The Year in Review
Despite the restrictions we have all faced from the pandemic, we were able to move forward in most of our programs.
Restore the Earth
“Stop the Smoke” biochar project saw tremendous growth in 2021. We kicked off the season with a Dinner Concert at the Shangri-La hotel in Chiang Mai, to raise funds for our Restore the Earth agroforestry project.
We have 16 rai of agroforestry started in our first year.
The soil was prepared with 25 tons of biochar before planting.
We purchased and planted 2,000 tree seedlings, with expectations that 40% will survive and thrive. Next year we will buy more trees to plant.
Malawi and Kenya
In Africa, the program continues to rapidly expand. In Kenya and Malawi in 2021 we trained 5688 farmers in 115 villages so far plus the 3119 from last year, for a total of over 8000.
It is quite exciting to see the progress, and we have many inspiring videos of what is happening in Africa on our Performance of Biochar in Africa page.
The Democratic Republic of Congo joins our team
In July we were contacted by Pastor Mahamba Wa-ibera Evariste from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He asked for training so he could train all the small farmers in DRC. He was connected with our group in Malawi, and he has been busy ever since!
He reported he had 550 farmers attend the 13 trainings he conducted during August, September, October and November in the villages and Beni town rural area:
He has also participated in 38 radio shows, and with his Facebook and WhatsApp posts he is able to reach many thousands more people in many villages and towns of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We are very happy to have him as one of our team leaders!
When we first began the Stop the Smoke project we knew it was important for the environment to convince the local farmers in Thailand to stop burning their crop waste. We shared with them the value biochar could add to their soils, and offered to buy any excess biochar they could make.
In Africa, the situation is a little different. Their soils are so bad, the biochar has made such a significant difference in their crop production that they are very eager to make biochar to use, and very willing to share the information with each other to help increase food security with their neighbors.
But the benefits of biochar go way beyond reducing the smoke that is fueling our climate change problem. When buried in the ground it is sequestering pure carbon, removing it from our atmosphere.
We have been working diligently to create a program that will help small holder farmers everywhere to be able to tap into the huge market of carbon credits. Crop waste burning is a global problem. Providing the financial incentive to stop burning and use crop waste to make biochar will help increase participation, with the goal of ending the practice of open field burning.
We are always excited and happy to have people like Sister Miriam Paulette andPastor Mahamba Wa-ibera Evariste join us to help expand the Stop the Smoke project worldwide. Visit our Biochar Trust site to learn more.
Children’s Empowerment Program
In 2022, we are looking forward to a “normal” world again!
We have lots of new kids arriving to replace the bunch that graduated last year. They all need sponsors. And the kids who have sponsors would love to meet them.
Why not make 2022 the year that you vacation in Thailand? Isn’t it time to meet your child?
Visits would certainly be the greatest gift our children could imagine followed only by getting a sponsor.
So if you are a sponsor, please make this a Happy New Year by visiting. If you are no a sponsor yet, please make this a Happy New Year for one of our children hoping to have a sponsor!
So far everyone has excelled and we are delighted to continue investing in their futures. Online Classes have been the norm but with vaccination rates up, there has been time for home visits. Sadly despite their overwhelming academic achievements, in-person graduation ceremonies continue to be delayed due to the pandemic.We supported 28 students in higher education this year – 16 in high school and 12 at University (8 boys and 20 girls).
Praew is in her senior year at Phayo Technical high school and plans to apply to university in Chiang Mai.
Nipa is finishing her third year in Tourism and has been making good progress in her English.
Attitaya and Kai both started their first year of high school at Nappanich Vocational Technical College.
Tanqua, now in her fourth year of nursing school was initiated into the National Nursing Association
Naan, Jaa, and Op graduated from high school and have been accepted to university programs.
Naan is studying at the Payap International School of Nursing in Chiang Mai. So far she has been studying online from Warm Heart. She studies from early morning until late evening but has been a great help with the colds and fevers that come with the change in the weather. (It does get chilly at night this time of year.)
Jaa is at Chiang Mai Rajabhat University studying to be a Science teacher.
Op is studying law at Phayoa Lanna University. She says her time in the Military Reserve got her interested in law.
Naan is still studying nursing from early morning until late evening but has been a great help with the colds and fevers that come with the change in the weather. (It does get chilly at night this time of year.)
Soda, Faa(Sky), and Earn have completed all their university coursework and await only their final diplomas. (This can take a while.) Soda and Faa are already employed in the area they studied.
After Soda’s December 2020 graduation, with a degree in Public Health Nursing, Warm Heart was lucky to be able to hire her as project manager of our Elder’s Program where she now works full time caring for the elderly and disabled in our community.
Upon graduation in March, Faa found a project management position in one of Phrao’s sub-district offices.This is a one-year contract through a government program that funded her university (Maejo) to place graduates in local public administration positions. As a project manager, she also mentors students at a youth center setup to encourage entrepreneurship among high school dropouts.
