Progress-hearted people in Chiang Mai, Thailand, are concerned about a community of Burmese refugees who live and work in a garbage dump in the Thai/Burma border town of Mae Sot, Thailand.
A co-founder of Evolutionize It was invited into a conversation among friends of the dump in May 2013. That meeting led to conversations with a number
of organizations currently providing resources to the dump community and - most importantly - to talks with leaders at the dump community itself. Through an interpreter, the dump headmen said this was the first time anyone had asked them what they feel they
need in order to see some meaningful change in their lives. (There’s more about what they said in
The Trash Dump Talks.)
Piglets for Progress is their idea, and we’re supporting it by asking the world for help on their behalf.
Why This Matters
In consulting with their community, the headmen learned that the dump residents are all very concerned about their children's education. Their daily income, however, is not enough to feed their families without the kids also spending their days sifting through
the trash at the dump. They can find recyclables to sell and earn a bit more than $1 per person on a good day.
In that reality, the adults alone just can't earn enough to make both food and school supplies possible. The families who are slightly better off are the 55% who are already raising a piglet or two. They sell them easily when they are grown and bring in
vital cash for the family.
The headmen would like to see that every family living near the dump has 2 piglets to raise. A piglet costs about $45, and can be sold 4-5 months later with very little maintenance and total feeding costs up to $145. That's a potential profit of $90 per family
per pig over 4-5 months - roughly an extra $20 per month. Two pigs per family offers a potential income of $40 per month, which is more than what one child would otherwise earn working full time on the dump. Two piglets means a child doesn’t have to work full
time to help feed the family.
Two piglets to raise per family can make it possible for one or more children in a family to attend school on a daily basis instead of working on the trash dump with their parents. That's the impact Piglets for Progress is after. It’s simple, and it’s a direct
request to the world of well-wishers like you, from the people who actually live at the Mae Sot trash dump. The dump parents want to offer their kids a better childhood and future. Please, let’s support them in that.
The village headmen are intent on insisting that families reinvest part of the sale price of each grown pig in another piglet, so that this globally crowdfunded investment in their progress will sustain itself financially for years to come. Keeping grown pigs
long enough to reproduce is a potential evolution that will be explored with a veterinarian we will invite to visit the dump.
They are raising a dark variety of pigs that are both hardy and especially delicious, also found back home in the forests of Burma. There is an existing market of people in Mae Sot who already come to the dump to buy pigs from the 60 families there who are
currently raising them.
If you would like to purchase a grown pig from a family at the Mae Sot trash dump for private delivery in Thailand, please