A few words

Our History

Seeds of Change Phuket (SOC) is a charitable project established in 2013 with a focus on empowering underprivileged individuals in Phuket, Thailand. Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty by providing education, vocational training, and an “earn as you learn” scheme. We offer opportunities to both Thai and Burmese individuals, equipping them with the skills needed for employment. So far, we have taught hundreds of students, in crafts and sewing, from the Banya literacy center in Thalang, and since 2021 we have trained 14 local unemployed people (aged 16 to 59) in a 3-month training scheme, how to sew of which all now are employed either by SOC or elsewhere in Phuket.

Mid 2022, SOC became aware of available premises in Koh Sirey, which belonged to the Life Home Project Foundation (LHPF), As LHPF was not utilizing their property which consisted of 10 buildings, SOC was offered the opportunity to rent this premises from November 2022, which was funded by Living Waters Phuket Foundation (LWPF) for one year so we could continue sewing training. We are working from the premises which includes a shop, sewing room, and craft room, to enhance our sewing production and training. We currently have 10 people who are working for SOC on piece work, support staff and shop staff, who create products for international hotels and clothing brands in Thailand, making the program self-sufficient. LWPF also funded SOC 2 sewing machines and once The Church of the Latter-Day Saints in Bangkok (LDS) heard about SOC they also donated more sewing equipment.

Looking at the premises in Koh Sirey and recognizing the need for quality staff in the hospitality industry in Phuket, especially after the exodus of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic both Samantha and Simone came up with the plan to besides sewing we could train hospitality staff, generate hotel rooms and students’ rooms, and teach them basic English at the same time.

After discussing this with different people around us we were successful in our application for funding in early 2023 with another generous donation of half a million baht, from Church of the Latter-Day Saints in Bangkok (LDS). With this funding we were able to renovate two rooms into hotel accommodations for training purposes (Block S), and upgraded Block O to provide housing for students. Besides this we now also have one classroom and an office. Part of the funding included purchasing all the necessary furniture and other appliances required for the upgrade.

The premises consist of ten buildings which we have all utilized. Three blocks, named S, O, and C, have a total of 24 rooms. Block S serves as the hotel, with four rooms (two of which are yet to be converted), Block O is designated for student accommodation (10 rooms), and Block C remains untouched and disorganized (10 rooms). Block C can potentially be utilized as living quarters for students who come from outside Phuket and are awaiting job placements or housing. Alternatively, it can be converted into additional rooms for students.

Our new program focuses on teaching basic English language skills and hospitality skills, specifically housekeeping, to Thai and Burmese participants. Our aim is to equip them with the necessary tools for employment. During their training, participants reside on the premises, receive three meals a day, gain practical experience, and earn while they learn.

At SOC, we train individuals aged 18 and above to become employment ready. In the mornings, foreign volunteers teach them basic English skills with a Thai person present, while in the afternoons, a full-time Thai teacher, assisted by a foreign volunteer, provides hospitality training. Our approach encourages students to think outside the box, pay attention to details, and maintain cleanliness, hygiene, and safety in their surroundings. Additionally, we emphasize multitasking, using translation tools with guests, and being ready to assist anyone in need. As part of their education, students also learn to maintain the premises by cleaning windows, bathrooms, offices, and disposing of trash, fostering a sense of awareness, responsibility, and Teamwork.

The training program spans eight weeks, five days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm. Students reside in converted blocks, which now offer a total of 10 rooms, accommodating a maximum of 20 students.

Part of the training Scheme is the “Earn as you Learn” system we provide our students with 6000 THB per month which enable them to support their families. Mint and Sam, both Thai members of our team, will serve as mentors to the students, offering guidance in hospitality, personal grooming, hygiene, and more. We maintain regular contact with our students even after they finish their training and secure employment, ensuring a smooth transition and continued support.

The current calculation to fund one student per month is 25,000thb (the more students the lower the cost) including salary, food, accommodation and all the training.

In terms of previous funding, we have received donations from various sources, including Living Waters Phuket Foundation, Charity Auction by Tim Newton Today, Fund raising charity walk with Simpson Marine, 5 Star Marine, fundraising events, and gala events, we also have been gifted a shop at the Novotel in Kata where we sell all out products.

The sewing room generates income through the sale of products to local clothing brands and hotels, as well as through donations of furniture and fabrics from hotels undergoing refurbishment.

We are also exploring the possibility of government funding, which could be utilized for hiring new teachers and other essential expenses once we change off board and objectives is official.

Overall, our goal is to create a sustainable model that empowers underprivileged individuals, provides them with valuable skills, and supports their transition into the workforce.

Now the dust has settled we are finding that there are several items that are required to ensure the success of this training:

Second classroom:

  • White Board,
  • TV,
  • Computer
  • student materials
  • aircon

Hotel Training Room:

  • Water pumps due to low pressure
  • Professional Vacuum Cleaners

General Maintenance Items:

  • Jet Wash Machine
  • Tool Box & Tools
  • Drill & Drill Driver.

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