Nicha and I had a three hour tour of two Work Kitchen projects at the Tan Ta Wan community and Wat Prasart. Multiple groups are working together around Chiang Mai through Chiang Mai Trust, The Chiang Mai Arts and Cultural Museum, Chiang Mai University, Community Gardens and community leaders, committed to improving the community. The Work Kitchen Project isn't just a food give-away. Instead, it helps poor families and others who may be disabled or homeless, to earn money (200 THB per day) by doing work in their community while providing lunch during work hours.
Our tour guides were Ajarn Fan, Chiangmai Trust Coordinator and Professor of Architecture at Rajamankala Technology University and Pharadon Phonamnuai (Opor) leader of Chiang Mai Trust. They provided great insight into two of the seventeen Work Kitchen projects.
The Tan Ta Wan community is located behind Toyota Rich on Route 11. The residents in the community have worked with the Thai government to obtain ownership of the land. They have a community kitchen set up and across the street they have permission to use land for a garden. Recently, they did a clean-up project on the land and we were able to see how they have put it to good use in starting a garden.
Then, we observed a meeting of about thirty people at Wat Prasart. They were formulating a plan to preserve the sacred fig tree planted 400 years ago to signify Wat Prasart. They plan to remove the pavement and establish a more natural environment for the tree and Wat to survive.
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