Monday, December 3, 2012

We Have Passed the 1,000,000 THB Mark !! - by Marco Gorin

While a number of fund raising activities are still in progress we have officially surpassed the ONE MILLION baht mark in our fundraising efforts – this means that over $36,000 USD have already been collected to support young lives at the orphanage this year!

As per originally announced, in the course of this edition of Charity Trek we have worked hard to differentiate and expand on the number of fund raising activities apart from the big trek and climb of Imja Tse this past November.

Our associates in San Diego (USA) raised well over USD 6,000 through a Comedy Show hosted earlier this year.

The Galileo Thailand team has been active with sales of the wonderful book for children " The Story of Baitong & Boon" 1,000 copies of which were donated by an acclaimed Thai writer.

In India we organized a mela where quality clothing was sold for charity (over USD 2,000 were raised then).

The dates for the next visit to the orphanage in Yasothon have now been set for 27 and 28 December 2012. On that day we will be delivering the final total amount raised by cheque along with presents for the children.

We will continue to raise funds up until only a few days from the visit so in case you have not yet extended support this is a good time to consider and reach out to make an even greater difference to the lives of the HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation.

This can be easily done through the on-line credit card donation gateway accessible through this site (see to the right of this post).

Thank you

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Resounding Success for The Hope Collage (Charity Trek 2012 Sister Charity) - by Marco Gorin

A few months back Eli Snider joined hands with Charity Trek 2012 and launched The Hope Collage a sister program in California (USA) in support of the HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation.

The major fund raising event being a comedy show took place last Saturday night in San Diego raising a total in excess of USD 6,000. 

Added to the USD 30,000 circa raised so far by Charity Trek 2012 and The Hope Collage and considering that there are additional fund raising activities taking place at both ends between now and the 27-28 December when we will visit the orphanage to deliver the funds, it now looks likely that this will be the greatest year for our fund raising activities and indeed one of the best for the children.

To learn more about The Hope Collage and the fund raiser event please click here






Thursday, October 11, 2012

Charity Trek 2012 A Success! - By Marco Gorin

While fund raising activities continue this is to report that Charity Trek 2012 reached the top of Imja Tse at 6,189 m above sea level in the late morning of October 2nd 2012. With ice and snow conditions deteriorating due to the lateness in the day Steve Skilbeck managed to reach the highest spot on the mountain to fly the flag for the 100+ HIV orphans of the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation. The view from the top was spectacular and only rivaled in its beauty by the tremendous support that many have been providing in making this, most probably, the most successful Charity Trek ever in its 4-year history.

We will continue fund raising activities until early December just a few days before visiting the children in Thailand on 27 and 28 December 2012.

For the ones who needed any proof of our determination and commitment to the cause here are some pictures. It is not too late to make a difference by making a donation.

Thank you





Monday, July 30, 2012

Australian Support for Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation - By Steve Skilbeck



Formed back in 1996 to help Thailand’s Australia’s expat community stay in touch and socialise with one another away from home, ‘Australians in Thailand’, (AIT) actively engages with the local community through a programme of fundraising events.

Just weeks before we undertake another high altitude trek and climb in the Himalayas to help raise funds for the Suthasinee Noi-In Foundation, AIT gave a welcome boost to our efforts by generously donating 50,000 baht to support the eighty-plus orphans at the orphanage.  Charitable support of this kind goes a long way in helping the Foundation feed, clothe and educate the children as well as purchasing antiretroviral drugs for those at the orphanage who are HIV-positive.

Good on you AIT for your magnificent gesture!

Pictured with Steve Skilbeck is Peter Scott, president of ‘Australians in Thailand’. http://www.ait.org.au/About.aspx

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Letter of Recognition from the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation - By Marco Gorin -

For all individuals considering making a donation to support the HIV+ orphans at the Foundation this letter provides a further proof that we are closely associated with the Foundation and that we act on their behalf.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Save the Children - By Marco Gorin




I had the pleasure and honor to visit the abode of Mahatma Gandhi in Ahmedabad (India) recently. As I stepped through the gates I came across a sign which reinforced my commitment to do something significant to impact positively the lives of the 100+ HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation in Thailand.

