Empowering Sea Gypsy community in Southern Thailand

Ooh (far right in photo) is of Maw Kan ethnicity, the sea gypsy people of Thailand. But unlike his Maw Kan parents, Ooh never learned his native language, choosing instead to affiliate himself with Thai culture and live amid illegal Burmese immigrants in the fishing village of Ban Nam Kem. Born Buddhist, Ooh had always worked odd jobs, but after the tsunami, he took up with Singapore Christian worker who built a Community Development Center (CDC)and started a church in his village. Hearing of ServLife’s Hope Fund loan program, Ooh came as a candidate and Ooh has been managing his own gachang, or floating fish farm, since. The young man continues to do odd jobs on the side and recently requested another loan to start a fish delivery business. In collaboration with the CDC, the ServLife Hope Fund loan helped Ooh purchase 27 large cooler boxes and his first two tones of fish. The CDC allowed him to use their truck until he saves enough money to buy his own.

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