9 Nonprofits in Bangkok You Should Know!

9 Nonprofits in Bangkok You Should Know!

Although information about them isn’t always readily available, there are many great nonprofit organizations in Bangkok. The work they’re doing is interesting, important, and diverse in each orgs’ area of impact. As we share in our Thai cooking class with guests about our work serving Bangkok’s most marginalized youth, we often have opportunities to point people towards other organizations as well.

Here’s a brief description, followed by links, to charities we believe you should know about, and may not easily come across on your own.

**Special thanks to the University of California’s EAP Internship program with Thammasat University for bringing many of these great organizations to our attention. 

1) ANFREL

South East Asia is a hotbed of political unrest and tension between parties jockeying to have a say in how each country develops. While the style of government differs in each country, there are none that can deny the importance of hearing citizens’ voices. Bangkok based ANFREL works to develop fair elections and an informed populace throughout the region.

Asian Network for Free Elections

2) Needeed

Pronounced like the word ‘needed’ this organization serves to find ways to solve capacity problems of nonprofits, while simultaneously serving the CSR needs of corporations. Organizations short of funding, training, or technical know-how find the Needeed team, who helps develop and execute a plan. While helping organizations who serve those most in need, they also assist companies in accomplishing the volunteering and giving objectives of organizations genuinely interested in corporate social responsibility.

NeeDEED 

3) CrCF

 

 CrCF’s art therapy project in action. 

 

The Cross-Cultural Foundation works to build on peace-making efforts in conflict prone areas. Their work takes on a variety of forms from petitioning governments to defend human rights’, to providing legal aid to those in need, and working hands on with victims of torture to strengthen resilience in communities. Their work is needed in Thailand’s southernmost province where conflict ensues, as well as other similar places throughout the region.

Cross-Cultural Foundation

4) Internews

Internews is an organization battling to solve information poverty. They operate on the pillar that access to truthful, credible information improves quality of life for all. This includes working behind the scenes to promote media literacy in the region, as well as supporting less represented communities to produce their own news content. These efforts serve to create better quality information sources that all types of people in varied locations can use to make more informed choices.

Internews

5) PSPF

The People Serving People Foundation is focused on serving vulnerable populations throughout the region. Their efforts focus on self reliance and legal aid for at risk communities. The organization is also responsible for operating the social enterprise Chamaliin, which produces sustainable handicrafts supporting urban refugees.

People Serving People Foundation

 

 A refugee woman sews her embroidery on a Chamaliin product.

6) Wedu

Wedu is an organization focusing on bolstering the role of women in societies around South East Asia. Their focus is helping provide funding, training, and mentorship for women as they pursue higher education and ambitious careers. Most notably their FISA (Future Income Sharing Agreements) program allows ambitious young women an alternative to loans in order to secure the financing needed to further their higher education endeavors.

Wedu

7) Childsafe

Childsafe, an organization protecting children, is an organization relevant to both visitors to Thailand and locals alike. Their Think Child Safe! campaign hopes to educate people on how they may be unknowingly endangering children. They are providing guidelines for the best child protection policies in a wide breadth of situations where people may come in contact with minors. The Childsafe organization is instrumental in training local businesses and key individuals in communities on how to identify and report abuse of children. The training they offer is available for everyone from a 5-star hotel’s general manager, to tour guides, and local neighborhood tuk tuk taxi drivers.

Childsafe 

8) Asia Pacific Trans Network

The Asia Pacific Trans Network or APTN is an organization advocating for the human rights of gender diverse people in Asia. Now more than ever people are becoming aware of how gender bias and discrimination in a society can negatively impact and endanger lives. Despite being increasingly discussed in the western world, recognizing each individuals human rights regardless of gender, is still a developing conversation in South East Asia. This makes the work of APTN both challenging and especially relevant in today’s efforts to create more welcoming and inclusive societies.

Asia Pacific Trans Network

 

 Courageous Kitchen teaches cooking and confidence!

9) Courageous Kitchen

Last, but not least Courageous Kitchen! While our cooking classes and street food tours are among the most popular in Thailand, not everyone knows about our social mission. Long before we were teaching master classes on pad thai, our team was active in marginalized communities providing transformational assistance and education. We believe food has the power to transform communities and treat the kitchen as a classroom, teaching aspiring young cooks to speak English better, thrive under pressure, and develop leadership skills.

Donate to Courageous Kitchen

At Courageous Kitchen we have a lot of fun and are privileged to run into many great organizations along the way. We hope we will be able to continue to share more of them with you as we grow!

Follow our Courageous Kitchen page on Facebook and be sure to let us know if you found this information helpful.

 

Author: Dwight

Dwight is the director of Courageous Kitchen, and loves sharing his passion for food with new people. 

