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Mud + Rice Husk + Hard Work of Many = Beautiful Classroom

Little Smiles Center Opening Day

Today, we opened our third early childhood center, Little Smiles Center, in Mae Waen Noi Village, Mae Waen Sub District, Phrao, Chiang Mai. This will be the biggest center, starting in May with 16 Lisu tribe children and 2 staff. Many people say that the building looks the most gorgeous, too!

The building would not have been here if it was not for the enormous support given by Eco Peace, a nonprofit organization in Japan, who sponsored the entire construction cost for us. We must also mention that this is the result of continuous hard work by Albert and Peter, volunteers from the Dragonfly Community Foundation, who designed and built it as the team leaders together with the entire village of Mae Waen Noi Village. Our British volunteers, Charlotte and Esme, contributed a lot as well, participating in every step starting from brick-making, all the way to decorating the outer walls with delicate mosaic made of broken tiles and glasses.

Since we started this projects, there has been some moments that we thought we may need to cancel the project due to some difficulties, but we could welcome this day thanks to the perseverance and encouragement from many of you.

We will be closed for a week for Thai new year holidays, so please be patient to wait for the other photos of this event.

Thank you so much for your help, and happy Songkran to everyone!

Opening of Sunshine Kids Center in Siplang Village

After 3 months of ups and downs since January this year, we finally reached the day to open the door of the early learning center for Akha children in Siplang Villagein Doi Monlan, Wiang-pa-pao, Chiangrai. Inspired by the idea of Mr. Katsuhiro Mizuno, our main donor (an architect from Gifu, Japan), we named it Sunshine Kids Center. As you can see in the photos, we made the sign board with 4 languages: English, Thai, Akha, and Japanese, to indicate that this center is the result of collaboration by many organizations and people around the world.

The moment we brought in blackboard, colorful books, toys, and puzzles, purchased with support from all children and adults at Bangkok Prep school, children started to stream into the center. All kids, big and small, literate and not yet so, got to enjoy all the cool stuff 🙂

Saturday went by in an instant as we did last-minute preparation–paving the path to the bathroom at the back, putting up the sign board and the banner, organizing books and tory in places, etc. We had our first meeting with the parents to talk about school schedule and other small but important agreements. When Yoshi was having the meeting, Tuu was busy reading to a bunch of eager kids (including those who don’t understand Thai language!).

To mark this day, we held a small opening ceremony on Sunday morning. Since Siplang is a Christian village, we started by singing gospel songs and hymns outside the center. P’Sem, the religious leader and the main constructor, led the prayer before opening the door. All of us went inside, and exchanged thanks and happiness inside the cool and cozy room. Kids couldn’t stand listening, so they started to reach books to read as grownups talked :p

Of course, this is just the beginning of the center’s history, but we definitely feel that it was a major milestone. We are so grateful for each and every individuals and organizations who care about us and support us from near and far. THANK YOU!!

New Year Greetings

Do you know what a dragon look like?
What color is he?
What can he do?
What sound does he make when he roar with all his might?

Now, try to go on his back,
and fly up in the sky with him.
What can you see?
How do you feel?
What do you smell?

Friends, this is the power of imagination, and the beauty of dreams.

With your continuous support, ARC has been trying to empower people of all ages to imagine and to dream on by bridging between books and people  who cannot reach them.
In this year of dragon, with much respect and gratitude, I wish you a healthy year with time to imagine and dream.
Don’t let anything (amount of your hair, what you do to eat, money in your wallet, or whatever) come and intervene!
Forgot how to imagine? Thought dreams were for kids only?
Well, join us, and soon you will see.

A happy 2012 to you!

