The Mirror Foundation

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Mirror Foundation
Non-governmental organization
Industry Community development
Founded 1991, Thailand
Headquarters Mae Yao, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand

The Mirror Foundation, formerly known as Mirror Art Group, is a non-government organization based in northern Thailand in the Chiang Rai Province's sub-district of Mae Yao. The organization's aim is to help the hill tribe people around the area with issues such as citizenship, drug abuse, erosion of culture and the trafficking of women and children through several projects. Founded in 1991 by Mr Sombat Boonngamanong, the Foundation has for over 15 years worked to promote the rights of the hilltribes. With its website, it has recruited local volunteers and donations to help out at the hilltribe villages.

The organization and its website, which is among "the most popular" in Thailand according to the 2006 book Empowering Marginal Communities with Information Networking, are cited as an example of the effective use of the Internet to "facilitate indigenous peoples' access to the political arena and...raise awareness about indigenous peoples' issues at the national level."[1] The 2001 book Towards Financial Self-reliance: A Handbook on Resource Mobilization for Civil Society Organizations in the South offered the organization as a case study in mobilizing resources for community development through the internet.[2]


Ongoing projects of the Foundation include helping to mediate the process of applying for Thai Citizenship between the hilltribe people and the government.[3][4] attempting to locate and re-unite missing persons—many of whom are victims of human trafficking—with their loved ones,[5] and raising awareness of such trafficking. The Project to Combat Trafficking in Women and Children helps educate the public about issues related to trafficking, including raising public awareness that giving money to child beggars may fuel crime, as many of the child beggar operations are conducted by people who exploit the children for their own gains.[6][7] The Foundation also runs an ICT Project, which teaches computing skills to local hilltribes around the Chiang Rai region and also to the people affected by the tsunami in late 2004.[8] The Foundation also runs The Hilltribe Life and Cultural Centre at Ban Jalae and the Virtual Hilltribe Museum at, which combined serve as vessels to preserve the culture of the hilltribes for future generations.[9]

The Foundations website, in addition to providing information about the Foundation and the issues it seeks to address, also serves as an outlet for hilltribes people around the area to sell their arts and crafts online.[1][10]

Past projects of the Foundation have included the Tsunami Volunteer Centre (TVC), which was set up in 2005 in collaboration with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation in Phang Nga to help with the relief and rebuilding efforts in support of the people and area affected by the Tsunami in late 2004. [11][12]


  1. ^ a b Rahman, Hakikur (2006). Empowering Marginal Communities with Information Networking. Idea Group Inc. p. 138. ISBN 1-59140-699-4. 
  2. ^ Holloway, Richard (2001). Towards Financial Self-reliance: A Handbook on Resource Mobilization for Civil Society Organizations in the South. Earthscan. p. 147. ISBN 1-85383-773-3. 
  3. ^ Silp, Sai (2006-11-15). "Proposals seek changes to Thai citizenship law". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  4. ^ Macan-Markar, Marwaan (2002-04-10). "Thailand: Native hill tribes lack basic rights of other Thais". Inter Press Service English News Wire. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  5. ^ Hongthong, Pennapa (2008-05-08). "The fight to rescue those who've disappeared". The Nation. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  6. ^ Xiaodan, Du (2007-01-20). "Migrant workers and trafficking (III): Human trafficking in Asia". CCTV International. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  7. ^ Staff (2005-02-26). "Cash hand-outs 'only fuel crime, trafficking'.". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  8. ^ Abennet (2006-06-16). "Microsoft battles slavery in Asia". IT World. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  9. ^ Chinvarakorn, Vasana (2007-06-02). "We Care: The Living Museum". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  10. ^ Macan-Markar, Marwaan (2003-07-15). "Hill tribes try high-tech to preserve way of life". Interpress Service. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  11. ^ Barnes, Pathomkanok (2005-07-17). "NGO workers – committed to fight for just causes". The Nation. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  12. ^ Staff (2005-01-21). "Tsunami aftermath: Volunteers adjust to morgue shift". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 

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