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The Karen Hilltribes Trust

An organization supporting the Karen people living in Mae Hong Son, Thailand.

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The Karen Hilltribes Trust (KHT) is a community-led organization that has been working with marginalized Karen communities in Northern Thailand for the past three decades.

The Karen are the largest ethnic minority group in Thailand, with an estimated population of 549,400. As mostly subsistence farmers, growing rice, vegetables and raising animals to support their families, life is difficult. KHT’s research has found that on average, families earn just $810 each year, whilst most communities do not have access to safe water and sanitation, healthcare, or education.


A secure future for the Karen communities of Northern Thailand.

Our Mission

To partner with Karen communities to improve their health, livelihoods, and access to education.

What They Do

By taking a holistic approach to the complex issues at hand, KHT aims to achieve sustainable change by empowering communities to improve their own lives. Since 1986, KHT has:

  • transformed health and well-being for over 55,643 people through providing clean drinking water, improved sanitation facilities and hygiene education.
  • allowed 18,901 farmers to secure agriculture as a sustainable livelihood through the construction of flood-resistant irrigation systems.
  • increased access to education for 17,693 children and young adults through the provision of school meals, transport and accommodation, and higher education scholarships.

Current Needs

Since March 2020, KHT has continued to provide vital support to communities who have lost jobs or been unable to attend education because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects have also been tailored to include vital COVID-19, handwashing, and general hygiene education, to ensure communities understand how to protect themselves. However, KHT is now in urgent need of your support to continue implementing these vital projects, in particular, its:

  • Access to Education Project - the project provides school buses in rural areas that lack public transport. The buses are often the only safe option for students to travel, and KHT are looking to expand this project as children return to school.
  • Irrigation Project – the project strengthens agriculture as a sustainable livelihood for farmers through the construction of flood-resistant irrigation systems.
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project – the project transforms community health through improving sanitation, hygiene, and access to safe water.

These projects ensure communities can improve food security, income generation, and health and well-being, all of which are of the upmost importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. By donating to KHT today, you will be a part of empowering Karen people across Northern Thailand to improve their own lives.

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