BBB Kids Project

Supporting Education Since 2005

BBB Fund started after the tsunami when we committed to help 50 children through high school and beyond.

The BBB fund was founded by Dick and Beth Balsamo and Jacqui Battaglia, three friends who have lived in southern Thailand for many years. “In the first weeks after the tsunami, we responded with food, supplies and tools for rebuilding people’s lives, and then committed ourselves long term to helping underprivileged children get an education.”

Since then, every year we’ve taken on new students. Some of them are siblings of our BBB kids, some are introduced by the teachers.

And now 16 years later we find ourselves surrounded by another wave of suffering. 

“We believe in education – and giving a hand up to families – not a handout.”

In 2020, after months in lockdown, we arranged visits with all our BBB students and their families. Our timing was later than usual due to COVID, and when we set off our intention was to help our past graduates pay off their student loans, add two new primary school kids while still supporting over 15 others in primary, secondary, uni and technical college.

In the end, we’ve added THIRTY new students to our program. What happened?

“Despite no-nonsense Thai resourcefulness, a lot of people have few financial reserves and education is often the first economy… Many families simply can’t afford to cover transportation or uniforms.”

The first waves of COVID didn’t seem so bad. Thailand contained the spread of the virus amazingly well, but soon we began to hear heartbreaking stories as the tourist economy especially was hard hit.
It takes just a little hand-up to give families a huge break in these difficult times.
Here are some of the stories we’d like to share with you:
Law is a boat driver on a part-time salary because of COVID. His wife is also out of work and they have two children and his parents to support. His sister lost her job and took off, leaving another three children in his care.
Gai is a 40-something mother of two who worked at a travel agency. This year, she suffered an unusual reaction to antibiotics, went into a coma, and ultimately lost her legs. The hospital paid her a small compensation, and her daughter dropped out of university to take care of her. With a little help, her daughter can go back to uni online, and her son to high school.

Thanks to you, our generous donors and supporters, we can help make the world a little less miserable.

 

Road report for 2020

The first day we spent at Ban Sena School in Takuapa. Kru Tookdta is the head teacher we have worked with for the last 15 years. Always helpful, she is in good form and totally ready for us with a list of the students ‘under her wing’.

The following day we met with Kru Nonglack and the students who started their education at her school Baan Kok Yang.

Both the teachers are still so dedicated and caring about their kids even after all these years. We had asked to meet the graduate students and many came to spend the whole day with us. It was like being with family as the older graduate students helped the teachers print out forms and assisted with the activities we had organized for the day. In honor of COVID we provided face masks and we all had fun decorating them with paints.

We followed up on those who need support to pay off student loans. Government student loans in Thailand come with a two year grace period and 15 years to pay off at low interest. We now support our graduates and uni students by depositing directly into each graduate’s loan account.

It’s always an emotional and intense time to meet our students and their parents, caregivers and teachers, and get updates on how everyone is coping with the challenges life presents.

On the second day of our school visit in September, we met with Kru Nonglack (thumbs up centre) and the students who started their education at her school Baan Kok Yang.

Juinee was at university, so we did her interview by WhatsApp

Happy to see On and her grandfather

For information regarding
donations or anything else, please write
dickandbeth AT jungleyoga.com
jacquibattaglia AT mac.com
Please like our Facebook page BBB-KIDS