The plaque read:

"THE LAW OF LOVE COULD BE BEST UNDERSTOOD AND LEARNED THROUGH LITTLE CHILDREN"

Over the past few months of fund raising activities in the lead up to our trek and climb to the summit of Imja Tse, we have already come a number of caring, generous people whom have stepped forth and contributed to our effort to make a difference in the lives of a group of little children whom have done nothing wrong in their lives and yet have been dealt such a harsh hand.

These children have become our role models. They are courageous, positive in their attitudes to life, they are relentless in their positiveness at the beginning as well as at the end of every day.... they are the true heroes.

We sincerely hope that others among you will take that step forward and say:

"I DO CARE"

It is so simple. Do it and you will not regret it. Make a donation now. Make a difference.

Thank you 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Donations Guide - By Marco Gorin

Below is a menu to assist you understand where and how your donation will make a difference in the lives of the children at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation:



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Launch of The Hope Collage - by Marco Gorin

Back in November 2011 we announced that our association in support of the HIV+ orphans of the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation had grown bigger through the joining of another committed fund raiser and team member, Eli  Snider.

Based out of Sand Diego, USA, Eli has been hard at work to create and launch a parallel fund raising activity separate to Charity Trek yet ultimately ensuring consolidation of donations into the same charity account in support of the same cause.

Eli has opted to approach fund raising in a different and very creative manner.

We are extremely happy and proud to announce the official roll out of "The Hope Collage" which will ensure greater awareness of the plight of the children as well as greater participation from US-based donors.

Well done Eli!


Visit "The Hope Collage"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Live a Perfect Day - By Marco Gorin

"You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you"
- John Wooden

Whenever I have been making a donation I have always wondered how far it will go, what will it do, will it make a difference and if so how?

We have been hard at work with the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation to establish and share some clear guidelines to help all who are interested in making a difference to the lives of the HIV+ orphans under its care, understand what difference their donations can make in the areas that REALLY do matter for the survival and future of the 100+ children we have now been working closely with and for over the past four years.

YOU can help CLOTHE, TEACH, FEED, NOURISH and HEAL the children and we hope this donation guide will help you better understand how much impact a simple donation can make to their lives.

"Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: TRUE FULFILLMENT"
-Anthony Robbins

THANK YOU


Friday, March 30, 2012

Maintenance Work on On-Line Donation Gateway on 4th April 2012 - By Marco Gorin


We will shutdown the payment system for maintenance temporarily during Wednesday 4 April 2012 between 01:00 AM to 4:00 AM Bangkok time (GMT +7). The maintenance will improve our system efficiency.

During the maintenance period all services will not be available including logging in and donations will not be processed.


Anyone planning to make a donation in support of the HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation kindly take notice and avoid trying to process any donation at that time.

Thank you

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Over USD1,400 Raised Through Clothes Sale! - by Marco Gorin




Recently the sourcing office of a leading European department store chain donated a large amount of samples. These were made available at INR100 (USD2.0) apiece over a week at a private charity sale at our apartment in Gurgaon (India).

The voice spread fast and a large number of people showed up every day to snatched amazing bargains while supporting the HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation in Thailand.

This was part of various fund raising activities we are conducting in the lead up to the climb of Imja Tse in late September 2012.

A total of USD1,404 was raised and has already been deposited in the dedicated account in Thailand in which we hope to have deposited double the amount of donations and funds raised during the 2010  campaign by the time we return from the Himalayas in mid October 2012.

Donors and Partner Fund Raisers are welcome to join us and make a difference in the lives of the children at the Foundation.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It is a Good Start for Charity Trek 2012 with Plenty of Media Coverage to Support - By Marco Gorin



As activities are beginning to ramp up with just 6 months to go before we set off for Nepal, Charity Trek 2012 is already receiving plenty of attention and support from regional media.

Recently Travel Daily Asia, Travel Daily India as well as TravTalk Have covered the subject and provided access to this official website for donors across the Asia Pacific region.

With combined readerships in the hundred of thousands we are hopeful to further increase visibility of the plight of the HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation in Thailand.

Copies of the articles are available above on this post.

We invite readers to take just a few minutes of their time to complete the simple on-line donation process and with it make a substantial difference to the lives and future of the children at the Foundation.

Your support does count - no matter how big or small.

Please donate and show that you do care.

