About Us

Friends of Thai Daughters provides education, safe shelter and emotional support to girls at risk of being trafficked in Northern Thailand. Our program is intensive, comprehensive and produces amazing outcomes.

 Our Beginning

While traveling through Northern Thailand in 2002,  Jane McBride and Patricia Zinkowski, discovered fifteen girls living in an abandoned school in the village of Doi Luang. The girls had little adult supervision and were trying to survive as best they could in an area known for human trafficking agents. The situation was extremely worrying.

 

Jane and Patty provided financial assistance and made a promise to the girls of Doi Luang that they would not forget them. They later returned to Thailand with a camera and made a documentary about the girls’ stories and life in their villages. Each girl had a tragic story to tell. Many were AIDS orphans or had parents in prison. Most lacked ID cards, leaving them “stateless” and highly vulnerable to traffickers. Something had to be done to protect them before it was too late.

 

The solution was to provide them with safe shelter, education and support. Friends and family pitched in until Friends of Thai Daughters was incorporated as a non-profit in 2005. For more than 15 years, FTD has helped protect and educate dozens of girls and young women through our family-scale program. In 2015, we purchased our first Sunflower House in Chiang Rai. In 2016, we expanded to city of Chiang Khong, located on the Laos border. In 2019, we purchased land to build the Sunflower Thrivable Farm with organic orchards and vegetable gardens to support additional Daughters. Over 75 girls and young women have benefitted from the FTD program.

What began as a grass roots initiative to help a group of girls in need has turned out to be the most rewarding work we could have ever imagined. We started with a simple and clear vision to invest in each of our Daughters, to amplify her voice, improve her ability to succeed, give her the education and support she needs to escape exploitation and to be able to help her family and community. For more than 15 years, our Daughters have demonstrated grit, determination and gratitude. Our success is reflected by our Graduate Daughters who are now running the program.

– Patty Zinkowski & Jane McBride

 

The FTD Model

Prevention through Education

Education is the foundation of FTD’s mission. Our Daughters receive educational funding through university to enable them to be self-supporting adults upon graduation. Many of our Daughters attend or have graduated from Thailand’s top universities. Graduates have gone on to become nurses, teachers, artists and entrepreneurs.

Protection through Safe Shelter

FTD operates residential shelters known as “Sunflower Houses”. Each is home to 15 girls, ages 10 – 18, who live in a family setting under the care and guidance of loving houseparents. Daughters help with household chores, cooking and gardening. They enjoy music, dancing, hiking and field trips to different parts of Thailand. Volunteers teach English, arts and crafts, reading and sports. 

Support through Loving Kindness

FTD is not just a program, it’s a family where older sisters help younger ones with homework and life skills, Housemothers provide a shoulder to cry on and the entire family celebrates each Daughter’s success. After Daughters graduate from college, they remain family members receiving emotional and professional support as they forge their careers and build their lives as strong, self-confident and independent young women.

Our Results

Each year as our Daughters graduate from universities and vocational schools, they  emerge equipped with new ideas and skills to bring equality, justice and progress to their communities.

Over the course of their lives, each of our Daughters will have a significant impact on the people around them.

They will change how people think, how they treat each other, and the value that the community places on educating girls. As they succeed in their lives they become role models, not just for their own families  but for the entire community.

Daughter Leadership Team

 

  Our Daughter Leadership Team develops and lead activities related to environmental sustainability, human rights, and community service. These Daughter-led initiatives foster empowerment, leadership, independence and activism.

 Staff

Pitchaya 'Mee' Aryi

Pitchaya 'Mee' Aryi

General Manager

Mee was one of the first FTD program graduates.  Mee graduated from Chiang Mai University and manages the operations of the Sunflower Campus.  She recruits new Daughters and supervises a large family of girls. Mee is a superb ambassador for FTD and exemplifies our values of compassion and care.

Phuangthong 'Too' Takan

Phuangthong 'Too' Takan

Director, Chiang Khong Sunflower House

Born in Chiang Khong, Too Takan has worked in Child Safety, Human Trafficking Prevention and NGO management for over 20 years. She is the founder and director of the Child Rights Protection Center (CRPC). The management and project work of CRPC is informed by her knowledge and experience of living and working in the region.

Winai 'Diaow' Saharuangkit

Winai 'Diaow' Saharuangkit

Operations Manager

Diaow takes care of our Sunflower House properties, oversees construction and repairs, transports the Daughters to school and activities and coaches our FTD soccer team. Diaow has a green thumb and is learning about permaculture practices.  As the father of two daughters and a son, he greatly admires the FTD program and what it offers children with few options.

