and work in Thailand as undocumented workers. They fail to receive access to basic necessities such as health care, education and fair labor practices.

What sort of problems do they face?

Insufficient land to pursue their traditional agricultural lifestyles, leading to them becoming dependent on low-wage, seasonal labouring jobs at below minimum-wage

Lack of Thai nationality for many of these groups, meaning they cannot move out of their immediate area to seek work, nor receive education or healthcare. Others are at risk of deportation to Burma, where they may face political persecution.

High levels of malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, and poverty.

Racial discrimination when they move to cities, resulting in below-minimum wage jobs, and in some cases, being trafficked into the sex trade (elsewhere in Thailand or further afield) or indentured labour.

Loss of their history and traditions as their cultures break down.

What is Khom Loy doing to help?

We use innovative and sustainable ways of empowering marginalized peoples to improve their own lives, giving them options to design the future for themselves and their children, as well as to improve their quality of life.

All of our projects are based upon a model of participation combining knowledge, skills and abilities with the desire to solve problems that the participants themselves choose.

How can you help?

Learn more about Donating.