The Karen Hilltribes Trust (KHT) is a British registered charity (Charity No. 1093548) that has worked with the Karen people living in Northern Thailand for over three decades. As a community-led organisation, we partner with rural Karen communities to create sustainable solutions to improve community health, secure livelihoods and increase access to education. By taking a holistic approach to the complex socio-economic issues at hand, we aim to achieve sustainable change and empower Karen communities across Northern Thailand to improve their own lives.
A secure and sustainable future for all Karen communities in Northern Thailand
To empower Karen communities in Northern Thailand to improve their health, livelihoods and education
- Improve health through the provision of clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene education
- Secure sustainable livelihoods by building robust irrigation systems that allow farmers to regenerate farmland
- Increase access to education for disadvantaged Karen children and young adults to enhance their future prospects and opportunities
1986 is the year we implemented our very first water project!
We have empowered 92,237 Karen people to improve their lives through our projects!
Since 2000, we have had over 500 volunteers join us in Thailand!
As a community-led organisation, KHT’s model starts and finishes with the Karen people of Northern Thailand. Our unique approach is based on the expressed needs of target communities and involves their local knowledge in all stages of our projects. This includes project design, implementation, maintenance and evaluation.
Projects are focused on promoting self-reliance leading to improved well-being whilst helping Karen communities retain their unique identity and culture. Not only does this approach guarantee our projects have a positive impact in the community, it ensures community ownership and supports long-term sustainability. This creates impactful, cost-effective projects that promote sustainable outcomes for some of the poorest communities in Thailand.
- Community-led – Programmes rely on local support and knowledge at all stages and are based on the expressed needs of target communities, encouraging self-reliance and empowerment.
- Sustainable – Community ownership ensures long-term maintenance, impact and sustainability.
- Impact – Working with local communities, our experienced teams ensure work is cost-effective and impactful.
Where We Work
Thailand has made remarkable progress in social and economic development over the last four decades, however, improvements are mainly focused in the urban and popular southern areas. Across the rural provinces of Northern Thailand, poverty and inequality continuing to pose significant challenges, especially for ethnic minorities like the Karen.
One of Thailand’s least developed provinces is Mae Hong Son. This remote province, which borders Myanmar, is the most mountainous province in Thailand and over 87% of the province is covered with forest. The topography of the province also creates an extreme and harsh climate. Heavy rains and severe droughts, which have worsened in recent years due to climate change, are frequent and bring with them difficult challenges. About 64% of the population live below the global poverty line and many lack access to basic socio-economic services such as healthcare and education.
The Mae Hong Son Province is where KHT focuses most of its attention, although we do implement some projects in neighbouring northern provinces. Most of the Karen villages we work in are only accessible from smaller roads and mud tracks. Remote villages can therefore be frequently cut off during the rainy season which lasts from July to October each year. To find out about how we are reaching out to Karen communities in this isolated region and where our projects are taking place, please visit our projects pages.Our Projects The Karen People
The Karen Hilltribes Trust (KHT) is a UK registered charity – Charity No. 1093548. Below you will find a series of useful documents with more details about KHT.