Thank you

Saturday, February 25, 2012

When Drops Can Make an Ocean - By Marco Gorin




A few days ago the sourcing office of a prominent chain of department stores in Europe kindly donated some 17 large carton boxes packed with high quality fashion items.

As these are not for children, at first we pondered what to do and how we could turn them into something of relevance for the HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation.

We decided to run a private sale where any item would go at a mere INR100 (USD2.00) regardless of size or quality.

For the past two days there has been a constant stream of visitors eager to buy and, by doing so, donate.

To this moment we have raised in excess of USD1,000 and with still a lot of items available we aim at doubling that before the end of next week. This will make a significant contribution to the overall amount which is being raised in support of the HIV+ orphans in Yasothon.

While this is an exciting development, by itself it will not be enough to make a real difference to the lives and future of the children at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation whom desperately need more support, care and love.

You are cordially invited to join us and make a difference quite simply by making a donation. No matter how big or small.... it will count towards making a substantial impact to the lives of less fortunate individuals while making, we are sure, very little difference to your life.

Join in. Show you care.

Thank you

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Thank You Letter from the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation - By Marco Gorin




In December 2011 Steve Skilbeck and I along with members of the Galileo Thailand team and other supporters visited the orphanage to deliver cash donations which had reached us late at the end of Charity Trek 2010 edition as well as other materials and presents for the children.


Following up from that visit Khun Suthasinee herself has sent us a letter of thanks which all supporters / donors deserve to see as they are very much part of this.

The recent floods in Thailand have made it more difficult for the HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation.

The floods have dramatically decreased the number of donations and reduced the focus on the plight of the large group of orphans aged between 1 month and 16 years of age.

Anti-retro viral drugs, food, educational supplies, clothing are among some of the vital needs for this community of children.

We urge all visitors and readers to step forward and make a donation on line on this site (http://www.charitytrek2012.blogspot.in/ ).

It is easy, it is secure, it is multi-currency and many types of credit cards are accepted.... ABOVE ALL IT CAN MAKE A GREAT DIFFERENCE TO THE LIVES OF THE CHILDREN AT THE ORPHANAGE. Please assist. Visit Charity Trek 2012 now and make a donation.

THANK YOU!!!!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Suthasinee Noi-in Proclaimed "Asian of the Year 2011" by Readers Digest - By Marco Gorin



During our recent visit to the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation (aka Home Hug) we were informed by one of Khun Suthasinee's assistants at the orphanage that she had been recently awarded a very prominent recognition at the Asian of the Year 2011 nominations by Readers Digest. Not only this is a tremendous homage and recognition to her tremendous work and strength but also, we believe, a further endorsement proving the relevance of her work and the work of her associates in support of the HIV+ orphans in Yasothon.

The following is a copy of the recent article appeared in the Asia edition of Readers Digest (December 2011):

Even with a fatal cancer eating away at her little by little, this strong-willed woman will not give up on saving the lives of hundreds of HIV/AIDS orphans

Suthasinee Noi-in is better known by her nickname Mae Tiew (Mother Tiew) among the AIDS/HIV orphans living in Home Hug Orphanage. Though she established it in 1987, it took her more than ten years to turn what was once a makeshift shelter into a properly run orphanage in Yasothon province, in northeastern Thailand.

Suthasinee’s devotion to her cause came under the national limelight in 2007 when her story was turned into a TV commercial for a life insurance company. The popular ad showed her dedicating herself to maintaining and supporting these children despite suffering from cancer herself. But “fragile” is not a word you would use to describe this smiling, average-sized 54-year-old woman who seems to glow even without any make-up. If she were fragile, hundreds of children might not be alive today.

Her desire to help others started over 25 years ago at university when she joined a volunteer camp to help poor farmers in the province. However, her inspiration went further back to her imperfect childhood. “Coming from a broken family, I grew up as a love-deficient child. But my parents taught me an important lesson—we should set a good example for the children instead of just repetitively telling them what to do. My father was my role model for making other people happy and my mother was a role model for sharing love with others,” she says.

Suthasinee is the second of three daughters. She spent her childhood in Rajburana district in Bangkok. Her father was a civil servant who was often away from home, while her mother was a homemaker. Today Suthasinee is taking care of her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease; her father died some years ago.

