Conclusion of Ban Nongkad School Kitchen Project – Thailand

This project has been successfully completed, under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Susan Goodson Fatherree. To see the history of the project CLICK HERE.

The project was to install a new septic tank, rain gutters, and sink, renovate the handwashing station, and install new piping and kitchen improvements. In actuality, much more was accomplished.

Susan and the principal of the school succeeded in leveraging our contribution by attracting additional donations and a contribution from the school district.

Susan reports:

The project was able to expand from the original plan to put in new gutters and a roof over the outdoor sink area. The final renovation included a new concrete floor and drainage canals that corrected an area that constantly flooded; new gutters, a new roof over the outdoor water sinks; a renovated indoor cooking room that now includes a new sink and counter space for the preparation of food; 2 new gas cooking burners and tanks; new cooking pots; a new refrigerator; new eating utensils for 184 students; new faucet appliances on all water outlets; and fresh paint everywhere!

Funds for a new septic tank were used to put a roof over the outdoor sink area and walkway to enhance water drainage and runoff. Labor was donated by parents and community volunteers and the students even participated by carrying materials and serving meals and snacks for the volunteers. The project complied with the projected budget and was completed within a one-month timeframe. It is a sight to behold!

Susan describes the impact of the project:

The funding given by Water Charity started a domino cascade of cooperation and collective participation in a community that was stifled by the need for financial input. The students now have an improved area to take their meals and snacks that is easier to clean and free of standing water and they are able to wash in an area that is covered.

Food preparation has now been separated from the area where hands are washed. Students, teachers and staff can now conduct sanitary practices that are supported by a repaired and better-equipped facility.

Parents were also excited about the project. The community holds many meetings at the school and now they have a well-designed and clean area to conduct business and hold social events.

Everyone in Ban Nongkad benefits from this renovation. The villagers of Ban Nongkad want this elementary school to set a new standard for the other schools in their tambon. Parents have taken more interest in the facility of the school that houses their students on a daily basis. And with the actualization of this project, the community is now more committed to taking on new projects at the school.

Pa-ah Kwan Panchan, Principal of Ban Nongkad Elementary School, and his faculty and students extend warm appreciation to the donors and supporters of this important facility improvement.

As a facilitator and Peace Corps volunteer I wish to express that it has been quite an experience to see how effectively dollars, collective input, and determination can create the impetus for change that is sustainable and ongoing.

So many people can share in the success of this project. And it was great to have the Peace Corps Director for Thailand, Dr. John Williams, pay a visit and show the students on their new world map mural where his home is in America. We all enjoyed refreshments prepared by the students in the new kitchen and eating area. The smiles were beaming endlessly.

The project photos tell the story better than words.

We are grateful to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing the funding for this successful project.