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38 Reviews
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October 25, 2014

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October 25, 2014

I am the Chairman of one and on the Boards of two other organizations focused on global poverty alleviation and economic development with my emphasis being on India and the MENAT region. We have known Professor Michael Shafer and his wife for many years, and have followed closely their remarkable progress in the Hill Tribes region of northern Thailand. We recently spent a week with Michael introducing him to 5 major players in this space in the Washington area. All were amazed at the accomplishments of Warm Hearts, and the the results of their "bottom up" investigation into the causes of poverty in the region, and their development of effective tools to address these causes. Most important is that these tools and programs are planned for adoption and implementation by the local population themselves, and can be sustained without continued outside intervention. All 5 of the NGOs to which we introduced Michael and Evilind Shafer have committed to assist in the growth of Warm Hearts with various support initiatives. We hope for more Michael and Evelind Shafers!!!
October 24, 2014
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October 24, 2014
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We have followed Warm Hearts progress since its beginnings six years ago. The founders, Michael Shafer and Evelind Shecter, chose a neglected rural area of Thailand to rebuild into a sustainable community through working cooperatively with villagers to identify their community needs, prioritize them, and then tackle problems with cross-cutting solutions. They have created effective programs for children's education, all stages of life health care, microenterprises for women without regular income, and agricultural initiatives to rebuild the soil and increase harvest yield. By approaching local problems with a broader vision of world issues, they have been able to leverage basic technology, such as their biochar process, into a potential instrument to reduce global climate change by improving soil on a field-by-field basis.

With more money and support, Warm Hearts is poised to increase its reach and to have its model practices imitated in many other rural communities of developing countries. Their recent foray to Washington, DC, introduced them to major foundations and larger non-profits that recognize the value of their persoanl dedication and concept f bottoms-up community development.
October 24, 2014
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October 24, 2014
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We visited Warm Heart Worldwide in Northern Thailand and were amazed at how effective a small organization, with imaginative leadership, limited funds and a can-do spirit can be. It is a model of local empowerment that should be replicated in other parts of the world. For the first time participants have access to education, career training, sustainable living skills, medical care and a sense that a greater community is rooting for success.
October 16, 2014
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October 16, 2014
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Warm Heart is a great place to learn and grow up! It is not a place where you get cuddled but where real life shows its head and where you are prompted to action the minute you step down. This NGO is full of light and energy that is not so often seen in the humanitarian world. The commitment and dedication of the couple who lead is tremendous, and everyone who lives on the campus shows eternal gratefulness to them. As a volunteer, I had wonderful opportunities to create projects and campaigns which will help out further in strengthening Warm Heart’s funding and marketing strategy. I am also eternally grateful for my time spent there and I would recommend this experience to all people who are ready to learn more and grow further.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

train Marketing/PR person to become a core member of the NGO

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

October 16, 2014
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October 16, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I was attracted to WH because of the same philosophy we are sharing, which is helping people to help themselves. I've been volunteering for several NGOs since the first year in college. But WH is truly one of a kind. What suprises me most is how much things they are doing, small as taking sick villagers to get treated, great as create jobs and sustain the community. No matter what kind of challenges they are facing, Michael and Evelind always stick to their promises to the people.
It is my pleasure to work with them for the the past three months, to learn how to live just as a basic human being.
October 15, 2014
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October 15, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

My company Trade Monkey LLC has been working with Warm Heart's micro-enterprise program for over a year now, and with each order we are more and more impressed with the organization. As a business, they are very responsive, hard-working and punctual, not to mention the products they produce are top quality and beautiful. They are constantly working to provide fair-wage sustainable jobs for local people in their community, while taking environmental impact into consideration. It is always a pleasure to visit Warm Heart because of the infectious family vibe you get from being around Michael and Evelind and the countless children running around from the Warm Heart Children's Home. If you meet Michael and Evelind, you will be inspired by their lives completely devoted to giving to those less fortunate. All of us at Trade Monkey feel fortunate to have met them, and lucky to have the opportunity to work with them.
October 14, 2014
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October 14, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

