Written By: Colin Hinshelwood/ CPA Media
Philanthropy lies close to the roots at Banyan Tree. Over the years, the luxury hotel group has sponsored hundreds of causes and projects worldwide through its Banyan Tree Global Foundation.
So when the the general manager of Banyan Tree Samui, Remko Kroesen, heard that a tropical storm had devastated a local community centre on the island, he immediately got in touch with the local administrators and offered assistance.
In addition to funding the cost of reconstruction, the Australian general manager and several volunteers from the hotel rolled up their sleeves and helped out with landscaping and other labour-intensive tasks.
Over a year later, construction work on the canteen at the Wat Santi Wanaram Child Development Centre has been completed, and the 103 children and their teachers can now look forward to a fresh and safe environment for lunch, activities and play.
“We are so grateful to Banyan Tree Samui for recognizing the importance of children’s education here in Koh Samui,” wrote Ms Suthima Chanrak, the acting head of the centre. “We rejoice that we will have a new canteen, not only for the children’s meals, but also a building that will act as a focal point for community activities and town hall meetings.”
Other initiatives implemented successfully by Banyan Tree Samui in recent years include a blood drive campaign, and the ongoing “Seedlings Mentorship” project aimed at nurturing young Samui students between the ages of 12 and 18, providing them with vocational and life skills and education, as well as offering scholarships and financial support to enable select students to continue into higher education.
“As a 5-star resort with beautiful villas and sea views, a spa, and exquisite dining, it would be easy to forget that many of the families on Koh Samui work nearby in coconut plantations or on fishing boats, and are often unable to meet the rising costs of medical care and housing,” said Kroesen. “That’s why we maintain an annual fund to assist those in need, and never forget how lucky we are to share their wonderful island with them.”
For more information about the rebuilding of Wat Santi Wanaram Child Development Centre, please go to: https://www.banyantree.com/thailand/samui/wat-santi-wanaram