Mushrooms in the Mae Sot Migrant Community

Room to Grow started this year’s mushroom project in June 2012 when the new school year started. We provided mushroom huts and spore bags to 13 boarding houses and orphanages in the Mae Sot migrant community. Each boarding house will receive three rounds of spore bags, in June, October and January. That’s a total of 40,500 spore bags, producing around 7000 kilos of mushrooms.

One of R2G’s main aims is to provide nutritious meals for Burmese refugee and migrant children. With the economic crisis, donors can’t provide enough food funding for our children. Some donors are also interested in going to help inside Burma because of the reforms. Our mushroom project is necessary because lots of migrant children can’t go back to Burma and still need nutritious food.

Another reason why our mushroom project is really helpful for children is because mushroom prices are going up month by month in Mae Sot markets. So, boarding house leaders can’t buy the expensive and nutritious mushrooms for children. One of the boarding house leaders said,

“We have never bought mushrooms for our children because mushrooms are so expensive. While we don’t have regular food funding for our children, we have to cook the cheapest vegetables very often. We are so excited to start the mushroom project in our orphanage which will help provide not only nutritious meals but also good experience for our boarding children. We want to say thanks to the donor who provided the mushroom hut and spore bags for our children. It is so valuable for us when we don’t have enough food funding.”

All thirteen schools which got mushroom huts and spore bags were so pleased and they are so thankful to the donor, Thai Children’s Trust, and to Room to Grow for implementing the project.

For more information on how to grow mushrooms or run a mushroom project, see our blog posts “Mushroom Project Updates in 2012” and “Growing Sawdust Mushrooms” and our quick fact box below.

Quick facts

No. of rounds: three

No. of spore bags per school: 500- 2000 spore bags per school, depending on the number of students.

No. of teachers and students involved: one teachers and five students in each round.

Benefits of program:

–          Provide nutritious meals

–          Provide income for boarding students’ food.

–          Provide experience growing mushrooms and running a mushroom project.

R2G support:

–          Mushroom hut, construction and renovation (if required)

–          Mushroom spore bags

–          Handout and training at the start of the project

–          Regular monitoring and support

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