Mint graduated from the 2-year San Patong Vocational College (University level) and was accepted to complete her last two years of university at Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna Phitsanulok.
Akanit started her second year working at the Jesuit Refugee Service. It’s based in Bangkok, but with COVID office closures, we have enjoyed having her nearby in Chiang Mai. She has started to repay into our higher education fund while saving for grad school. She started researching master’s programs in social work and just sent us a spreadsheet with her top three choices – all in Europe. We are hoping for a scholarship.
Core Competency Skills
Our Core Competency Skills project kicked off in September under the direction of our program manager Finn. Initially 10 students enrolled in our new program. Details of the program are listed on our Core Competency page.
Finn has also been teaching English and Presentation skills to the Warm heart Children during their school break,
Young Smart Farmers
The children continue to be happily involved with caring for and expanding their gardens. With a school year of remote learning, they have been located at Warm Heart.
Time to collect eggs from the chickens and weed the gardens have broken up some of the monotony of the online classes.
Our tutors have come at midday to work with the homework packets for the younger children and make sure the older ones are not getting lost without classroom stimulation.
They are especially enjoying eating the fruits of their labor! We had a wide range of vegetables, multiple kids of eggplant, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and some local squashes and greens.
The children have been introduced to salads and even the picky eaters are taking large helpings now.
The fruit trees have been bearing as well – a small mango crop this year, but rose apples, dragon fruit, and our first pomelos were eaten quickly.
They are learning lifelong skills of how to plant, grow and care for a garden to feed themselves and their families for years to come!
Microenterprise Fashion Accessories
One bright spot was a substantial order from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University for a repeat order of the 250 face masks that we did for them last year and a 75pc tote bag order.
Once again, our international design and production management team (Josephine in Spain and Tangmo in Switzerland and Warm Heart staff on the ground in Phrao) sourced the product, adapted the design to available materials and ensured quality control.
We delivered on time and budget despite the disruptions in global air and sea transportation.
We are also looking at new ways to market biochar to consumers. We recently displayed fun designs in air fresheners at a local crafts fair.
One of our Warm Heart graduates, Soda, is now the program manager for our Project Access.
Soda has impressively added over 50 new patients into her rotation while continuing to visit old ones.
Thanks to her hard work we are happy to announce that our program has managed to provide regular at-home visits to a total of 65 people on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis depending on the evaluation of their needs.
On these visits Soda ensures that medication is being taken, wound care maintained, and that food and daily care are being provided by family or neighbors.
Spikes in COVID stopped visits for weeks at a time, but Soda still delivered food and other supplies by keeping her distance.
When the situation eased, she took people for doctors’ visits, helped patients who had emergencies, and visited those confined to the hospital.
Beyond providing medical services and basic care, Soda has been a shoulder to rely on for many patients and their families – making sure they feel heard and supported.
With 2021 marking the first year we’ve set goals for this program we are happy to report that we are on target to meet our goal of 400 visits and meals provided this year.
2021 Special Projects
Malawi Special Project
In 2020 you helped Sister Miriam Paulette purchase a sewing machine so they could make face masks for the community, and an incubator so they could increase their chicken flock.
The incubator was so successful they had a new problem, they needed to build a chicken coop to house all the baby chicks!
Once again you stepped in and helped fund the material to build the chicken coop.
Last year our Giving Tuesday project was raising the funds to buy a school bus.
Our current source of energy comes from coal and is very unreliable.
This year we have a chance to install solar power and reduce our impact on the environment.
We are very happy that we were able to raise the funds to begin this project and look forward to having clean, reliable energy.
Highlights of 2021
Board of Directors
2021 also saw growth on our US Board of Directors. We are so happy to have our new Board Members and look forward to working with them.
Welcome our new Board members Mark Baildon, Kim Wimbush, Lorna Fairbairn, Robert Hocking, and Louise Donaghy. You can learn more about or new members on our Board of Directors page.
In 2021 we received a grant from The Brother’s Trust to help support our Elder Care program, and another from Airbnb.
The funds from the Airbnb grant were used for much-needed maintenance and repair to our structures.
We are so grateful for their support!
Media Coverage 2021
Citylife has been very supportive of Warm Heart’s Stop the Smoke project. in 2021 they covered 3 stories about our community efforts to raise awareness and funds for the Stop the Smoke campaign.
Businesses, activists, leaders and the concerned are coming together to find solutions to the pollution
Support the effort at the Stop the Smoke dinner, March 18, 2021
Chiang Mai comes together to support Warm Heart Foundation’s Stop the Smoke agroforestry program.
Warm Heart Foundation continues to educate youth about biochar as a solution for smoke pollution
We can not even begin to express how grateful we are for your support. May all of us do wonderful things for others this year and make the world on December 31, 2022 a better place than it was on January 1!