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The Jongkham Family: a Story of Hope, Sacrifice, and Love


Written by Plant With Purpose on February 7, 2011 in General

Mr. La Jongkham is 61 years old and lives with wife and youngest son in the community of Huai Wai. This village is located in Northern Thailand in a reserve forest and the government recently communicated to the community that they would have to move elsewhere. Mr. Jongkham is concerned about finding a new place to live, but his wife’s health is his first priority.

His family is dealing with his wife’s liver disease, and the only way she’ll live is if she gets her daily medicines, which are very expensive. The family’s legal status prevents them from accessing affordable health care, which means Mr. Jongkham and his family have to figure out how to generate additional income.

Plant With Purpose partners with a local nonprofit in Northern Thailand called the Upland Holistic Development Project (UHDP) to find sustainable solutions to chronic poverty and oppression. Mr. Jongkham is thankful for UHDP’s guidance and encouragement. UHDP trained Mr. Jongkham in many capacities:

– UHDP trained Mr. Jongkham to produce his own vegetables. Any money that he does not have to spend is money saved for medicine for his wife. All of the food that is consumed by the family is produced at home.

-UHDP trained Mr. Jongkham to raise pigs. The family now sells 24 piglets in a year, generating a consistent cash flow of $30 per piglet. Mr. Jongkham also learned how to raise catfish and frogs, which are utilized for consumption and to sell.

– The family also set up a small store with a fuel station where he sells about five gallons per week to his neighbors who have scooters.

Mr. Jongkham’s motivation is to see his wife healthy again. He never imagined he would be so entrepreneurial. He’s very proud of his teenage son who also learned to cut hair to help his mom. Currently, Mrs. Jongkham is getting all the medicine she requires.


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