Bookworm News Dec. 2011: Christmas of a 90-Year-Old Grandpa

Dear friends of ARC around the globe,

It’s far from white Christmas here in Phrao, Chiangmai, but we feel freezing while driving the motorbike around under 20 degrees.
Let us send you our heartful Christmas greetings, though it’s already a few days late!
Today, we went to deliver Christmas gifts to a 90-year-old grandpa in Huai Sai village.
What were the gifts?
OF COURSE, books!
We brought him a Bible and some Christian books, which were donated from one of our friends in Bangkok.
As the only one Christian in the entire family and being hard of hearing, he seemed to enjoy our gift a lot.
Another bridge between books and people were built, thanks to our friends’ support.
We thank each and every one of you for supporting ARC throughout 2011.
You made it possible for us to connect books and people.
ARC cannot give you any gifts, but please be proud that YOU were the one who put on a smile on the kid’s face.
YOU were the one who made that grandma laugh as our volunteer read for her.
That warm feeling in you is the gift from us.
Let’s enjoy the last week of 2011, and get ready to welcome 2012!

With warm regards and much gratitude,


Please Help Japan

Dear all friends,

As you already know, Japan is going through very tough time because of
the enormous earthquake and tsunami in the northeast. MOre than 10000
people are assumed to have taken lives, and There still has been many
aftershocks, including very big ones. It’s freezing in the affected area,
and people are trying their best to survive and rescue.

My family lives in the south-west, so they didn’t get affected. But I
have many friends who live in affected areas including Tokyo, and they
are having very insecure time because of terrible disaster.Stores are
full of empty shelves, and transportation is stil not under total
control. Many power cuts and some water shortage. Even worse, the
nuclear power plants are leaking, and some radioactive things started to
fall. Being in Thailand, I’m so very worried about my country, and I
have never felt so insecure about Japan before in my life.

If you could, please help the victims. The Nippon Foundation, one of the
most trusting foundation in Japan, has set up English website to
collect fund. Please read the email from my friend at the Nippon
Foundation, and I would appreciate any help you can contribute. Please
spread the words on Facebook, Twitter, and your email networks. We
really need your help in Japan. All I hope now is that all victims can
go under safe roof and warm environment with food and water. And I do
hope and hope that we have hit the worst part, and we can recover from
this point.

With much gratitude,


Yoshimi Horiuchi
Always Reading Caravan (ARC)


————– Original message follows ————–
Subject: The Nippon Foundation/CANPAN, Northeastern Japan Earthquake
and Tsunami Relief Fund
  Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:22:22 +0900
  From: Chiba Hisao <h_chiba@ps.nippon-foundation.or.jp>
    To: Chiba Hisao <h_chiba@ps.nippon-foundation.or.jp>
Dear Friends and Colleagues

This is Hisao Chiba, the Nippon Foundation.

Thank you very much for your sincere concern for the Earthquake in Japan.
Today, once again I’d like to ask your kind support to the below initiative by the Nippon Foundation.

As of today, we have received about 55,000 USD from overseas countries and 500,000 USD within Japan.
However, we shall need more support from all of you. Please kindly share below information to your network.

Thank you very much for your kind support and concern.

Hisao Chiba

The Nippon Foundation is at the forefront of assistance activities in support of those affected by the earthquake/tsunami of 11 March 2011
that hit the northern part of Japan.

We are now accepting donations to establish a fund for the emergency relief/reconstruction projects.  The donations can be made online by
credit card on our following website:

It would be highly appreciated if the above information should be circulated among your colleagues and friends as widely as possible.

With many thanks and best regards,
All staff of the Nippon Foundation

Announcement: ARC Project Presentation in Tokyo (Nov. 24, 27)

Dear friends and supporters of ARC,


It has been more than 8 months since I left Japan to set up ARC here in Thailand. The progress that we made seems tiny, but I believe that 1 is much much greater than 0.

To share our progress and talk about our future path, we are going to organize two presentation event when I go back to Japan in November.

I think most of the English readers here are not in Japan, but in case you could join us on either date, please send us an email to



The date and place are:


1. Nov. 24 (Wed.), 18:00-20:000 at the Nippon Foundation (Meeting room on the second floor)

2. Nov. 27 (Sat.), 10:00-12:00 at Sawasdee (a Thai restaurant in Dogenzaka, Shibuya)


We hope to meet as many people as possible, and paint our dream even more colorully!