Country Proverb: Thailand

Written by Plant With Purpose on August 13, 2015 in Proverb

By Ben Held
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“Tam dii dai dii”


Translation: “Do a good deed and receive good”



Many cultures share in the belief that our actions return to us in kind. “What goes around comes around,” we “reap what we sow,” or we must “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” Whether our actions are benevolent and positive or selfish and negative, everything that we do perpetuates itself and generates consequences that we ultimately must face. So why not give to get?

In the town of Huai Pong, Thailand, nestled in the northern Chiang Mai province, Sara Jasee is doing just that. This mother of three partnered with Plant With Purpose five years ago, but only last year did she first participate in the local Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA). In the past, Sara saw that planting trees in her village helped feed her neighbors while improving the soil in her own garden. Now with her VSLA experience, Sara has added economic empowerment to the mix.

Sara and fam 1In only one year, she has contributed her own time and money—along with her fellow VSLA members—to provide support for friends needing urgent medical care, money for a child’s education, or simply extra finances as they expanded their farms. Even Sara took out a loan to help improve her yields and farming practices. She has found that as she gives, she also gets, and the entire community has prospered as a result. More of her neighbors have taken up backyard gardening, and Sara can see that everyone is better fed. She says: “When we work together in the VSLA group, we share experiences, build better relationships, and I feel that I can support my family when I can take some loans from the group.”

When Sara pictures the future, she sees her village without any debt and everyone diligently saving their money. While the journey to that dream may still be a long one, Sara knows that her entire community has made enormous progress and she takes pride in that. New latrines, farming practices, and the VSLA group have improved the health of the residents in Huai Pong, their relationships, and given them hope for a better tomorrow.

And truly, it seems that nothing can halt their progress. After all, the community’s honest work will only continue to return well-deserved benefits to its members—or as it’s said in Thai, tam dii dai dii.

Join Sara and the rest of the Huai Pong VSLA in providing economic opportunity and helping Plant For Tomorrow. Or consider sponsoring a village like Huai Pong as its residents foster a spirit of doing good.

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