Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park

The Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park on the outskirts of Chiang Rai, Thailand was originally started as the office of the Thai Hill Crafts Foundation. Through purchasing and marketing handicrafts, the Thai Hill Crafts Foundation helped preserve the traditional skills and support the livelihoods of ethnic minorities. Subsequently the Princess Mother of the Thai royal family initiated a youth development programme and Mae Fah Luang became a home for hundreds of youths from remote areas with no access for schooling. The area had lodgings for the ethnic minority youths who came to attend schools and also learn about living in urban areas, among other aspects of modern life in Thailand. These young people were from the immediate vicinity of Doi Tung and neighboring areas such as Payao province. In addition to textbooks or classroom lessons, the late Princess Mother believed in acquiring skills from actual experiences. Students learnt how to live as a community, developing their social skills. Having shared responsibilities, they cared for the younger, learnt about time management, worked in shifts to clean their lodgings, farmed, gardened, and tended vegetable plots. The goal was that this training would help students grow into dedicated, hard-working, ethical leaders of their communities.

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