About VWB

The Evolution of VWB

VWB started life in 2004 as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative by Track of the Tiger (T.R.D.) when seeking a way to develop a nature trail from its Pang Soong Lodge through the stunning Mae Lai Community forest to serve as an educational platform for its outdoor & environmental education programmes. The initiative was upgraded to a registered foundation in order to raise funding from donors like the PATA Foundation, who provided a grant that enabled villagers from Ban Mae Lai village and volunteers to build the 3km trail ascending from 1000 m.a.s.l. to 1600m.a.s.l.over and around  17 beautiful waterfalls along the way.

Track of the Tiger covered some labour costs, overheads, marketing, booking costs and the development of a nature trail guidebook. The project won the SKAL Ecotourism Award for 2006.

The Beneficiaries:

  • Track of the Tiger benefited by establishing a platform for experiential learning programmes for its client markets - International school, corporate team building and special interest travel.
  • Track of the Tiger gained additional benefit when Pang Soong Lodge became a designated IB ESS & Biology Teachers Workshop venue.
  • The trail provided the village community with the financial incentive and the argument they needed to protect the forest from those who would log it, hunt its animals, and in so doing, eliminated the risk of having the authorities revoke its community forest status.
  • The village community benefited from the construction work, trail entry fees, employment opportunities for guides and service staff at Pang Soong Lodge and created better access to their traditional community forest.
  • Donors had their Community Service funding and hands-on effort go directly to the project they were working on - not to cover salaries, expenses, marketing or overheads for a non-profit or for a volunteer placement organization.
  • The trail created an opportunity for the village to generate sustainable revenue from tourism and agroforestry, as well as ensuring the long-term protection of the environment, whilst developing mutual respect and understanding between all involved.

To build on that initial success the model transitioned from CSR Initiative to registered non-profit foundation status to ensure a clear separation of profit and non-profit operations.

To that end, Track of the Tiger & The Maekok River Village Resort continued their symbiotic relationship with VWB, covering all overhead, admin and marketing costs, ensuring that some 95% of funding contributed by volunteers went directly to the Community Service (CS) projects they worked on.

The Maekok River Village Resort & Student Centre used the non-profit umbrella provided by VWB to secure donor funding and labour from its visiting schools clients. Over a few short years they completed 150 projects injecting US$ 850,000.- (teaching English, building classrooms, water systems, toilets and a special needs school wing), into the schools of the Amphur Mae Ai, area. Their efforts were recently honoured with an award by the Thai Ministry of Education.

More recently, VWB has extended its operations to cover projects run from Track of the Tiger's Sanpatong Experiential Education Centre in Chiang Mai, and became a collaborating partner in the Responsible Tourism Alliance - an online platform providing  micro and small tourism enterprises with non-commission based access to the responsible tourism market. 

For enquires and programme quotations, please use our contact form.

   
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