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Pattaya Daily News

31 December 2009 :: 13:12:55 pm 3675

Pattaya’s Expats Learning From School Builders

Pattaya's America expat Mr. Nathan Russo has teamed up with a Northern Thai Civil Engineer, Khun “Apple,” to promote low cost school construction in low income areas of Thailand.
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Pattaya, – Sunday 27th December 2009 [Pattaya Daily News]: – Recently, members of the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) listened with great interest, when Nathan Russo and Khun “Apple” gave an in depth talk on how to build a basic school with virtually no outside funding whatever. The story of how this started really goes back to Khun “Apple,” who gained her Civil Engineering degree in Chiang Rai, then through dam building experience gained her “Masters Degree.” This led her further to work on huge hydro-electric dam projects in Thailand and Laos, and now she is trying to secure a scholarship in order to obtain her Ph.D. Her occupation of teaching engineering students has led Khun “Apple” and her students into projects where they have built over seven schools with virtually no money from external sources.

Nathan Russo became interested in these projects when he met Khun “Apple” and his experience was formerly in America, where he carried out extensive property research & evaluations, mainly for large banking corporations. His financial expertise was helpful, as funds had to be carefully managed for building the latest Khun Tah School. This new school is located in a Hmong village called Khun Ta, where there are over 430 people and about 100 of them are children of grammar school age.

The Khun Ta grammar school that the students of Rajamangala University built was done so with funds collected from their friends is in Thoeng District of Chiang Ray Province. Here is a fine example of what can be achieved in very poor areas by soliciting donations from wealthier citizens plus using volunteer labour, and even though very poor, the local students put in 50-baht each.

Although the Khun Ta school project is finished, the construction team is still trying to raise some additional funds to renovate the canteen area, which is in serious disrepair. (If you or any of your friends can help out, phone Nathan on 0852756724). So what happens with on-going maintenance? – Nathan Russo explained that minor jobs can be carried out by the local village using volunteered materials & labour. So here is the interesting story of how Thai and western skills have been combined for the benefit of an under privileged community, of how Nathan Russo has found a new

Reporter : Harry Green   Photo : Harry Green   Category : Community News

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