PROJECTS at and under MBD...

General Info
New Montessori Kindergarden Baan Suan Dek

New Docks on the River

Baan Tor Fun
New Nursing Center
New Oven in the Kitchen Homeschool Movement
Closer to Nature Home Project Life Quality Enhancement
Dreaming for more... Spirit in Education Movement
Pak Moon Project
Baan Sob Rarn
Latya Garden Home Project

Montessori Kindergarten Project-
Thanks to the Carraresi Foundation, Moo Baan Dek has just completed the new Kindergarten. The new building, which is was finished only 2 months ago, will be the perfect facility to for the growing number of youngsters coming to Moo Baan Dek. Since Thailand's economic crisis in 1997, Moo Baan Dek has seen a major influx of young children who, due to poverty, can no longer be nourished and educated by their parents. Our new facility will enable us to have five classes of kindergarten kids. The Kindergarten will follow the teaching methods taught by Montessori. As part of this project three of teachers have been involved in Montessori training. Ai, who grew up at Moo Baan Dek, spent the month of June studying at the Montessori School in Phuket and is now one of the Kindergarten staff. Priaw, who also grew up at Moo Baan Dek recently returned from studying at the Montessori school in Australia. Moo Baan Dek has also had a Montessori educator from Australia come to the school to work with these teachers.


New Docks at the River-

The kids of MBD send out a gigantic thankyou to John and Nina Cassils! The plans have been drawn and the material is on its way. A sturdy dock, with a slide and ropes to swing on is a dream come true for these little monkeys here! Swimming at the river is an essential part of life at the Children's Village. For washing clothes, for bathing, for healing therapy and for just plain fun, the river is used numerous times a day by all. The current dock we have is a great illustration of the use it gets. The stairs are deadly, the dock itself is becoming one with the river and when 4pm bathtime hits, the small dock is as crowded as the street markets in Bangkok! The plan for the new dock is similar to the dock we have, very simple and rustic. The only changes will be in size and sturdiness, and of course the fun stuff- a slide and some ropes. The project will be done by the carpentry staff and students at Moo Baan Dek.

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New Nursing Center

Made possible by our friends John and Nina Cassils from Vancouver, Canada, Moo Baan Dek will soon start construction on a greatly needed infirmary. With so many little ones jumping in and out of trees, running up and down and all around- an infirmary is a badly needed facility! It will be conveniently located beside the new Kindergarten and in the center of the children's houses. We already have a substantial amount of supplies, brought from Canada by John and Nina to stock the infirmary with.


New Oven In The Kitchen

Baked treats are on the menu! Moo Baan Dek finally has an oven in the main kitchen. This opens up many cooking possibilities. The best thing about the oven is the healthy cooking opportunities it holds. Until now, frying was the only answer. For the kids, the best thing about the oven is the hot deserts that come out of it at snack time! Just wait till I get my hands on some chocolate chips and whip up a batch of cookies!

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Closer to Nature Home Project

In June the carpentry staff and students, using only materials from the school, built a beautiful traditional bamboo house. The house is located in the garden, set back from the rest of the buildings. The project goal, mothered by Da and Neke, is to intensify the 'living off the land' and 'communal living' ideals of Moo Baan Dek. Whereas most houses offer the privacy of a room to the house moms, in this new project the moms sleep on the floor with the children. Claypots are used to build cooking fires, and like all the houses, the garden is used as the supermarket. A lot of effort is aimed at communication, thinking and problem solving. The kids are, through active example, encouraged to speak their minds and through communication, discover ways to solve problems. Along with Neke, a 26 year old woman who grew up at Moo Baan Dek, there are five children living in the garden house. Three girls; Mhuy (8), Bellel (7), Nuan (9) and two boys; Pii (6) and Witt (7).

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The Wish List

We always have many ideas for growth at Moo Baan Dek. Some small and simple projects and some big investment projects.


A new van to replace the truck we have now (which spends more time getting fixed than on the road!)


Brushes for the Batik workshop.


Although most of our learning takes place in our "natural classrooms" and vocational workshops, we do have a need for and a legal obligation to provide a traditional
classroom setting. Right now MBD has two rooms which are used as standard classrooms. These classrooms are dark and damp and hot. We feel they are not conducive to learning. Our hope is to find funding in order to remodel these classrooms. We would like to offer our children a bright, cool, open learning environment. In the new classrooms we would like to have both communal tables for group learning, a reading area with pillows and mats as well as standards single desks. Would like to equip the two new classrooms with multimedia packages as well.

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As part of our desire to live self-sufficiently, healthily and close to nature, MBD hopes to create its own line of herbal products. We believe this will benefit the school in a few areas. It will help us investigate and promote and teach natural ways of living. As well, it will offer the students a vocational skill which they can further use as a carrier. We hope to sell these products firstly at our own shop and then hopefully sell to other shops throughout Thailand. Not only will this bring an income into Moo Baan Dek, but will be used to teach the students how to make a product, package and sell the product; to teach them how to use their skills as a means of survival. We also believe it is important for the environment as well as for our bodies, to use nontoxic, non-chemical products. We would like to help by offering safe herbal products. We already have a building which will be used as the workshop for this project. Last week Yoshimi will teach the students how to make natural soap, next month a few students will travel north to visit a woman's home where they specialize in herbal shampoo and conditioner. We will spend four days there, doing a workshop on making our own shampoo and conditioner. Over the next few months the students will learn to make natural detergent, insect repellent, lotion, soap and hair products. We will also start a special herb garden outside the herbal workshop to be used in our natural products.

