ELISABETH ZANA, THE FAIRY GODMOTHER OF KRABI’S CHILDREN
On the 26th of December 2004, a devastating tsunami hit the South of Thailand and took away Natacha, the only child of Elisabeth Zana, who was diving in Koh Phi Phi when it happened. She was a journalist, who loved Asia, its culture and fought to protect its environment.
In January 2005, when Elizabeth Zana came to Krabi searching for her daughter, she knew at that time that she was going to come back to help all the children who suffered from the tsunami and she did. With the help of Carole Sédillot (President of NAT and Natacha’s godmother) and Jean Claude Zana (Secretary of NAT and Natacha’s father/Elisabeth’s husband), Elisabeth officially founded NAT Association on the 15th April 2005 in order to help children orphaned by the tsunami.
Elizabeth Zana has been living in Krabi since then and she is supported locally by Khun Nopporn Na Nagara, retired French teacher and Mr Maurizio Scarpella, benefactor and coordinator of the Association in Thailand.
She also met Khun Gowit Thongtip who took her to Krabi’s countryside in order to visit a small school threatened with closure in Ban Kuan Kojan, a village of Nuah Klong District where seventeen orphans were about to see their school shut down. From that moment, her challenge was to enable their education and build a new school from scratch in accordance with Thai Culture.
Elizabeth Zana made a happy encounter, Khun Joan, born and raised in Ban Kuan Kojan. An English teacher categorically opposed to the closing of her school who helped her in this humanitarian project. Since then, they have developed a real friendship and learned how to count on each other.
In order to make the children feel comfortable, the school has been painted and refurbished. NAT bought a TV so that children can benefit from the Royal school program broadcasted on television in every school of the country and then purchased a computer connected to the internet. These were the first steps of the school’s renewal.
In January 2006, the Natacha Primary School arose with two directors, Elizabeth Zana and Khun Teeraphon Chumani who comes from a teaching family and is well integrated in Krabi’s Administration which really helped in developing the school and assuring the Government’s involvement; and 8 female primary school teachers including Khun Joan.
As part of the renovations, NAT Association installed in 2011 a system to filter the water so children and teachers can use tap water instead of bottles and carboys. The next project of the Association regarding refurbishment is about renovating the whole electricity system and extending the library which is crucial for children’s instruction.
NAT Association helps children in great difficulty, to this day, eighty eight are fostered by sponsors coming from Thailand, France, Italy and Switzerland. Most of the time, sponsors go to Natacha School to meet the kids and visit their families to learn more about their living environment. NAT Association makes sure that the money is used wisely for the children’s wellbeing and handles the follow up by collecting the invoices.
In 2012, Elizabeth Zana set up a university grant program for students in order to help them pay for their entry costs. The first grant was offered in 2013, and so far four scholarship holders have benefited from it. The amount of this grant is fixed to 40 000 THB per year.
School and leisure at Krabi Hospital:
In 2007, Elizabeth Zana met with Krabi Hospital’s manager and offered to create a learning and games room dedicated to all the sick children of the hospital with a teacher that would come once a week and a clown that would perform once a month. NAT Association has set up the room in 2008 and equipped it with computers, video games, a TV and a lot of toys.
When the tsunami struck, the man playing the clown was living and working in Bangkok, but he dropped everything and went to Koh Phi Phi to entertain the children while authorities were looking for their parents’ bodies. Consequently, he is really connected to NAT Association and Elisabeth and he is fully committed to her cause.
This program is so successful that for the past two years, it has also been set up in a center for mentally handicapped persons in Krabi and several schools all around Krabi.
When Elizabeth Zana arrived in 2005, the school was ranked 125th over 228 primary schools in Krabi Province. Thanks to her commitment, Natacha School is now ranked 17th which is the best recognition for NAT Association.
If you want to visit the school, please contact Elisabeth Zana:
For those who would like to make a donation, you can make a deposit to the NAT ASSOCIATION account:
Bangkok Bank, Krabi Branch: 0280
Account number: 280 094 764 6