Getting Children to School, the story of Samsara, an efficient and effective NGO

Jacob's most recent book (for the moment) is Getting Children to School - the story of Samsara, an efficient and effective NGO, freely available as an e-book, see below. It is an account on the work methods and philosophy of a highly successful Dutch-origin NGO in Thailand.

In 2001, a former colleague of Jacob, Annelie Hendriks, decided to go and live in Northern Thailand. She wanted to improve the poor lodging facilities at (already existing) elementary schools in the tribal areas of Mae Hong Son province, by providing hygienic kitchens and better sleeping halls. Children in this rugged mountain area need to sleep and eat at school since the infrastructure is very meagre there, but many children did not attend school due to the bad conditions.

To this purpose, the Samsara Foundation was set up, seeking sponsorship at the Dutch home base, and Jacob was involved from the start.

Fifteen years later, Samsara has realized all its initial targets: improving the facilities of over 300 elementary schools in Northwestern Thailand. Therefore, having started from strong principles on limiting the ambitions of an NGO working with minimal cost and overhead, the Samsara Foundation was dissolved in 2016 (but the website will still function up to 2018).

In 2014, Jacob was asked to put the ideas and workings of Samsara into a book. After some visits to the area, seeing the mountain schools and interviewing people involved, Jacob wrote Getting Children to School - the story of Samsara, an efficient and effective NGO. It is only available in English, given the international character of development work, and ‘self-published' in 2016 through (Dutch) Free Musketeers Publishers.

The book can now be downloaded for free through Google Drive (ePub format) or otherwise through the link at the English-language website of the Samsara Foundation, above.

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