Lan Chularungreang

Lan Chularungreang

Rainbow House Supervisor/Property Manager

Lan started his career as a Police Officer before resigning to start his own bakery business. Passionate about preventing human trafficking, Lan has worked with several organizations to help victims find safe haven and receive support. At FTD, he supervises the maintenance and operation of the Rainbow House, and is property manager of our Sunflower House. A talented artist, woodworker and musician, he loves to play guitar and sing with the girls. Lan has two children and is married to FTD’s Director Too Takan. 

Meesa Aryi

Meesa Aryi

Graduate Daughter / Assistant Manager

Meesa joined the FTD family at age 17 and recently graduated from Chiang Rai Rajabhat University as an accounting major. She loves being a role model to  teach life skills, help with homework and to share her talents as an accomplished artist and seamstress.  Meesa aspires to have her own organic farm and sewing shop in the future.”My goal is to help our Daughters be safe, happy and able to take care of themselves.

Phitcha "Pink" Ayi

Phitcha "Pink" Ayi

Assistant Housemother

Pink is a member of the Akha hill tribe and the younger sister of General Manager Mee. She grew up in children’s foundations so has a keen understanding of how to care for our Daughters. She believes in lifelong learning and she loves leading a variety of activities from sports to cooking.  Pink is grateful to be part of the FTD family and to have the opportunity to improve girls’ lives. “FTD is so different from the orphanages where I lived. This is truly a family full of love.”

Supriya "Lek" Khattiya

Supriya "Lek" Khattiya

Assistant Housemother

Lek spends several evenings a week at the Sunflower House helping with cooking, school transport, homework and after-school activities. Her favorite hobby is organic gardening and she enjoys sharing her talents with our Daughters.  As a mother and grandmother, she loves being around young people and providing attention and guidance.

Jenny Flaumenhaft

Jenny Flaumenhaft

Program Manager

Jenny graduated summa cum laude from Colby College with an English and Education double major. After graduation, she moved to Thailand to teach English on a Fulbright Scholarship and volunteer with FTD where she organized the Thai Daughter Leadership Team, a project which  empowers Daughters to become change-makers. A strong believer in child advocacy and women’s empowerment, Jenny said, “I am so inspired by the resiliency and bravery of each Daughter. ” 

Junjira "Jun" Kirisaenphum

Junjira "Jun" Kirisaenphum

Director, Daughter Leadership Team

Jun joined the FTD family when she was in 9th Grade and is now a second year student at Rajabhat University, majoring in International English. A natural born leader, Jun enjoys organizing activities and workshops on a variety of subjects from organic gardening to gender equality. She has traveled to the US several times and spoken at the United Nations on the rights of girls and women. Jun exemplifies the qualities of a youth leader and is a role model for all of our Daughters.

 Board of Directors 

 

Corrie Dretler

Corrie Dretler

Director

Corrie is passionate about facilitating relationships between individuals committed to lifting the human experience. Connector, conduit and idea generator, Corrie is a mission-driven advisor with the ability to unlock potential for impact. Focused on collaborations and support of organizations that combat human trafficking/exploitation, support education, and economic empowerment of marginalized communities.  She is excited to be able to be part of the FTD team and continue its success for many more years and Daughters to come.

Marc Giles

Marc Giles

Director

Marc is currently the Chair of the Board of Lydall Corporation (NYSE:LDL), a leading global manufacturer of specialty engineered products for thermal, acoustical insulation applications. Marc was the President and CEO of Gerber Scientific, Inc. Marc also serves as Treasurer for the not-for-profit Board of the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine. “Friends of Thai Daughters is making a profound impact and changing lives. It’s a privilege to work with such a dedicated group of people.”

Barry Kean

Barry Kean

Director

Barry spent his professional career in finance and real estate after graduating from Northeastern University with a BA and MBA, Finance. He divides his time between Palm Beach, FL and Ogunquit, ME where serves on the board of Saint Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church. Barry is a long time supporter of FTD and an active fundraiser. “I am so impressed by the Thai Daughters’ desire to improve themselves and help others.”

 

Jane F. McBride

Jane F. McBride

Co-founder/Executive Director/Director

Jane is FTD’s Co-Founder. She spends several months a year in Thailand, visiting with our Daughters and traveling to hill tribe villages to meet with families and children at risk. A lifelong entrepreneur, Jane was CEO of a global aviation and luxury travel company. “The resilience and optimism of our Daughters is a constant source of inspiration to me.”

