A Success Story - Pornchai and the HCTC!

HCTC or the Hospitality and Catering Training Centre, located in Mae Sot, North West Thailand, is home to some aspiring young Karen people. Many of these young people in the Hill Tribes leave the villages for big cities in which they believe they will find better prospects. However, for some, this is not the case. Without proper qualifications they often find themselves without a secure, settled and steady job, whilst also being far away from their homes. Therefore, HCTC was set up in 2008 by the IECD (Institut Europeen de Cooperation et de Developement) and TBCAF (Tak Border Child Assistance Foundation) which enables the Thai Karen young adults, as HCTC quotes, ‘an opportunity for a brighter future through education’.


Pornchai is one of our current scholars at the HCTC. He started in January 2018 and is set to graduate in March!

Pornchai’s journey to HCTC began in Ban Mae Sang a small Karen Village in which a KHT irrigation system is in place. He is one of 8 children, 7 of whom are girls! Pornchai’s family relies off income from rice farming as well as a small sum coming from a daughter working in a zip factory in Bangkok. Speaking to Pornchai’s father he reiterated the importance of the scholarship as without the funding Pornchai would not have been able to go to HCTC or continue studying. Being granted this scholarship has allowed Pornchai to enhance his English as well as learn all about housekeeping, cooking various cuisines and general life skills. Being part of a training centre like HCTC where sports and other activities are offered alongside your studies really builds a community spirit among the students and makes this leaning environment unique and ultimately, fun!

We recently bumped into Pornchai during his internship, where he was shadowing a Dutch pastry chef in a hotel in Bangkok. The hotel said that Pornchai is wonderful to work with and would love to have more students from the centre in the future. After graduating, Pornchai hopes to work either in a bakery dealing with patisseries or as a chef. His qualification will give him many job opportunities and a chance to give back to his family in Ban Mae Sang.