Klong Toh Lem Academy Foundation is the community foundation to create the society for lifelong learning.
we are aiming to
1. To support the local formal school and education management.
2. To support and organize the non formal education for local youth and adult.
3. To create the community informal education (local learning center)
4. To support the local community base organization.
HISTORY and REASONS OF THE PROJECT
Kok Payom, with a population of about 600, is located 10 kilometers away from the town of Langu in Satun Province. The village is only few km from the sea and linked to it through a large river/canal: the water is salty and there is a strong tide. Most families own a boat and go fishing everyday at the river or at the sea. There are also rubber plantations and rice fields. It is a very peaceful location surrounded by an area of mangrove forest. This village is about 100 years old.
Until late 1980’s, villagers were working for a company (government concessions) to make coal from the rich wood of the mangrove forest. They cut almost all of it.Then there was the law to definitively stop these concessions and to forbid cutting the rich wood all over Thailand. [This was the start of national parks. But 80 % of the tropical forests of Thailand were already down to exportation...and locals were forbid to cut trees for their own need, even, in many cases people living in the limits of the new called national parks have been forced to leave their houses]. When Kok Payom people realized the fishes and crabs were disappearing from the canal, some villagers made the link and decided to replant and take care of the mangrove. And indeed, most of the life of the canal and the whole ocean is starting in between the roots of the mangrove (and the corals too).Nowadays, many areas have been replanted around the village, and even if the mangrove has only 2 or 3 trees species and most trees are of the same height, the life is growing under, in between the roots that can deal with the tides and salty water. The villagers want to continue to take care of the mangrove and we would like to support them with hand, head and heart power.
Villagers want also to take care of the social life of the community. The social values of respecting and supporting each other in their traditional way of life are difficult to maintain nowadays. Like everywhere in the world, villagers face more and more challenges. The community has recognized some of these problems and is working hard to find solutions to the environmental and social issues. They greatly welcome visitors, activists and volunteers who can contribute to these efforts. I (Sakkarin) moved to the village in 2010 and started KlongTohLem Academy with the villagers, an alternative school on the other side of the canal, in the middle of mangrove forest where children can learn about environment, local values, wisdoms, and language in a very natural method of learning. The informal class at this alternative school is conducted every Sunday. There are approximately 20-25 children, aged between 7-12 attending. So far, the main school building and other necessary structures have been constructed from collaboration of both villagers and volunteers. However, there is still some work that needs to be done.