The Moken Sea Gypsies are the Traditional fisher people living on the coasts of Myamar (Burma) and Thailand, and live a very simple life. They are not considered citizens of either country so have no passport and are not allowed to leave the province they live in.
The Sea Gypsy children who are in great need of help live in a ramshackle village at the bottom of the beautiful island of Koh Phayam. The only way to reach their village is either by boat, wading across through the mud at low tide or pulling across on a punt attached to a rope. There is a half built bridge but it looks like that will never be finished as it has been that way for years.
They and their parents live by fishing but, with the catches around the world falling, there is never enough to eat or sell to buy other basic food required.
Fiona Parsons, is a board member of All For Villages; A registered Non-Profit Charity. She lives year round on Koh Phayam and is passionate about the plight of these people. Together with some support from the local community she provides:
- One meal a day for around 20 children & some women..
- Teaching the children English which their parents encourage.
- Creating future employment opportunities working with the many foreigners who visit Koh Payam each year.
- Providing Micro-loans to start tourist oriented ventures in the one thing they were born to do - fishing, diving and boating.
- Providing workshops in hand-made Macrame jewelry which is sold across the island & abroad. This is creating a self sustainable income for everyone. All proceeds from sales going directly into the project and provides income for the families.
- Selling hand carved long tail boats "kabangs" made by the elders of the village.
- Baking bread and muffins with the future hope of selling to tourists visiting the village.
With dwindling fish stocks all these projects will provide much needed income for the village. Remember they are not allowed to leave the province so their only chance of income is a tourist oriented business.
One other very sad reason to raise funds is a brother and sister in the village who have HIV. Their mother had this terrible disease and passed it on to them. She has since passed away. Every few months Fiona takes these children across to the mainland and then a 4 hour bus ride to a big hospital to have them tested and receive new anti-viral drugs for them. This is paid for by All For Villages.
Fiona is determined to give them a good life for the remaining time they have left.
These two little sweethearts love to make bracelets and necklaces. This is another way the Sea Gypsies raise small amounts of money.Pictures of this jewelry are available above.
We are asking for whatever you feel you can give. Every dollar will be much appreciated. Just hit the DONATE button. $5 or $10 goes a long way here. Please share on Facebook - it's a powerful thing to do!!