UPLift--Poverty Alleviation For The Ultra-Poor

UPLift is a program designed to empower communities on the Thai/Burmese border that lack food security, opportunities for income, and education. Through the use of small grants and skills trainings, these families receive the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty without having to rely on external aid indefinitely.

Monday, August 29, 2011

UPLift Project Wins Grant from Project Inspire

UPLift is happy to announce that we have won a USD$10,000 Financial Literacy grant from UN Women and Mastercard! Last week was spent in Singapore making our pitch for an innovative and inspired idea to work with disadvantaged women from the Mae Sot landfill community.
Our project will combine an effective training course, an income generation activity and a social enterprise program so that women can begin small business that address social needs on the landfill reward women for their motivation and creativity.
Special thanks to both UN Women and Mastercard for holding the event, and giving us the chance to make a lasting impact in the lives of women that currently make less than $2 a day. Updates will continue!
Another belated thanks to all of the other participants--coming from places like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Ghana, these young and motivated people inspired us and showed us that there great and effective ideas for empowering women. Congratulations to all!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Competing at Project Inspire

This week we are competing at the Project Inspire finals in Singapore! Organized by UN Women and Mastercard, Project Inspire gives a US$25,000 award to the team with the best plan for empowering women. For more information, visit the Project Inspire website here.
Mark is travelling to Singapore to present on Wednesday to represent our team, which includes both Khom Loy Foundation and Room 2 Grow Foundation from Mae Sot, Thailand. Updates to follow this week.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Good Advice

A big thanks to Ajan Boonsong for stopping by our pilot project at Hway Ka Loke learning center in Tak province to check in and give some words of advice for the ongoing construction of our pig pen there!

Ajan Boonsong is the manager of a sustainable farm test site for Partners' Relief and Development, an organization that has actively worked with Khom Loy over the past few years in the fields of education and training on the Thai-Burmese border. Partners' focuses on projects with ethnic minorities from Shan State, Burma on both sides of the border.

One thing that caught his eye at our pig pen was the large amount of water still collecting in the pit, even after the roof has been built. He mentioned that when he first began experimenting with deep-litter pig rearing that he had also dug a full meter deep into the ground, as is recommended.

However, in some flat areas the water table level (below ground) is too high and will inundate the deep-litter with water, especially during rainy season. This results in a miserable environment and poor sanitation for the pigs themselves.

His suggestion was to refill 20-30 cm of the pit with soil, and then compensate for this loss in volume by increasing the height of the concrete perimeter by one row of blocks. This will allow us to fill the litter material above ground level.