mercoledì 16 dicembre 2015

Pistorio Foundation Best Wishes


On Building Sustainable Villages

Dear Friends,

Just this week I returned from a visit to our projects in Thailand. Each time I'm delighted to witness new developments in the village communities that we serve, as step by step stakeholders work together to pave the road to self-sustainability. Our village approach consists of a partnership between local families, village heads, the Foundation, and local government authorities, to spearhead the development of villages starting with education, by building schools and by providing scholarships to children, and subsequently by improving income generating possibilities of families through agriculture. In its tenth year since its inception, I'm proud to witness that the Foundation's initial vision of the sustainable village has succeeded.

Huay Kuk is one of the villages which in 2006 still had no school, whose children were not attending school, and families were struggling to make a living while children were frequently afflicted by common illnesses and infections. Today, the village has a vast government run school complex comprising nursery, kindergarten, primary school, playground, computer room, and library; the village now has a Health Post, with one permanent nurse, that is run by the provincial district hospital, which every first Monday of the month, organizes a mobile clinic with the involvement of doctors and paramedics who guarantee throughout the year medical examinations, analyses, and dental check ups; there is now abundant clean water supply to the school and village; numerous agricultural and livestock activities including greenhouses, production of organic compost, vegetable gardens, raising of chickens and fish pond, etc, have flourished, providing families with further income and the school with food supplies.

Furthermore, the government has built a road leading to the village connecting it with a main road at the foot of the hill, which has allowed for a further increase in the incomes of families, and the government has brought electricity to the village. All this would not have been possible without the building of the school by the Foundation, which triggered the snowballing development of the village. Today, 66 Students from this village have obtained a Professional School degree. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand has already paid two visits to the village and surroundings, which led to the construction of the road and village electrification. The village and quality of life in the village have been transformed since my first visit. We have achieved this goal in several of the villages we are working with in Thailand, and our goal is to achieve this level of development in all the villages.

Our holistic village approach has demonstrated that an average investment in the order of about 30K CHF per year over less than ten years, in infrastructure and in underprivileged children's scholarships, can transform for many generations to come the life of a village. We have now begun reducing our scholarship support as families and communities have been lifted out of poverty. Our dedicated staff in Thailand have already begun working with local authorities and institutions to identify other villages in greatest need in the region.

Our dream is to replicate and upscale this successful model in more rural villages to create strong, self-reliant communities that can stand on their own and help build a world fit for children, eradicating poverty at its root. Together we can make this happen.

Over the past ten years, across the countries we operate, Thailand, Cambodia, Morocco and Burkina Faso, we have provided over 14,700 years of schooling to over 3,500 direct beneficiaries, realized over 43 Infrastructure Projects, and over 350 students have completed Professional School. We continue to emphasize the importance of completing Professional Schools for our beneficiaries and our long term scholarships accompany them to this goal. This year we also have one University student on scholarship. Literacy skills are fundamental but not enough for poverty stricken adolescents to find jobs. We want to make sure our students receive quality education until completion of Professional School so that they are competitive on the job market to prevent any form of exploitation or discrimination and to land them with well paid jobs in reputable companies.

Again, all this has been achieved by the Foundation with close to no overhead costs, amounting to less than 5% (less than 20,000 CHF on average) of project investments budget of about 500 K CHF per year on average. Our low overhead is attributed to our volunteer based organizational structure, where nearly all the administrative and fundraising operations are led by volunteers, hiring only on the ground staff and working in close partnership with selected grassroots NGOs.

I would like to thank wholeheartedly all stakeholders - Board Members, Donors, Volunteers, Project Staff, Partners, and Communities - for working together to make a better future possible for thousands of children and for their families.

Hoping we can continue to bring more smiles to more village children for many years to come, thanks to your continued support, I would like to extend to you my heartfelt Best Wishes for 2016.

Best Regards,


Pasquale Pistorio with Thyia, Project Manager Assistant in Thailand in front of Huay Kuk Primary School 

Pasquale Pistorio with Huay Kuk Kindergarten and Primary School Children

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