Our Organization

Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation was pioneered by Tom McNamara in 2005, a year following the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Mr. McNamara was a caring local restaurateur who went to the local Thai community after the tsunami, asking how he could help them recuperate their losses from the devastation. The consensus that followed was simple; the Thai people wanted their children to learn English and understood it was the key to their children’s success. However, Mr. McNamara knew that organising English teachers alone would not be enough. The schools that needed help could not afford fluent English speaking teachers and it soon became clear he needed to create an organisation that would make this education available to the children for free.

In 2006, Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation became a registered charity in the Kingdom of Thailand and a Board of Directors was implemented. Since then, many local and international supporters have been inspired by this initiative and joined us to expand English education in Phuket.

Our five English teachers provide English education for free to over 700 underprivileged Thai children in two government schools in Phuket. These 700 students are aged 4 to 18 and learn English as well as Maths and Science in English. Over 200 of these students live in dormitories at Kamala School because they are unable to live at home or do not have a place to call home. To give these children nurturing support while living away from family, we run Coconut Club, an after-school programme that teachers and volunteers organize for the children to do arts & crafts, play games, learn cooking and practice English.

Our Mission

Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation works to improve the economic opportunities and life chances of young people by funding and implementing high quality, practical English language education in government schools on Phuket Island. The Foundation creates vocational opportunities by developing English skills through a variety of methods, including formal education as well as afterschool and non-curricula activities. In 2015, we initiated the English Integrated Studies programme which allows us to teach Science and Maths in English in addition to our regular English classes. This expansive programme creates endless opportunities for our students to explore their interests while developing their English skills.

Our Foundation teaches English to over 700 children at two government schools in Kalim and Kamala villages in Phuket. Our students receive the best possible English language education by learning from qualified, fluent English speaking teachers. In addition to their classes, our teachers run an extracurricular programme called Coconut Club for the 200+ children who live at school. These students are residential because they are orphans or their families are unable to look after them. Monday to Thursday after school and on Saturdays, the children participate in a variety of activities such as swimming lessons, cooking classes, arts & crafts and sports. We also organize birthday parties for every single residential student, complete with cake and a birthday present.

The aim of the organisation is to help Thai youth become capable and confident English speakers which will allow them to secure well-paid employment in Phuket’s flourishing tourism industry. Currently, many Phuket locals are unable to benefit from this lucrative industry, forcing families to remain in the cycle of poverty. By providing quality English education to underprivileged Thai youth, we are creating a sustainable future for their families and expanding the economic opportunities of future generations. The organization is comprised of a Board of Directors, a Board of Managers, five teachers, a Director of Operations, administrative office volunteers and an ever-growing group of dedicated supporters.

Our Amazing Supporters

We work in cooperation with different local, national and international partners to maximise our outreach and outcomes. Below we have highlighted our main partner organisations who have continually supported us in our efforts to raise funds for English education in Phuket.

Our People

Great People Make It Happen! The success of Phuket Has Been Good to Us Foundation is dependent on a team of truly amazing people. The work we do with the children of Phuket is only possible because of the following talented and dedicated people:

Great People Make It Happen.

Together we have achieved:

Frequently Asked Questions

English has become the global standard for communicating, especially in tourist areas. As a result, local Thais living in Phuket must be able to speak English to obtain a well-paid job. Without an ability to communicate effectively in English, job opportunities are scarce, and the jobs that are available do not allow the opportunity to overcome financial instability.

Our Foundation needs support to provide English education to hundreds of disadvantaged children. Without the education and after school programme provided by PHBGTU, these children would not be able to learn English from qualified, fluent English speaking teachers nor would they receive additional support and learning after school.

Many Thai locals are unable to obtain well-paid employment in Phuket's tourism industry due to lack of English skills. We are working one student at a time to change this, enabling the Thai community in Phuket to gain financial stability.

There are many ways to help Phuket Has Been good To Us
1) You can visit Kamala School’s afterschool programme and coordinate a project.
2) You can make a monetary donation that pays for teachers, programmes, and school supplies
3) You can make an in-kind donation from our Wishlist
4) You can Sponsor a Student, Class or Teacher for a year
5) You can attend one of our fundraising events
6) You can spread the word to family and friends!

When you make a monetary donation to PHBGTU it supports the stipend we pay to English teachers at Kalim and Kamala school, school supplies, materials needed for the afterschool programmes, and overhead costs such as utilities, office supplies and management. To eliminate unnecessary expenses, PHBGTU utilizes volunteers and donations in kind.

Sponsor a Child 10,000 THB a year ($447 AUD)
Sponsor a Class 200,000 THB a year ($8,940 AUD)
Sponsor a Teacher 460,000 THB a year ($20,551 AUD)
Work Permits and Visas 270,000 THB a year ($12,069 AUD)

We encourage visitors to help as long as they are able. However, we cannot accept short term teachers. We employ fully qualified, experienced teachers who sign a full year contract. If you are unable to commit to a full year, or are unqualified for the position, we would love to have you as a visitor at Coconut Club, our afterschool programme.

The residential students at Kamala School live on campus for a variety of situational reasons. Either their families live too far from the school or are unable to take care of them, or in some cases they do not have families. Thus, Kamala School is not an orphanage but we do welcome visitors at our afterschool programme, Coconut Club.

Visitors are welcome to coordinate an afterschool activity at Coconut Club during the Thai school term. Coconut Club runs from 15:30-16:30, Monday – Thursday, May – March. For more information about Coconut Club.

Please visit our Job Vacancies page for available positions. If there is nothing currently available, you may send your CV to info@phukethasbeengoodtous.org for us to keep on file. We recruit new teachers in February before the school term begins in May and Office Fellows as needed.

Office Fellow is the title we give to our full-time administrative volunteers. They work to improve fundraising events, visitor relations, donor relations, and organizational tasks as needed. In lieu of salary or stipend, Office Fellows receive accommodation and their visa and work permit are sponsored by Blue Horizon.

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