VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/16/12)—Karen Smith, leader of the New Life Center Foundation (NLCF) in Chiang Mai, Thailand and American Baptist International Ministries (IM) missionary, announced that the NLCF has been recognized in Thailand with a major award. The Kenan Institute Asia in collaboration with Resource Alliance and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, organized the 2012 Thailand NGO (non-governmental organization) awards, the second consecutive year to recognize the achievements of Thai NGOs. NLCF received the award in the medium-sized NGO category.
“We are absolutely thrilled to receive such a prestigious award, and receive this recognition throughout the region,” Smith commented. “This recognition affirms the NLCF’s exemplary clinical care for victims of trafficking, and our deep commitment to organizational standards of excellence and good governance.”
Mr. Richard Bernhard, executive director, Kenan Institute Asia, provided this overview, “The NGO Awards aim to encourage NGOs to pursue operational excellence, good governance, transparency, and self-dependency in order to achieve result-oriented sustainable development.”
According to the Resource Alliance, “there are 65,457 NGOs in Thailand working to promote education, public health, social welfare and associations’ promotion.” The Alliance, a UK registered charity, “aims to be the global network for fundraising, resource mobilization and philanthropy. The Alliance builds skills, knowledge and promotes excellence within civil society.”
The Thailand NGO Awards advance the country’s non-profit sector by promoting financial sustainability and strengthening community support of civil society. They also seek to:
• promote good standards and practices in resource mobilization, accountability and transparency
• recognize and celebrate excellence in the non-profit sector
• identify and strengthen successful resource mobilization practices
• create examples and inspiration for other non-profit organizations and promote cross-regional learning
• promote the overall credibility of the non-profit sector for long term sustainability
“NLCF is deserving of this award,” commented Stan Murray, IM area director for Southeast Asia and Japan. “As a tribute to the staff of NLCF, neither Karen Smith nor IM missionary Kit Ripley attended the award ceremony. They chose instead for the local tribal staff to travel to Bangkok to receive the award. This resonated well with IM missiology that focuses on training and mentoring local people so that any good work that is done will be sustainable.”
The NLCF works exclusively with young ethnic minority women throughout the Mekong sub-region who are at risk for, or victims of, human trafficking, forced labor, and sexual abuse. Since its inception in 1987, the NLCF has partnered with the Royal Thai Government and international NGOs to provide legal, psychological, and repatriation assistance.
New Life Center Foundation provides:
• Education (promoting literacy and life-skills from elementary to university levels)
• Vocational training (providing specialized training which results in viable employment and work skills)
• Therapeutic activities (art therapy, music, dance, cooking, martial arts, individual counseling)
• Handicrafts & income generation (cultivating traditional tribal embroidery and creative thinking skills through the production of handicrafts, home décor, and jewelry)
• Shelter (safe shelter and medical care for victims of trafficking)
NLCF conducts community based anti-trafficking campaigns (in partnership since 1994 with the United Nations agencies UNESCO, UNICEF, and the UN-IAP). NLCF ethnic minority staff and residents create educational campaigns that are implemented in tribal communities throughout Thailand, China, Laos, and Myanmar. Through drama, songs, skits and pictures, these ground-breaking campaigns have disseminated information about trafficking, safe migration, and HIV/AIDS to over 50,000 minority persons.
Partnership with Upland Holistic Development Program (Fang, Thailand)
NLCF staff provide business development services in conjunction with the UHDP’s community- based micro-enterprise development program. Services include workshops in accounting, math, basic business principles, and marketing. The NLCF funds a literacy program for adults involved in a range of UNDP programs.
NLCF believes in grass-roots activism, empowering people at a community level, and engaging local churches and other organizations to create a world without exploitation.
American Baptist International Ministries (IM) was organized in 1814 as the first Baptist international mission agency in America. It began its pioneer mission work in Burma and today works in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas serving more than 1,800 long-term and short-term missionaries. Its central mission is to help people come to faith in Jesus, grow in their relationship with God, and change their worlds through the power of the Spirit. It works with respected partners in over 70 countries in ministries that meet human need.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.