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The success of our current farming project has inspired us to expand this natural classroom. Our goal is, not only to feed our community, but also to learn to create a farm from scratch. Clearing the land, making fertilizer, creating an irrigation system, planting crops, harvesting them, eating and selling; we want to do it all. Moo Baan Dek wishes to purchase a four acre piece of land which lies only 15 kilometers from the school. The property is surrounded by the river on two sides, has never been farmed and is composed of rich black humus soil. As we
wish to purchase, not rent, this land; the Children's Village Farm will be a life long learning opportunity. All aspects of education at Moo Baan Dek will be involved in the creation of the Children's Village Farm. Not only will the
land be used for farming education, but all the vocational workshops and academic courses will be involved. From the math class calculating the plot sizes, to the social science class investigating the fertilizer. From the ceramic students making pots to the woodworking students building the fence. This project will create a multifaceted learning opportunity, beneficial to our entire community.
At the Children's Village Farm we will build a Thai-style house where students can live while investigating and working on the farm. The house will provide a
meeting and discussion area as well as living quarters for student groups working on different projects.
On the four acres we hope to produce rice, water-vegetables, and fruit trees. The property is currently thick with trees and bush and roots and will need to
be cleared. This will allow us to investigate which crops we should grow where plant what we chose according to our findings. We hope to be able to grow enough rice, fruit and vegetables to feed our community of 200.
We will also build two mushroom houses in which the students will learn to cultivate mushrooms. Mushrooms are a very difficult and delicate crop to grow, but if successful, they can help the health and the finances! Learning to cultivate mushrooms will be a wonderful educational journey for us at Moo Baan Dek. We hope first to use mushrooms in our daily cooking, and then hopefully as a means of income for the project upkeep.
A fishpond will also be built at the Children's Village Farm. Not only will we fish from the river, but our community wishes to learn about farming our own fish. We will build the pond on the piece of land, and from there start the process of raising fish.
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Baan Suan Dek

Based on Buddhist tenants, the school is an attempt to create a healthy community for children where they are given love and care. There they learn how to live close to nature and how to improve their self-organization. The activities include natural farming, batik making, meditation. At present there are eight children from Moo Baan Dek living at Baan Suan Dek (Children's Garden Home).

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Baan Tor Fun (Dream Weaving Home)

This project emphasizes friendly relationships and interdependence between human beings and the environment. The activities for students are focused in the area of organic farming and medetation.The project, run by Nat and his wife, houses 25 children. Most of the children are of ethnic minority groups from the northern region of Kanchanaburi. The Dream Weaving Home is situated in the mountainous jungle the village of Songklburi. There is no electricity, running water or communication lines. At Baan Tor Fun, they live as a self-dependant community.

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The Homeschool Movement

Under current law, parents who are frustrated with the quality of existing educational institutions, are prohibited from teaching their children at home. A number of families work around this rule by enrolling their children Moo Baan Dek, but teaching them at home. By taking their examination at Moo Baan Dek they can obtain legal certification. There are currently over 30 children under such an arrangement.

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The Life Quality Enhancement Project

A combination of Buddhist practice and vocational training is provided for poor local children of a small village in the Northeast. Currently we have ten children being taken care of through this project.

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The Spirit In Education Movement (SEM)

SEM was founded by Sulak Sivaraska, recipient of the 1995 Right Livelihood Award, as an alternative to mainstream education. It provides the general public with courses on Buddhism, mediation, community building, deep ecology and green politics. For higher education, MBD cooperates with SEM to provide undergraduate education our staff and students. This education is aimed at teaching one to love nature, the environment, oneself and others. In turn these people can contribute in positive ways to the communities in which they live. Through SEM seminars, outschooling and inschooling, we hope to help our students and staff to live more meaningful lives and to instill the confidence needed to withstand consumerism.

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Pak Moon School Project

Moo Baan Dek has set up a small school in Isaan to offer an alternative education to the children living in a small village. The school is housed in a small bamboo bungalow situated in a colorful makeshift villager. The village was created over night, by 500 villagers who had lost their own homes due to the building of the Pak Moon Dam. Their mainstay of fishing and farming was destroyed and thus they became poor and malnourished. The focus of the villagers in this makeshift village (situated beside the dam), was to have to dam closed down. Mission accomplished, they now remain in the village, once again fishing and replanting. The new mission is to keep the dam closed. The school which Moo Bad De has started is run by two girls who grew up at Moo Bad De The education offered, in addition to mainstream academics, is centered on the importance of the ecosystem, nature, their environment. The hope is that through this education they will continue the fight to keep the dam closed, and thus maintain their mainstay.

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Baan Sob Rarn

This is also a mini-Moo Baan Dek. It is situated in the small Tribal Village of Sob Rarn. The village is far out in the hills and not easily accessible. Despite the isolation, it is apparent that many of the children are losing their culture. At the government school they are prohibited from wearing their tribal dress and from speaking their own languages. Many of them, after finishing school, no longer hold respect for their traditions. They often head to the cities chasing the dreams they see in advertisements. The slums and go-go bars are littered with young kids who have come to the city to find a 'better life', only to find drugs, a teeming sex industry and dirty living conditions. By building a small school in Sob Rarn, the hope is to instill a love for their culture and a desire to preserve the old way of life. The school relies heavily on the elders of the community to share their wisdom and knowledge in such areas as farming, handicrafts, herbal medicine and message. A plan for the future is to expand the project to include a museum of tribal culture run by the students. Here they will learn about and share their heritage as well as offer an opportunity to sell their beautiful crafts.

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Latya garden Home Project

This project, based at Moo Baan Dek, offers vocational apprenticeship to students in the feild of their choice. It also offers organic farming practice to all students at Moo Baan Dek. The students participate in the garden daily and they are rewarded everyday at meal time when they can harvest and prepare fresh veggies from their own plots in the garden!

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