Live Collar Free

Live Collar Free

This is not our typical type of post, nor is it an easy one to share. However, our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of one of our dear friends and longtime CK volunteers and collar free hype man, James Schipper. 💔

We met James many years ago as he was traveling Southeast Asia with his partner and would always happily stop in and help. His eagerness to learn, explore, and love rubbed off on every one of us — especially the children. He was usually the first to taste test a new recipe or get his hands dirty; all while showing off his huge smile and the daily worn-down black flip flops.


We will remember James for his infectious energy and his readiness to be silly and play, bringing joy to so many others.

Some of our fondest memories of James were exploring the streets of Penang, Malaysia and tumbling down the hills with the kids at our local Thai park. Our latest adventure: slurping down bowls of Khao Soi in Chiang Mai after a night of market shopping.

James, your spirit and energy for living a collar free life will always be remembered. You were a true friend, genuine to the core with amazing wit to match. Our hearts go out to all of your loved ones. The Courageous crew are all honored to have shared a little part of our lives with you. 🙏🏽

Author: Christy

Christy is the San Diego based Deputy Director of Courageous Kitchen. She strongly believes kitchens are the best classrooms. 

C’est la saison pour un cours de cuisine familial!

C’est la saison pour un cours de cuisine familial!

Trouvez-vous que la liste des choses à faire en tant que famille à Bangkok est limitée? Parents nous sentons ta douleur! La Thaïlande est peut-être une destination de rêve, mais il peut être particulièrement difficile de trouver des activités amusantes avec vos enfants au-delà des visites touristiques. Même parmi les cours de cuisine à Bangkok, très peu autorisent les enfants. Nous savons qu’il peut être décevant de découvrir l’un des meilleurs moyens de voir et d’apprendre sur la culture thaïlandaise, et peut être limité à certains membres de la famille en fonction de restrictions d’âge ou de taille.

Les enfants profitant de notre cours de cuisine à Bangkok, alors que leurs parents participent à proximité.

Si vous ne trouvez pas de cours axés sur la famille à Bangkok, c’est parce que la façon dont les cours de cuisine sont organisés est trop centrée sur les affaires. Les Thaïlandais admettent tous que la cuisine est le centre de la maison asiatique, mais lorsqu’il s’agit de capter l’argent du tourisme, de nombreuses entreprises obligeront autant de personnes à suivre un «cours de cuisine» que possible. Pour les groupes de touristes en particulier, opérer dans les délais et pouvoir accueillir de grands groupes a usurpé l’importance d’être accessible et accueillant pour tous les âges.

Du plaisir pour tous les âges, y compris Miss Teen Puerto Rico et sa famille.

Plus tôt cette année, nous avons pris à cœur les commentaires de nos clients qui souhaitaient y assister avec leurs enfants. Après tout, Courageous Kitchen est une organisation caritative fondée sur la conviction que la cuisine est une excellente salle de classe pour les personnes de tout âge, et en particulier pour les enfants. Ainsi, au lieu de faire de la place pour les parents avec des enfants, nous avons organisé un cours dédié aux familles qui souhaitent cuisiner ensemble.

Joyeux Noël de la part de l’équipe Courageous Kitchen, à vous et à tous nos visiteurs amusants!

Nous avons beaucoup appris en organisant ces nouvelles classes cette année. Avoir des enfants à cuisiner avec leurs parents a été particulièrement amusant à regarder, et le fait d’avoir trois générations d’une famille visitant notre cuisine a laissé des souvenirs qui dureront beaucoup plus longtemps que notre pad thai fait maison. La beauté de toute cette mémoire de vacances, c’est qu’elle nous aidera à maintenir et à compléter autant de familles dans le besoin. Nous remercions tous nos invités et sympathisants d’avoir rendu notre travail possible, et encourageons tout le monde où que vous soyez à entrer dans la cuisine en famille pendant ces vacances!

A Simple Recipe for Cooking Thai Coconut Pancakes with Kids!

A Simple Recipe for Cooking Thai Coconut Pancakes with Kids!

Happy 2019 everyone! We finished 2018 on a high, hosting a record number of families in our kids cooking class. So we want to continue to encourage people to get into the kitchen as a family throughout 2019, starting with the first holiday on the calendar, Thai Children’s Day!

Happy Children’s Day!

For the occasion we’re sharing a special recipe that’s easy for kids, tasty for adults, and doesn’t create too much of a mess in the kitchen. The tasty recipe we chose is Thai Coconut Pancakes!

We have been making this simple recipes in our cooking classes, and recently took St. Andrews school, to teach 8-11 year old students in the Eco-Beasts program, while discussing eco-friendly food and packaging.

We’ve got to get more young people thinking about sustainability to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals!

Now it’s your turn to make this simple Thai recipe! There are only 5 ingredients. Share these tasty treats by cooking and eating them with your family. If you love them, remember to support Courageous Kitchen with a donation to help us provide food and education to marginalized youth in Bangkok!