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bangkok Technical College, Suthasinee decided to take a teaching job in the northernmost province of Mae Hong Son where her students were ethnic mountain people. Then she moved to Child Village in the westernmost province of Kanchanaburi. After that, she switched to work for a non-government organization that aimed to improve the quality of life of slum dwellers in the Khlongtoey District of Bangkok. During the course of working in the slum area, Suthasinee started to notice the great suffering of many poor HIV/AIDS-afflicted children who became orphans after one or both parents succumbed to the disease. This was especially prevalent among the migrant workers from the northeastern part of Thailand. She decided to tackle the problem at the root cause by choosing to work in Yasothon province—among the poorest areas in the country—since that was where she attended camp during her university years.

“After living in Yasothon for a while, I realized that the problem of AIDS/HIV orphans was much more complicated than what I had initially thought. I felt compelled to do something to help them by enabling them to live a happy life with their close relatives and neighbours. The best strategy is to strengthen the family bond and promote social acceptance. It is essential to prevent the problems, because we will never be able to solve them all,” says Suthasinee.

At present, Home Hug Orphanage accommodates around 87 children between the ages of three and the late teens. There were over 100 children last year but several succumbed to complications due to HIV/AIDS while others have completed their education. In addition to those living in the orphanage, Suthasinee also takes care of some children who still live with their parents at home.

Home Hug Orphanage always welcomes volunteers to help care for the children, especially during weekends and school breaks, since supervising close to 100 children from different backgrounds is no easy task. However, Suthasinee warns that any potential volunteer should not expect to encounter quiet and passive children. The atmosphere at the orphanage is, in her own words, like “a world war.”

“During school time, the world war starts from 5 to 7am. The children wake each other up to get ready for school. In addition to breakfast, they have to take their pills regularly. The older children help out with household chores, watering vegetables and taking care of the younger kids. After the children leave for school, the world war subsides for a few hours. It restarts at around 4pm and continues till 8pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the world war goes on nonstop from 5am to 8pm,” Suthasinee says, laughing with noticeable delight.

This iron lady been suffering from intestinal cancer for several years and goes for treatment from time to time. Although she is fighting hard with the disease, Suthasinee’s desire to help the children never falters.

“When I feel exhausted, I tell them that I am going to take a rest. When I regain strength, I will tend to your requests again. When I lie down, my head becomes a toy for them. That makes the world war subside for a while. Some of them rub my head while others scratch my hands and feet. Sure enough, a lot of them will use that moment to tell me that their friends are bullying them. However, all the stories are soon forgotten and they go back to sharing some fun games again,” Suthasinee says.

Soaring expenses is the biggest problem for Home Hug Orphanage, especially the cost of medicine, which can go up to as much as $25,800 per month. When there is an outbreak of a communicable disease, like influenza, this could exceed $32,000. To maintain the orphanage, Suthasinee has sold all of her property including the house she inherited from her parents. This decision initially infuriated her sisters, but after seeing her dedication and strong will, they have reconciled.

“Sometimes we are late for the hospital bills. I ask them to send us an invoice and promise to make the payment later. The thing is there are sometimes no donors at all, especially when the country is facing an economic slump, social divisiveness and natural disasters including floods. We understand the whole situation, but wish to urge the public not to overlook the importance ofHIV/AIDS problems, especially the growing number of orphans,” says Suthasinee.

At Home Hug, independence is a key virtue. To solve the problem of insufficient food donations, Suthasinee promotes the growing of vegetables for self-consumption. She also encourages the children to search for vegetables or fish—anything edible—in their neighbourhood. On a good day, the children may see some egg soup with fish sauce on the table. Unfortunately, some days, they end up eating rice with just tamarind paste.

Many visitors to Home Hug end up being very surprised. The majority of donors, who are from Bangkok, presume that the visit will be depressing, but these people usually leave with tears of joy.

“We never encourage the children to promote their suffering as an attention-seeking strategy. We want them to be independent and live with self-esteem and dignity. None of my children look sorrowful or desperate. Because of that, many people think that Home Hug no longer needs any assistance,” says Suthasinee.

