Festive cheer for needy Bangkok children

A young girl receives a gift from Sarisa Raktham last Christmas. (Photo: Progressive Language Arts)
December 16, 2022

“This Christmas is for everyone” — that’s the catchphrase for a project to help underprivileged children in Bangkok enjoy the festive season.

Language school Progressive Language Arts is partnering with Bangkok Community Help Foundation (BCHP) to provide 200 gifts and 200 food packs to children in poor communities under its Gifts for Kids scheme.

The school, based in Soi On Nut 70/1 in Prawet district, launched the Christmas project two years ago.

Sarisa Raktham and Chris Kayne hand out gifts last Christmas. (Photo: Progressive Language Arts)

The scheme has expanded to a value of 80,000 baht thanks to a sponsorship deal with BCHP, which was founded by Greg Lange, owner of Sunrise Tacos and Margarita Storm restaurants, and entrepreneur Friso Poldervaart during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Greg and Friso have been a huge help in expanding Gifts for Kids and are providing all the food packs this year,” said Progressive Language Arts chief executive Sarisa Raktham.

“We have doubled the number of gifts and food packs from last year. Our long-term aim is to spread the scheme throughout Thailand and distribute hundreds of thousands of gifts.”

Chris Kayne hands a gift to a young girl last Christmas. (Photo: Progressive Language Arts)

Other sponsorship has come from the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand and Zervi, an automotive firm that is providing 200 reusable face masks to go with the gifts.

Gifts and food packs will be handed out in the On Nut area on December 25 and in Klong Toey on December 26.

BCHF was launched to provide cleaning, renovation, food distribution and construction projects for the betterment of the Klong Toey slum community and others in need. It has since expanded far beyond Klong Toey and has more than 500 volunteers from all over the world.

Greg Lange (left) and Friso Poldervaart of Bangkok Community Help Foundation. (Photo: BCHP Facebook page)

Sarisa launched Progressive Language Arts in February 2020 with her American partner Chris Kayne, who got the idea for Gifts for Kids from his school days in the United States when he and the other students would receive Christmas presents from their local church.

“Many of the children we help have literally nothing. It’s heartwarming to see their smiles when they receive their Christmas gifts,” said Kayne, the school’s marketing officer.

“Our gifts have a scientific angle that allows children to play while learning.”

Progressive Language Arts (www.progressivelanguagearts.com) teaches conversational and business English and Thai to students ranging from preschool to executives. Most are Thai children aged 4-12. The school also has corporate customers.

For more details, go to www.progressivelanguagearts.com or contact Sarisa Raktham on 092-545-4428 (mobile)

Tanakorn Panyadee
The Latest Local News Translator at The Pattaya News. Aim is a twenty-two year old who currently lives and studies in his last year of college in Bangkok. Interested in English translation, story-telling, and entrepreneurship, he believes that hard-working is an indispensable component of every success in this world.