Patti Salvucci

Patti Salvucci

Chair

Patti was the  the owner and operator of three BNI franchises in the greater Boston area with 2,700 members.  She is a speaker, motivator and inspirational leader working with professional teams to help advance them to the next level. Her specialties are team building and motivational speaking. Patti is a staunch champion of girls and young women and loves FTD’s mission of empowerment.

Marlene B. Seltzer

Marlene B. Seltzer

Director

“Marlene is the retired CEO of Jobs for the Future, a nationally recognized $50 million non-profit organization helping low-income youth and their families gain economic mobility.  Throughout her career, she has worked closely with the philanthropic, education, and business communities to build partnerships and pathways for young people to gain the education in our global economy.  “As a long time supporter of FTD, it’s wonderful to witness the transformation of our Daughters.”

Aoy Sereethammaphilat

Aoy Sereethammaphilat

Director

Aoy joined the FTD family when she was 18 years old. She graduated from Payap University with an English degree and is currently the Project Manager of the “Keeping Girls Safe” program run by an anti-trafficking and child rights organization. Aoy is an active member of the FTD Board of Directors and frequently visits the Sunflower Houses. She is married and has a delightful young daughter. “FTD changed my life and it’s an honor to be on the Board to help the next generation of Daughters achieve their dreams.”

Patricia Zinkowski

Patricia Zinkowski

Co-founder, CFO, Director

FTD’s Co-Founder, CFO and Director, Patty was co-founder of Flight Time Corporation, and President of Avicus Group Ltd. Former Chair of the Board of Trustees of Lasell College in Newton, MA, Overseer of Boston Ballet and Board Member of New England Women’s Business Owners as well as an avid equestrian, farmer and world traveler.  “When we discovered some very sweet kids in desperate need, we decided to help on the spot.”

Advisors

 

Joy Adrien

Joy Adrien

Advisor

A frequent visitor to FTD’s Sunflower Houses, Joy has  hosted several Thai Daughters at her home outside of London where they have studied English, explored British culture and met with donors and supporters. A native of Jamaica, Joy’s  background as a teacher, magistrate and health service officer  has contributed to her passion to fight inequality and champion the underdog.

 

Kate Horgan

Kate Horgan

Advisor

A champion and advocate for many years, Kate has lent her creativity and generosity to FTD’s Sunflower Celebrations and opened her heart and home to FTD Daughters. Previously an educator and interior designer, Kate says, “I have raised money for various causes in my life but never one this personal and so humane. I am in awe that Patty and Jane saw this travesty and took action.

Charles "Chuck" Koch

Charles "Chuck" Koch

Advisor

Chuck is a retired internist who spent 10 years in the U. S. Public Health Service and 25 years as founder and partner in group medical practice in Venice, Florida. He founded and led an intensive treatment program that served about 1,500 youth addicted to drugs. He has spent countless hours sharing expertise and fundraising on behalf of causes for which he cares deeply. FTD is proud to call him a beloved member of the family.

Arlene "Tuny" Page

Arlene "Tuny" Page

Advisor

Tuny has known FTD Co-Founders Jane and Patty for over 30 years and has been a supporter of FTD since its inception. She brings her leadership and fundraising skills to FTD having served on the Board of the US Equestrian Team Foundation and as Co-chair of the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center. Tuny’s Daughter Chariotte volunteered at the Chiang Rai Sunflower House Fall 2017. 

Charlotte Page

Charlotte Page

Youth Advisor

Charlotte volunteered at FTD’s Sunflower House as a high school senior, spending two months teaching English, and being fully immersed in Thai culture. When she returned to the US, Charlotte became a passionate ambassador and fundraiser for her Thai “sisters”. Now an anthropology major at college,  Char continues to promote FTD’s mission and helps to educate her peers on human rights and anti-trafficking initiatives. 

Duangporn "Bo" Songvisava

Duangporn "Bo" Songvisava

Advisor

Chef Bo is a Michelin-starred chef and co-owner of Bangkok’s Bo.lan Restaurant, named one of the world’s best restaurants in 2019. Featured on Netflix’s Chef’s Table, Chef Bo is globally recognized as one of the world’s top chefs. An ardent supporter of FTD, Chef Bo and her husband Dylan Jones have conducted cooking demonstrations and workshops at our Sunflower House and provided hands-on training through internships at Bo.lan. She is a wonderful role model of entrepreneurial success and philanthropy. 

 

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