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Encourage the Potential of Disabled People

The Foundation to Encourage the Potential of Disabled People


Chiang Mai is one of the most laid back and friendliest places in Thailand to visit. Whereas destinations such as Phuket are overrun with tourists and attractions to suit, Chiang Mai offers a more subdued holiday experience which is just one of the reasons expats are now seeking it as place to live on a more permanent basis.

Those who have chosen to reside here are looking at ways in which they can give something back to the community. Thailand is a very caring place, and in turn welcomes foreign visitors to become involved in community projects.

For instance, The Foundation to Encourage the Potential of Disabled People is situated near Sunday Street in the middle of the old town. It is here that long term visitors are welcome to volunteer at the foundation.

The foundation was established back in 1993 by Sunan Willcox. Sunan sadly contracted polio but, her will and determination saw her survive. It is because of Sunans fate that she decided she would, with the help of her husband Don, help others in the community who were less fortunate and proved them with equipment such as wheelchairs to aid them in their day to day lives.

Since 1993, the foundation has created several projects such as the Freedom Wheelchair Workshop and the Disabled Centre. Through these projects disabled members of the community have had there mobility and life enhanced due to the kindness of the foundation. Wheelchairs have been provided to many through donations, and wheelchairs have been altered by volunteers to suit the needs of those who need special equipment.


The Disabled Centre also offers therapeutic massages and physical therapy. Expats who have experience in working with disabled adults and children are welcome to contact the foundation with the aim of volunteering and too give back to the community.

Placements are only offered to those who can commit at least 3 months. This makes it not only worthwhile to the foundation but also to the volunteer. During their time at the foundations volunteers will built professional relationships with the team members and also the members of the public they will help.

If you are on holiday but still wish to contribute, visitors are welcome to visit the centre for a traditional Thai massage. Whole body massages are offered from only 150 bath per hour, oil massages are priced at 300 baht per hour and a foot massage is a fair 200 bath each hour.

Massages are very popular throughout the city, however opting for a massage in the centre is a great way of contributing for the services whilst relaxing at the same time.

Additionally the centre, has a small outlet with its proceeds going towards the foundation. Within the outlet visitors will find local crafts that have been made by members of the foundation. These make for interesting gifts for our friends and family back home. Laundry services are also offered at the centre so there are many ways in which you can help.

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lamphun-wat phra that hariphunchai-01     
       ited in mid-town, Wat Phra That Hariphunchai was built during the reign of King Arthitayarat, a descendant of Queen Chamthewi some 800 years ago.A principal landmark is the 46-metre tall golden Chedi which contains a hair of the Lord Buddha, having nine-tiered umbrella, made of gold weighing approximately 6,498.75 grams...

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