JCA 2017 Keynote Speaker

Tawee Donchai



Originally from a small farming community in Chiang Rai, Tawee was given the opportunity to get a better education outside of his village school, after his parents passed away when he was quite young. Eventually, Tawee got his Masters in Biochemistry. He began working as a scientist in Chiang Mai, all the while holding a dream in his heart to start a youth centre in his hometown for children at risk.

He envisioned a place for youth to go and become part of a group—a place to give these children a broader view of the world and to empower them to reach their potential. He also dreamed of providing scholarships for low-income families to send their children to school, giving priority to those at most in need.

In 2007, he met the documentary team from The SOLD Project and together they formed The Freedom Story. After living away from his hometown since he was 10, Tawee moved back to Chiang Rai with his wife, Beth, in 2011 and took on his full-time role as the Thailand Founding Director of the Freedom Story, where he now oversees the organisation’s operations in Thailand.