Mother Tiew always promotes education to her children to help them survive and to contribute to society in the future. She has fought tooth and nail to get her kids to sit in the same class with regular children. She also has to teach her children to be patient when they are looked upon with disdain by the parents of the other kids. Even some teachers have put pressure on them hoping that they’d leave the school.

“Education is a priceless inheritance. We can give them nothing but education. If they have a chance to attend a school and later obtain a diploma, these children will be able to stand on their own feet. They will never end up in prostitution or cause any other social problems. They will probably contribute greatly to society,” says Suthasinee.

As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Suthasinee is also enrolled for a master’s and doctorate degree in social development. Her simple reason is she would like to set a good example for her kids. “The main message is that although I am old and sick, I have to go to school,” says Suthasinee.

The first few years of managing Home Hug gave her another important lesson—death is a natural truth. After doctors confirmed that some of her children were in the final stage of the disease, Suthasinee decided to bring them back to the orphanage. She sometimes let them sleep in her arms at night. She told them stories, talked and sang to them. After some terminally ill children confessed that their last wish was to see the sea for the first time before they died, she brought them to a seaside city.

“Some of the kids did get better and went on to live for more than ten years. Today they still go to school and help me take care of the younger children. Of course, many others don’t make it and I have to let them go. In the past, some older children would have to dig a grave and help each other to make a coffin. Finally, we had to bury them with our own hands, because undertakers refused to do the job for fear of the disease. A fact is never concealed from the children. I tell them everything, even about suffering and death. All the children of Home Hug know very well that one or two of their friends may not wake up tomorrow. They never ask questions,” says Suthasinee, her voice cracking.

After composing herself, she continues tersely: “While we are alive, we should love others as much as we can. Don’t wait until they are gone and then weep for nothing. Death is the conclusive chapter of the love you mutually share with someone. Tears cannot bring the dead back to life.

So please give them love and access to medicine. Most of all, give them happiness.”

Suthasinee says that bringing up children is not difficult, but helping them grow up to be good citizens is. Family members and society in general should give them a chance to learn to be independent. When Home Hug children come to her with desperation, Suthasinee’s final advice to them is: “As soon as you give up and want to die, you start to count down to your last breath.”

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Visit to the Foundation - By Marco Gorin





On December 28th 2011 Steve and I, along with Steve's family and a contingent of colleagues from the office of Galileo Thailand made our way to Yasothon in north east Thailand in order to visit the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation. Yasothon is approximately 800 Km from Bangkok and a solid 8 to 9 hour drive from the capital subject to traffic. It is a clean little town surrounded by endless countryside where rice is the main cultivation.

Approximately short of a couple of kilometers from the town center, off a minor country lane and surrounded by thick vegetation sits the compound of the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation. A collection of various quarters which have obviously been developed over time thanks to the support of volunteer groups and donations. Dormitories, kitchens, dining and common areas, a library all designed or recently converted to feed a vast water harvesting system to support basic livelihood functions at the orphanage as well as providing some degree of water supply for the meager cultivation of vegetables and fruits nearby the compound.

In this part of the country water remains a big issue. Unlike the areas in Thailand which were recently hit by floods, this area remains subject to droughts. To make things more challenging for the kids and their minders, no access to a stable water supply is available at the compound. Water is rationed and access to this vital element is entirely dependent on a healthy water harvesting.

After a night at the only local hotel we reached the compound around 9 am on 29th December. We were greeted extremely warmly by a myriad of kids and staff. Among the kids some faces were well known to us, others, very sadly, were missing having succumbed to AIDS. There were also many new faces, some of them being literally babies whom could only be a few months old.

Some of the kids came straight to us, holding our hands, calling us DAD, eager to feel loved, eager to connect and anxious to show us the progress they have made at the Foundation.

We were then treated to a variety show entirely staged and managed by the kids whom were able to display a high degree of artistic an performing skills.

After that we were able to deliver to them a good number of gifts and toys which Galileo Thailand staff and some of their customers and partners had bought and collected for the occasion. It was absolutely heart warming to see the utter joy in the faces of those kids. Such a treat !

We were also able to deliver approximately an additional USD 5,000 which was the result of belated donations from the 2010 campaign.

This is a particularly tough time for the kids at the Foundation as the recent floods in Thailand have severely diminished the amount of focus on and donations in support of their livelihood and future.

