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Warm Heart catalyzes individual and community self-help. We provide equal access to education and health services the poorest children in our community need; we offer the knowledge and skills their parents need to create sustainable livelihoods and communities. Warm Heart is a nondenominational, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the radical idea that every human being deserves the same chance to succeed, whether born into poverty or prosperity.
Warm Heart is a community-development organization that provides children's homes and farm, computer and English education, Highlands integrated community development and microenterprise programs, and public health, reforestation and water projects to one of the poorest districts in northern Thailand. You can follow the progress of Warm Heart projects on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarmHeartOrg
Warm Heart's Current Projects
Children's Homes now provide:
- A safe space for 34 children from four isolated mountain villages without schools.
- A complete computer lab with our partner, FirstClicks.
The Warm Heart farm provides:
- Fish and frog ponds, chickens and ducks that help to support the Children's Homes.
- Pigs whose manure feeds a biodigester that provides our cooking gas.
- Cows whose manure fertilizes our gardens and orchards.
- Orchards that ensure that our children eat a wide variety of fruits.
- Gardens that teach our children farming.
Warm Heart Education programs now provide:
- A Head Start Program for 3 to 6 year old Hill Tribe children living in mountain villages (with partner Always Reading Caravan).
- After School teachers for all Warm Heart children.
- English conversation instruction at Phrao High School.
- Computer classes using the Warm Heart-FirstClicks computer lab.
- Public access to the Warm Heart library, public programming at our library, and a mobile library (with partner Always Reading Caravan).
The Warm Heart Highland Integrated Community Development Program provides:
- Seeds, supplies, extension services and marketing for the development of commercial Fair Trade coffee cultivation in the Hill Tribe villages of Phrao.
- Community Development Funds for villages funded by village coffee fields maintained by Warm Heart and managed through bank accounts entrusted to Warm Heart.
- Reforestation of thousands of acres of extremely steep corn fields withdrawn from use by Hill Tribe farmers in return for coffee.
- Restoration of thousands of acres of the Phrao Valley watershed to reverse decades of decline resulting from the strip cutting of the mountains.
The Microenterprise Project provides small business education and opportunities to the poorest in our community with:
- Silk growing cooperatives for the elderly;
- Spinning and organic dyeing trainings;
- Weaving cooperatives; and
- Retail markets in Chiang Mai and the US for local artisans.
In a district with 54,000 people and 4 doctors Warm Heart provides:
- Volunteer nurses and doctors to the hospital and public health clinics.
- IT support to the public health clinics.
- Sight testing and glasses for school children.
- Clinics-in-the-Clouds for mountain villages and EMT training for villagers.
- Vitamins for 1,450 pregnant and nursing women and their infants.
Warm Heart water projects have provided:
- Drinking water for one half of the people of our host village, Hoi Sai.
- A water filtration system for the village of Nong Bua.
- A 2 km clean water pipeline for Nong Pit.
- A water budget for Mae Wan Sub-District.
- The completion of abandoned well projects in the sub-district of Long Khot.
Volunteering and Interning at Warm Heart
Warm Heart is on the lookout for volunteers and interns interested in furthering the entrepreneurial and philanthropic vision of Warm Heart while improving their own skills.
We welcome volunteers of all ages and nationalities. We do not have make-work jobs, but are looking for volunteers able to commit for at least 3 months (2 for students on summer break) who bring real professional skills. See our job descriptions for the specifics, but we are always looking for database & IT people, farmers, graphic designers, nurses, English (preferably TESL) teachers, PR/marketing/communications people, and writers.
Warm Heart director, Michael Shafer, holds a Ph.D. from Harvard and has only recently retired from a 25 year career teaching international relations and political economy at Rutgers University. He is happy to supervise independent study and research projects, and other, for-credit internship options. Contact your department or study abroad coordinator for your university's regulations.
To learn more about the volunteer/intern experience at Warm Heart, visit