Ban Ta Klang in the Surin province, Thailand is home to 300 elephants as well as the mahout families. Romantic as it sounds, Surin is actually one of the poorest provinces in Thailand. In 2007, Surin’s GDP per capita ranked 69th out of the 76 provinces in Thailand. There are also many underlying problems in this area besides poverty.
GTAEF believes in looking at the bigger picture, and this means community support and generational change.
Poverty and family problems deprive many students of high-quality education, if not at all. GTAEF decides to give back to the community through an English program. We have employed two full-time English teachers to service five schools in the area. We believe that being fluent in this universal language will expose the mahouts’ children to more opportunities for further education and prepare them to be our next generation of global citizens.
GTAEF has also partnered up with the The Zoological Parks Organization Under The Royal Patronage of H.M. The King (Z.P.O.) and Veterinarians International to provide veterinary services to elephants in this area. The Z.P.O. takes care of clinical infrastructure and on-site admin, while GTAEF and Veterinarians International provide mobility, equipment, veterinary support and expertise. Supporting the sustainable development of Baan Taklang’s future with the above endeavors costs GTAEF US$58,000 per year.