Ingredients

This recipes makes 12-15 silver dollar sized pancakes.

  • 2 cups of sticky rice flour
  • 2 cups of shredded coconut
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup of rice flour
  • 1/3 cup of white sugar
Let’s get more young people in the kitchen in 2019, no matter their age!
Teaching students to make Thai coconut pancakes and banana leaf container trays.

Thai Coconut Pancake Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add a tap of extra coconut milk if it doesn’t whisk smoothly.
  2. Put a non-stick pan on medium heat, pouring the batter carefully.
  3. When you begin to see bubbles in your pancakes, flip them until they’ve been suitably browned on each side. If your pan is warm enough, this should take only 2-3 minutes on each side.
  4. Allow to cool and serve the hot Thai pancakes on banana leaf instead of plastic or styrofoam!
Jub learning to make butterfly pea, coconut, and corn pancakes!

Can I use other fruit in the pancake instead of coconut?

This isn’t a great recipe if you’re not a fan of coconut, because it includes both shredded coconut and coconut milk. However, you can substitute the 2 cups of shredded coconut with 2 bananas, and make the very banana flavored version. The students we met at St. Andrews recently couldn’t decide which version they liked best!

Why does it seem like so much sugar?

When mixing the batter it can seem that you’re using a lot of sugar. However remember that you’re also getting sweetness from your shredded coconut. The pancakes should ideally be sweet enough that you do not need to add any syrup or butter, making them a significantly healthier snack or breakfast choice than traditional western pancakes.

thai coconut pancake recipe-2
These medallion sized Thai coconut pancakes are kids sized by default, and don’t need butter or syrup to be enjoyed!

Do street food vendors sell these coconut pancakes?

You can find these coconut pancakes at the street food vendors in Bangkok, however, they will be a different style. The type featured in this Children’s Day recipe is called paengji (แป้งจี่), but the type you see more commonly on the street is kanom babin (บ้าบิ่น). You can differentiate them easily because kanom babin is usually smaller and a variety of colors from including taro or pandan. If you spot them have a try, they are equally delicious!

If you enjoyed these recipes and info, don’t forget you can support us by joining a kids cooking class, or donating to our efforts to help people in the need!

A Fully Flavored Food Tour of Bangkok

A Fully Flavored Food Tour of Bangkok

Since we launched our social enterprise in 2017, our main business efforts have centered around giving our visitors great cooking classes. When we’re speaking to schools or promoting our efforts in the US, we point to the smiley photos of guests with smoking hot plates of pad thai, as a symbol of our efforts. But making your Thai favorites in our cooking class is NOT the only way travelers to Bangkok are supporting the Courageous Kitchen. In fact, more and more people are beginning to discover our tours and community work because of our obsession with Thailand’s street food. 

Experience from years in Bangkok hunting great street food and restaurants was channeled into our tour Street Food 101 in late 2017. We’ve pushed the goal of the tour beyond overstuffing you with tasty Thai treats (which is definitely a major part of the plan), to introducing you how to navigate the amazing and intimidating hawker fare available in the main streets and back alleys all over the city. This doen’t just begin when the tour starts, but guests can even download our street food pocket guide to begin studying in advance for our crash course in street food mastery.

Still we didn’t expect the tour to become popular. But with nearly zero promotion, people hunting a unique street food experience began finding us. This always comes as a surprise because the tour description is written in a way as to turn away many of people reading. With only a few seats available on the tour each week, we want to make sure we’re attracting adventurous eaters who’ll make the most of the chance to feast on authentic, and often terrifically spicy street food fare. For a tour of Bangkok’s Chinatown or for a more general survey of popular street food, we’re happy to point people to another company instead. 

The controversy surrounding Thailand’s street food bans, and Michelin stars being dished out to such low key eateries in Bangkok, must have also helped propel travelers’ curiosity because we have been busy. What else could explain our local newspaper mention below, sent by a family from South Africa?

We’re still incredulous!

“You’ll end up having a better understanding of why Bangkok is considered one of the top street food cities in the world…” 

Through word of mouth or social media, so many of you found us online, that midway through 2018, the cooking class and street food tours were starting to provide a significant amount of fundraising for the families we help. This has meant more budget for kids cooking classes, and being able to distribute rice and other staples to families in need. 

 For now atleast, our cooking classes are still our most popular activity. But don’t be surprised if you began to hear more about our street food exploits. We know that impacting our local community by serving people in need, and encouraging our guests to become better travelers, is what truly makes this unique experience a fully flavored food tour, and we hope to share it with more of you in 2019. 

PS – Special thanks to Karin and family for finding, scanning, and sharing this article with us!

Author: Dwight

Dwight is the director of Courageous Kitchen, and loves sharing his passion for food with new people.