Duang Prateep translates as 'Flame of Hope', a very fitting name for a foundation who brings so much hope, happiness, education and optimism to the lives of so many impoverished people and their communities. Founded and based in the inner city slums of Bangkok, the foundation grew out of the efforts of slum dwellers to address the many problems that they faced. They knew that if their area stood any chance of being improved, it would have to come from within by the people living there.
In 1978, Prateep Hata was an ambitious young slum dweller with a passion for teaching and a desire to improve the lives of those around her. Knowing the importance of education and its power to transform lives, she set up a school in her own home. The local children and their families came to look to Prateep, not just for education but for help, guidance and support. Prateep, although only in her early twenties, rose to the challenge - she became affectionately known as the 'Angel of Slums' - and was awarded the prestigious Magsaysay Award for Public Service. With the prize money, she set up the Duang Prateep Foundation, and the rest is history.
Today Duang Prateep continues to grow and impact the lives of many. From its humble beginnings in 1978 with a staff of just five people, the foundation now has over one hundred employees, as well as over twenty full time volunteers and numerous part time helpers. Duang Prateep works on a variety of projects year round focusing on education, health, social services, human development and emergencies or natural disasters. Their vast and varied range of initiatives helps transform lives. They run kindergartens, educate the hearing impaired, facilitate sponsorship schemes for further education, arrange social clubs for the elderly, help aids sufferers and their families, rebuild the lives of troubled youths, organise young women's groups and so much more.
For more information on the Duang Prateep Foundation and their most recent events and initiatives, please visit their website.