Baan Cha Niang School is located in Surin, the North-Eastern province of Isan, in Thailand. It is a government run school with 54 children, one headmaster, four teachers, and two helpers. 49 kids are from Baan Cha Niang Village and only 5 from the neighbouring village Baan Samrong. Due to a low birth rate, and the fact that many locals have moved to Bangkok with their kids, the number of students has steadily declined in the recent years.
The school is conveniently located in the middle of the village, and most children walk to school or go by bicycle.
Most people living in the village are farmers, without any means to pay for private education. In the past, the government has tried to close the school and merge it with a school from a neighbouring village, but this has successfully fended off by the locals. The closure of the school would mean that parents would have to pay for transportation to bring their children to another school, ten or twenty kilometres away, adding another burden, for many cash-strapped villagers.
The story behind Baan Cha Niang foundations
Onanong and Rolf Graf, the founders of Beunite Co. Ltd., have been living and working in Bangkok from 2013 to 2020, in the tourism, event and team building industry. When the coronavirus struck Thailand in February unexpectedly and brought all business to an immediate stand-still, they decided to move to the North-East of Thailand, to Baan Cha Niang, where Onanong's parents live.
The plan to stay at Baan Cha Niang only temporarily and during their children's school vacation, soon changed during the lock-down, when everybody realized that a return to Bangkok was unlikely to happen and that the event and tourism business, so devastated by the lack of international tourists, will take years to recover.
So, the twin boys, Jason and Jacob were enrolled at Baan Cha Niang School in July 2020.