We had the pleasure of meeting with Khun Suthasinee herself, the founder of the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation. Not only did she express her profound gratitude to us all of the people whom have been supporting them through Charity Trek but also her deep concern stating the fact that our party was the first in a long time to actually visit the foundation to deliver the much needed aid.

This was certainly a wake up call to us and it should be a wake up call to all of the generous and kind souls out there to rally once again and ensure that we can run yet another successful campaign for the foundation in 2012 !

Khun Suthasinee continues to battle for life herself against cancer but, together with a handful of close assistants, some of whom are actually grown up kids that were rescued by her themselves, she continues to be a driving force, an inspiration and a source of love and affection for the kids and to anyone whom is lucky enough to make her acquaintance.

One of our main aim on this visit was to establish specific needs at the Foundation and distill these into a funding target to be reached by the time we return from the heights of Imja Tse in October 2012 or soon after and by the time our associate, Eli Snider, and his team of supporters in the USA are through with a parallel fund raising campaign which will ultimately merge towards the common cause of supporting the children and making a difference to their lives.

The Foundation has now appointed a formal liaison person to work closely with us in order to assist us in sharing with you a more intimate knowledge and understanding of individual children at the orphanage as well as a clear understanding of what exactly your donation money can mean to them be it in terms of education, clothing, food needs or medicinal needs. Let's not forget that anti retro-viral drugs which help prevent HIV+ progressing on to AIDS are not being subsidized by the government or any pharmaceutical firm. They are very expensive as well as ABSOLUTELY and LITERALLY VITAL to the kids.

We look forward to sharing with you such details moving forward to help you understand more about the plight of these children as well as bring you closer to them.

Above all, as always, we look forward to your generous donations and support.

You can easily donate today using the safe on-line credit card donation gateway which you can access on the Charity Trek 2012 web site. It will only take a few easy steps. It is multi-currency and it was already successfully tried and tested during our previous campaign in 2010.

Be part of something which is larger than life.

Be generous.

Do care.

Thank you

Sunday, November 27, 2011

We Have Just Grown Bigger ! - By Marco Gorin

When we begun with Charity Trek in 2009 it was with one single intent, making a difference in the lives of the HIV+ orphans in the care of the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation in Thailand.

It is not about us, it is not about climbing or trekking at high altitudes or about anything else that we may think of to raise the visibility of the pledge of the kids at the Foundation. It is ultimately about being able to assist those less fortunate than us and ensure that they too have a bright chance for the future.

Over the past three years we have evolved and grown. We have grown in terms of the net total monetary contribution to the Foundation. We have evolved and we are still evolving in terms of the way in which we go about doing it.

We have doubled the amount of funds raised year on year, we have developed and successfully integrated a secure, on-line, multi-currency donation gateway, we are in the process of changing the approach to donating from cash-based donation to project-focused donation. All in order to ensure that our efforts and your generosity can make a greater and longer lasting effect on the community of HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation in Yasothon in north east Thailand.

Steve and I were recently approached by Eli Snider. Eli is the director of operations at Affinity Marketing Consultants based in San Diego, California and whom having come across our accounts of previous campaigns shared an interest in becoming a part of the team and be proactive in making a difference in the lives of the children at the Foundation. After some background research, e-mail exchanges and video conference calls both Steve and I agreed that Eli's intentions are genuine and that he should be welcome on to the project as an additional active fund raiser sharing our common goal of making a significant difference to the lives of the children at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation.

We have been discussing at length the ways in which Eli can do so. We have agreed that Eli should be in the position to evaluate the best type of activity he and other potential colleagues in his area should conduct in order to raise funds for the children. While these funds may be collected through activities other than the planned climb of Imja Tse in September 2012, the proceeds will flow into the same dedicated charity account through the same means and will add up to the sum which will be dedicated to the realization of the project to be defined and agreed with management at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation in late December 2011 when Steve and I will visit.

We believe that by diversifying our activities we will be able to extend our geographical reach as well as our ability to tap into additional sources of much needed funding and support for the community of HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation.

At this stage Eli is working with us to define those activities details of which will be shared on this site and a twin dedicated site some time soon.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask by contacting us directly at charitytrek2012@gmail.com .

