Birds & Bees Resort supports education in rural Thailand
In the midst of lush tropical surroundings, on Pattaya’s beautiful Hu-Kwang Bay, is where you’ll find the Birds & Bees Resort. This idyllic hideaway features nicely designed rooms, two swimming pools, a secluded beach and a popular seaside restaurant. However the main difference here is that a substantial amount of the resort’s profits are donated to the Mechai Pattana School in Thailand’s northeastern Buriram province. This secondary school is part of the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation (MVF), an organisation trying to eradicate poverty by promoting philanthropy and offering education to underprivileged children and their families in rural Thailand.The school itself was opened in 2009, and is entirely constructed of bamboo. Reflecting its commitment to preserving the environment, the bamboo campus can last for about 80 years thanks to a special preservation technique. Moreover, at 30 metres in diameter, it’s also the world’s largest bamboo geodesic dome.
Besides standard education, the bamboo school puts a strong emphasis on project-based learning. With the teachers’ guidance, the students learn to identify problems and come up with solutions which also positively affect their community. In fact, the school itself serves as a life-long learning centre for the entire community to learn about agriculture, business and general vocational skills.
One of its most important projects is the school garden. While parts of the produce are used for the school lunches, the rest is sold at the market, generating income to support the school. This process teaches the children both farming techniques as well as how to build their own sustainable businesses.
There are no school fees, giving each child the same chances regardless of social or economic background. However, in return, the students and their parents are expected to plant trees, do community service or help with various projects throughout the year. The school operating costs are funded through an array of social enterprises, including the Birds & Bees Resort. In addition to its financial support, the resort is also home to a second bamboo campus, enabling the kids to study in a different environment, do internships and learn more about the hospitality industry throughout their studies.
These innovative teaching methods have been highly praised by the Thai Ministry of Education and international institutions. As a sort of role model, the school is encouraging others to follow its example and offers teachers from rural areas training to improve their skills.
Next time you are in Pattaya, take advantage of the opportunity to contribute to a good cause and enjoy a wonderful stay at a very eco-conscious beachfront resort while you’re at it (the resort’s own massive organic garden is an amazing site to see). Andif you’re wondering why it’s called the Birds & Bees Resort, one clue is that it’s part of the same organisation behind Bangkok’s wildly successful Cabbages & Condoms restaurant (located on Sukhumvit Soi 12). For more information about the charity, visit www.mechaifoundation.org.
Birds & Bees Resort
366/11 Moo 12, Phra Tam Nak 4 Rd.
Tel: 038 250 556