A message from Penelope

A special message from the Founder,

Penelope Worsley

I first met with Salahae 17 years ago, in 1997, following my son Richard’s death.  Travelling around the mountains together, I learnt of his vision for the Karen people.  I was determined to capture this vision and turn it into an international charity.  Many people said this was impossible.  A young Karen hill tribesman, living in the remote mountains of northern Thailand joining with me, a middle aged mother in York?  I gave him a fax machine (!) and with determination and against the odds, we made a very special friendship that has since resulted in empowering many thousands of Karen people to help themselves.  During 25 visits, I visited the people, the schools, the villages, walked in the rivers and climbed in the mountains with Salahae, now the Karen manager, in an area covering 10,000 sq miles, to see and understand the needs of the people in some of the poorest parts of the world. 

 

60,000 people now have clean water and sanitation giving them better health.  2,500 acres of land have been put back into production raising income from crops.  Four dormitories have been built, so students who live far away can have access to education.  We have distributed 70,000 blankets and mosquito nets to remote villages.  10,000 students have been transported to school on local buses, 300 Karen students have been sponsored through university and are now earning income to support their families; 300 principally English volunteers, like my son Richard, have lived with the Karen people to help install clean water systems and teach in the schools.  Around 200,000 Karen people have benefited in some way that has helped them to take control of their own lives.

 

None of it would have been possible without support from so many people around the world, not forgetting Bangkok, and for this I have been very grateful.  

 

It is a fitting memorial to my son Richard and it has been a privilege to set up this charity.

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I have now retired as a Trustee.  All the remaining trustees have been chosen by me and I very much hope that they will continue to embrace Salahae’s vision and ensure funds are found.  There are thousands of people still without clean water or sanitation, children who need to go to school and farmers who need irrigation to grow crops.  Given the right help they can build a better future for themselves.  I am delighted that William, an ex.volunteer, has taken the reins as Director to run the charity on a day to day basis.  It should all help to ensure the future of KHT.

 

Will you please do me a favour?  Will you please make a special donation to support Salahae and the Trustees in this work? It would make me feel so much better knowing that KHT has your support!

 

I look forward to seeing you somewhere, sometime.   I hope to continue to sell some of the Karen silver jewellery and give talks where I can.

 

With very best wishes to you all.

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