For many school children in rural Thailand, the Kid Farmers Club at school provides them with an introduction to God’s love, a sense of purpose, and delicious fresh vegetables.
When the world went into lockdown in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ECHO’s Regional Impact Centers adapted their resources and training in order to continue serving with impact under COVID restrictions. During this time, when one missionary in rural northern Thailand reached out asking for seeds to create school gardens, ECHO was up for the task. Thus, the Seeds of Hope project was born.
Because of this project, which provided the seeds and the training needed to successfully grow vegetables, multiple schools in the area now have raised garden beds that students take care of from seed to harvest. While doing so, they continue to learn more about the Gospel.
“We want the children to learn from their direct experience of growing plants and relate this experience to their life,” Khruu Lawan, a teacher at one of the participating Thai schools, said.
Each child in the Kid Farmers Club plays an integral role in the growing of the vegetables because they are involved in every step of the process. Students germinate seeds in cups and transplant the sprouts into the raised beds. They also practice healthy watering, harvest their crop and maintain the soil afterwards before starting the process over again.
“The students really love the connection between the care that God has for us, and the care that you put into growing plants,” ECHO Asia’s Office Manager Daniela Riley said. “Every step of our journey and life, God is looking after us. Caring for tiny plants is a really beautiful example of how God cares for us.”
ECHO’s Asia Impact Center in Chiang Mai plans to expand this project to involve even more schools and create even more Kid Farmers Clubs. Thailand is more than 93% Buddhist, so these schools and clubs are often children’s first introduction to the Gospel message.
Just like a small seed can become a large tree, the small act of sharing seeds can make a big impact in these students’ lives.