Thailand

History and Activities

When EDF founder Terumasa Akio was travelling the world in the 1980s, he was moved by the lengths to which students in Thailand would go for an education as well as the hardships families there faced. They knew sending their children to school would be good in the long run, but they couldn’t afford to pay basic fees or lose a potential helping hand at home and in the fields. 

Thus, EDF–the Education for Development Fund–was established in 1987. Mr. Akio went back to Japan to raise funds and managed to send the first group of 41 students from Udon Thani to school.

In establishing EDF, Mr. Akio’s vision was for individual donors in Japan to help individual students in Thailand. He believed this organic connection was the key to effective aid and achieving common understanding in the world.

A few students from the first group of EDF scholars, 1988

“ Besides the many scholarships and educational access programs, EDF also partners with local government offices and businesses to raise awareness about public health issues, promote technical education in areas like agriculture in schools, and take part in disaster relief efforts. ”

Since then, EDF’s operations in Thailand have continued to grow. We now provide scholarships in schools across 61 provinces and over 5,500 schools.

Strong, localized management has allowed for EDF to really speak to local needs too. Besides the many scholarships and educational access programs, EDF also partners with local government offices and businesses to raise awareness about public health issues, promote technical education in areas like agriculture in schools, and take part in disaster relief efforts.

These activities and contributions has established EDF Thailand as one of the most trustworthy nonprofits in the region. We were even declared “NGO of the Year” in the Thailand NGO Awards 2012 and earned a 5-star rating in both “Good Governance and Transparency” and “Financial Efficiency” by the Giving Back Association in 2016.

 

Scholarship Programs

EDF Thailand has a total of 4 scholarship programs: lower secondary, upper secondary, students with disabilities, and orphaned students from South Thailand. All scholarship programs are matched on a one-to-one basis, meaning every donation will go directly to funding a single student through school.

 

Lower Secondary

EDF focuses especially on secondary education because it is one of the largest bottlenecks in socioeconomic movement. Besides greatly increasing students’ access to jobs and ability to participate in civic engagement, secondary education is also an important social equalizer as many underprivileged students currently never get a chance to take this crucial step. 

Scholarships are US$75 a year.

To qualify for this scholarship, students must:

  • Be in 6th grade at the time of application
  • Demonstrate a strong sense of responsibility, social awareness, and desire to learn
  • Come from a household with an annual income of US$2000
Lower Secondary Scholarship hand over Ceremony in Songkhla Province in 2017

Upper Secondary/Vocational

While much smaller, EDF also has an upper secondary program that seeks to cultivate especially promising individuals in the hope that they might one day be able to represent their communities at the level of policy, government, or research. This too is a very important aspect of the democratic process; without sufficiently diverse representation in positions of power, it is extremely difficult for marginalized communities to fight for their rights. In providing need and merit-based scholarships, EDF hopes to reduce some of those artificial barriers of entry.

Scholarships are US$200 a year.

To qualify for this scholarship, students must:

  • Be in 9th grade at the time of application
  • Demonstrate a strong sense of responsibility, social awareness, and desire to learn
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 2.75
  • Come from a household with an annual income of US$2000

More information coming soon!