About The Family Connection Foundation
The Family Connection Foundation was established in 2006 in Chiang Mai by Chiangmai Christian Fellowship. Chiangmai Christian Fellowship is a local International Church where Christian expats can find Christian Community while living abroad. In order to understand why this group of expats created the Family Connection Foundation (FCF), it is important to understand the FCF Core Distinctives.
One of the core beliefs of Christian people is that the God who made us wants us to love people in the same way He loves us. That means that as Christians, we are to show love and kindness to others and not just to important people who can pay us back for our kindness. We are to love those who are poor, the orphans, the outcast, the alien, and those who are at risk for abuse and human-trafficking. Therefore, helping people in need is a fundamental value to those who participate in this community.
As the members of the Chiangmai Christian Fellowship International Church (CCF) met together regularly, they began to ask how they could show God's love and kindness to Thai people and especially to the poor, the orphans, the alien, and those at risk for human-trafficking. It was decided that the best way to really help people in need was to form a Thai Social Foundation so that they could develop projects that would meet specific needs that they identified in Thai society. For example - poverty, broken families, drug addictions, and human-trafficking. Timothy Dunham was nominated by CCF to establish FCF and to serve as its Director. It was also decided that CCF would begin to collect funds on a regular basis to go toward helping Thai people in need and that these funds would be distributed through FCF.
The process of establishing FCF was begun in 2004 and was finally completed in 2006. FCF owes a great debt of gratitude to Ms. SaengDao, who was the first Thai employee of FCF and who has served with great diligence from the very beginning to assist in setting up FCF and guiding and directing us all along the way. She has been invaluable in making sure we understand all the rules and regulations in operating a Thai Social Foundation and in helping us implement procedures that strictly follow Thai laws.
Before FCF was finally approved, the members of the CCF International Church began an informal project in the Kam Phaeng Ngam community with the help of Poommarin and Somchai. It was very evident that there were many very poor families in this community. We also noticed that most of the children in this community were not completing M.6 and were not going to College or even vocational school. There was a cycle of poverty in this community from which the children could not escape. We began teaching English to the children and began building relationships of trust with the children and their families. We felt that if these children were to break out of the cycle of poverty they would need better education. In 2007, we began to provide scholarships so that the Kam Phaeng Ngam children could attend better schools. The impact this has made on the community has been dramatic! All of the students who received scholarships stayed in school through M.6 and over 90% of those went on to attend college. The ones who did not attend college all went to vocational school. These students will now have very different lives as they will be able to get better jobs and will be a more productive part of society. In addition to providing scholarships for these students, we also provided mentors who taught these children about life and making good choices about things like drugs and sex. These youth are now strong and successful young people who are breaking the cycle of poverty!
In 2006, FCF started with only a couple projects: The Kam Phaeng Ngam project and the Ban San Rak project (a children's home for orphaned and abused children). Since then, FCF has expanded because members of the CCF International Church have seen more needs and have started projects to meet the needs of Thai people. As we grew, other people and organizations outside our local expat club became aware of FCF and have requested that we help them in setting up their own projects. We have been very careful about who we accept and what projects we have established. All applicants who wish to volunteer under FCF must prove that they are committed to the same Christian values as CCF. They must have a love for God and a desire to show God's love to Thai people. They must also demonstrate a clear vision and a well-organized plan for their project before they will be accepted to serve under FCF. They must also fit into one of six key focus areas:
- Caring for children and orphans,
- Anti-human trafficking,
- Community development,
- Family development (including helping teen and single moms),
- Training in religions, morals and ethics, and
- Leadership development.
FCF has grown to include more than 15 different projects working in three provinces with over 75 foreign volunteers and over 60 Thai staff. The CCF International Church continues to raise funds for FCF projects. In 2015, CCF contributed 1.24 million baht to FCF projects. But that is only a small portion of the total FCF budget - 38 million baht in 2015. Most of the support for FCF projects now comes from outside of Thailand. Each project is responsible to raise the funding for their project, normally from their home country or sending organization. We now have members from many different International organizations like SIM, Pioneers, TEAM, Reach Global, Tranzsend, Nvader, as well as many private individuals. These funds are helping Thai people and Thai communities in significant ways. In this report, you will see how the volunteers and Thai staff, along with all the funds contributed, are being used to impact the lives of Thai people and communities! We are all here because we love Thai people and we want to show God's love through giving, helping, and showing kindness to those in need!