More than 90% of Thai people are professing Buddhists so it is little surprise that the culture, and especially visual art, is heavily influenced by Buddhism. With beautiful beaches and forests and a distinctive cuisine, Thailand is a magnet for tourists from the region and beyond. Politically the situation in the country has been tense, with a coup in 2014 and the death of the revered king in 2016.
TLM’s involvement in the country goes back to 1911, when it was still called Siam. The Mission helped fund housing for homeless patients on a river island donated by the ruler of Chiang Mai: it is now the flourishing McKean Rehabilitation Center. Owned and run by the Thai church, McKean is TLM’s partner organisation in Thailand. It cares for and integrates patients with leprosy and disabilities and age-related problems. It is recognised as the centre providing leprosy expertise in north Thailand, and also provides residential treatment and rehabilitation for marginalised or displaced disabled persons, along with training in activities to promote sustainable livelihoods. McKean has also in recent years been pioneering the development of multi-tiered aged care for the broad spectrum of elderly folk in the region.
TLM’s annual expenditure in Thailand is around £30,000.