Where do I start? Warm Heart as an organization has taught me the difference between solving problems using a one-size-fits-all approach and designing specific community programs meant to address problems in the community based off what members of that community need. There is no doubt that Warm Heart's mission of listening first and taking strong action to make an impact is the best approach in a community like Phrao, ridden with problems in the structure of education, public health and sustainable agriculture. People in the community respond to this personal way of helping in an overwhelmingly positive way. I would see the affirmation everyday in the smiles and respect villagers would give us. At the local market, when I would be designated as the personal bag carrier for N'Pan and the ladies who feed and take care of about 40 children at Warm Heart, we would be greeted by so many people wanting to know what kinds of projects Warm Heart was involved with and how children who previously had no chance of attending school were liking their classes in 5th grade. I fell in love with the people of Phrao, all the children and the beautiful country. The sense of community within Warm Heart and Warm Heart's presence in Phrao as a place to solve problems is an electrifying combination that motivates and influences change. My days of beautiful scenic motorbike rides in the dense forest mountains and learning challenging games from strong-willed Thai children are over for now, but I hope anyone who wants to make an impact on a community in need and cultivate existing or unknown skills will team up with Warm Heart.
October 14, 2014
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October 14, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

Since the first day when Evelind (the founder) picked me up from Chiang Mai (closest city), I never doubted that I had chosen the right organization to achieve one of my longstanding dreams – visiting Thailand and volunteering in a rural community.

Everything that I have encountered at
Warm Heart has opened my eyes. Warm Heart is involved in so many ways in the community that it takes more than a single stay to understand. Only the founders know everything: taking care of around 40 kids with an assortment of problems, and helping disabled people and needy families is certainly not an easy task. Although WH has only been in existence for a few short years, already over 200 people depend on it directly.

The last but not the least, I will also never forget the many great moments that I shared with the amazing volunteers I met in my three-month stay.

Mauricio Villarreal - Lima, Peru (volunteer June - August 2014)
October 13, 2014
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October 13, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

It has been nothing short of an honor to be able to volunteer with Warm Heart for the last three months.
Something about this organization moves me every day, whether it's the bottomless well of compassion displayed by the founders Michael and Evelind for the kids in the home and the community
at large, or the way you are able to witness tangible and meaningful growth in the villages they work with. Warm Heart has a number of different development projects, all of them with both environmental and economic stability at their foundation. They are well-thought out, long term and effective, as well as participatory. In short, Warm Heart is everything a grassroots development NGO should be.

Perhaps the most affirming thing about working here is the way that everyone in the district knows about Warm Heart and flashes you a beaming smile when you tell them that you're volunteering for "un-jai" (the organization's name in Thai). On a more personal level, I've been moved to tears by the stories of some of the kids who have ended up in the children's home here. Warm Heart gives these kids a chance, and a safe place to grow - Somewhere free from neglect or abuse or poverty, where the only thing they need to focus on is their homework, and being a kid. The evidence is in the way that the grade point averages of Warm Heart kids skyrocket above their classmates, and the genuine smiles and shrieking laughter that I have the pleasure of witnessing every day that I'm here.

As a student of International Development Studies, I've learned a lot about everything that could go wrong in the "development game", everything that's bad about international volunteering and everything that non-profits need to be careful about. As a result, I expected to be very critical of my first experience with an international NGO - But Warm Heart has exceeded my expectations and proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be an overwhelmingly positive influence on this rural Thai district. It is the poster child of an ideal grassroots development NGO, responding to the unique problems faced by its community and launching proactive programs to help put Phrao on a sustainable and equitable development trajectory.

Without another thought, I would (and intend to) recommend Warm Heart to anyone thinking of getting involved in any way they can.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Focus on finding more skilled and experienced volunteers. Warm Heart has a great way of bringing out the best in people, so even those who come here without a plan can typically leave something positive behind. But it would be a huge help to have a solid strategy to target skilled, professional volunteers from a variety of backgrounds

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

October 12, 2014

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October 12, 2014

The kids at Warm Heart have changed my life forever. The week that I volunteered there was amazing. Warm Heart is doing great things to help the community around Phrao, Thailand. They go out of their way to help these people in need, and care about everything they are doing.
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