The remote province of Mae Hong Son, located in the mountains of the northwest of Thailand that borders Burma, is one of the poorest areas in Thailand. Its population includes many different ethnic groups, among which are a number of impoverished tribal peoples. These communities are under increasing pressure from problems like deforestation and drug trafficking. Many of their traditional cultural forms are unsustainable in the modern age and its people are struggling to adapt to the rapid changes around them. Stress-related ailments are constantly rising. Long traditions of self-sufficiency and mutual aid have slowly diminished.

The seeds of Dhammagiri Children were sown when a group of wandering forest monks passing through the area learned of the villagers’ predicament. They decided to help them by setting up a children’s home to provide the hilltribe children with a conducive environment. The children would go to public schools, and under the monks’ guidance, receive moral education according to Buddhist principles of respecting life, compassion and honesty. When they leave the children’s home, they would be able to contribute to the society and help their families break the cycle of poverty.

Initially, funding for the projects was kindly sponsored by Ms Crystal Lau, a Malaysian lay Buddhist and sister of Venerable Ajahn Cagino. However, as the more children came under the care of the home, an institution became necessary to put this work on a more organized footing and allow opportunities for others to participate. Dhammagiri Children was born.

湄洪顺 (Mae Hong Soong) 位于泰国的西北边陲,是泰国边境 最贫瘠的省份之一。居民由许多不同的少数民族组合而成,当中许多既贫穷又缺乏教育,他们面对着许多困境,例如无法获得生活基本的物质需求,面对不良文化传统,树木砍伐,贩卖毒品以及生活种种压力的问题,破坏了他们原有的自然生活形态及家庭和乐。

山上的孩子天真笑容的背后隐藏着艰困环境 所历练出的早熟与无奈,很多届皆来自破碎家庭。而且这里一代是泰,缅,辽的金山角边界; 不少原住民都经不起物质的诱惑,挺而走险偷运毒品,最后被当局逮捕,甚至被黑帮分子谋杀。遗留下孩子任由自生自灭,有些还被抓去当童工或卖掉。

几年前,村落的一些修行者,向一群路过此地的云游僧叙述了这些困境及孤儿们的悲惨遭遇。这些慈悲为怀的僧侣因而发起了许多救济计划          ,以舒缓当地因贫困而引起的种种问题。

“法山基金会”的发起人乃永觉比丘 (Ajahn Cagino),开始时由刘扬云女士一人独力支持这些救济及领养计划:至今“法山基金会”为了进一步的扩展,因此需要更多方面的资助,以便更有系统的运作,也能让更多人参与此善举。