A more complete profile of Eli Snider is available in the About Us section of this site.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Next Visit to the Foundation - by Marco Gorin

The dates for the next visit to the Foundation have been set.

A team of volunteers comprising members of staff of Galileo Thailand, Frank Skilbeck, Steve Skilbeck and Marco Gorin will be heading for Yasothon where the Foundation operates and care for over 100 orphaned HIV+ children in the period 28 - 30 December 2011.

We anticipate this to be both an exciting as well as sad visit. While we will be able to meet and interact with the kids and the management again we will also, sadly, take stock of any loss since the last time we visited in January 2011. Inevitably some of the children in the care of the Foundation do pass on, innocent young victims of some else's mistakes as well as of a society which, in the main, continues to ostracize rather than embrace and assist. Their loss a vivid reminder of how important our and your contribution really is.

As anticipated, on this occasion we will have an opportunity to deliver donations which did not reach us in time at the end of the 2010 campaign as well as a considerable amount of clothing donated by El Corte Ingles as well as other relevant items. At the same time we will be in a position to assess what project we should focus on for Charity Trek 2012.

As mentioned in a previous post Charity Trek 2012 will focus on raising funds to be utilized for the realization of a specific and relevant project at the Foundation thus ensuring a longer lasting legacy and relevance of the generosity and care of the many Charity Trek 2012 supporters.

We look forward to this visit. Most importantly we look forward to being able to share with you the project details soon after our return.

Keep following. Keep caring.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dates for Climb of Imja Tse are Set - by Marco Gorin




No matter what kind of project one is working on, I have always personally believed that the best way to perform and achieve the goal is to visualize. This is even more relevant when the project involves the climb of a 20,000+ feet mountain in the Himalayas.

Today that visualization just got easier as dates have been set for this new Himalayan sortie.

The team will rendezvous in Kathmandu on 21 or 22 September 2012, fly to Lukla and its challenging landing strip on 23 or 24 September to begin the trek to Imja Tse Base Camp immediately.

It will take us eight days to reach Base Camp and on the way we will reserve a couple of days here and there for some rest and acclimatization hikes utilizing the proven formula of climb high sleep low. One of these will see us aim for the top of Chukhung Ri which sits at 5,550 m above sea level (18,280 ft).

Imja Tse Base Camp sits at 5,078 m (16,661 ft). We will leave our tents early morning of the 9th day of trekking for the summit of Imja Tse up the glacier, across crevasses and up a very steep and icy head wall leading to a very narrow snow ridge and from there to the top at 6,160 m (20,210 ft).

The view is reported to be absolutely spectacular. A true 360 degrees Himalayan bonanza including some of the most famous peaks above eight thousand meters. It will be as close as one can get to the top of Lothse Sar without climbing it and I, for one, cannot wait to be able to see my favorite mountain (Ama Dablam)from a different angle from there.

Charity Trek 2012 will be a combination of trekking and mountaineering and, on summit day, it will require a certain amount of technical skills which the team will be able to refresh and rehearse on the glacier the day before we push for the summit. Ice axes, crampons, jumars, ropes, harnesses will make up our varied stock of equipment which we expect to amount to a few more kilograms compared to previous treks.

Pictures on this post are care of Mark Horrell whom climbed the peak in May 2009.


Monday, November 7, 2011

The Gift of Sharing - By Marco Gorin

Every second day I receive some message or another suggesting that if I share that same message with another 10 people my life will get better, my fortunes will turn and my bank account will just double. I am always left scratching my head at such solicitations ! I thought about it and here, on the other hand is something which, if shared and spread across your own networks of friends and family could make a SUBSTANTIAL difference and change fortunes..... I am afraid not yours nor the ones of the people you would be sharing this with BUT to the lives and fortunes of over 100 HIV+ orphans in the care of the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation in Yasothon (Thailand) which, together with colleague and friend Steve Skilbeck I have been supporting for the past three years. Share this post and link. Pass it along. It is so easy! Post it on your wall! Post it on a friend's wall !

Social networking platforms make this simple act of generosity and care so easy for all of us. You will find that there are buttons on this very page designed just for that. Tweet it, Face Book it, Subscribe to automatic and free updates to the content on this site and ask others to do the same....

It may not change your fortunes but I guarantee it will make you feel a whole lot better once you have done it ! THANK YOU