Nature. Style. Purpose
More Than Just a Bag
Together we empower lives through education
Gift of Education
Education changes lives around the planet. It can boost financial and emotional well-being at any age. According to the global partnership for education (GPS), one extra year of education can increase income potential by 10%. Staying in school one more year can mean living in or out of poverty. More families living above the poverty line increases the wealth and prosperity of the nation.
For women in childbearing years, one extra year of education means a reduction of 9.5% in child deaths. In addition, better-educated women understand health better, take preventative measures (wellness checkups and vaccines), and space out more births. Graduating from high school and college offers a higher chance of living one's full potential.
Education in Thailand
Thai people value education and have made great strides in improving and reducing poverty rates, but it isn't enough. Thai students, particularly in rural areas, lack the funds to send their children to school. Basic education is free until grade 9, but other costs such as transportation, books, and uniforms make it unreachable for some families.
UNICEF estimates that 14% of all children do not attend secondary school. Most of these children are from disadvantaged communities and face discrimination. Less access to education and teacher shortages have created more at-risk children with a higher chance of being abused or exploited, resulting in juvenile delinquency and prostitution. Only about 5% of children from low-income families make it to college.
Thailand, nicknamed the land of smiles, is also home to many skilled artisans crafting locally made and sustainable products. Basket weaving is an ancient art passed down from generation to generation. Seagrass, an underwater flowering plant, grows wild all along the shores. It provides a safe habitat for fish and prawns and is the primary food source for turtles.
Dead seagrass washes up on the beach, and Thai weavers collect the offerings. Seagrass, while natural, can clog up roads and sewers, becoming a nuisance for people. But when it's dried and weaved into magical creations (from baskets to bags), it becomes unique to that village community, referred to as One Tambon One Product (OTOP).
PAM, CEO & FOUNDER
"I was born in the United States but returned with my family to Thailand when I was ten years old. Transitioning into Thai life was hard for me at first. I considered myself American. But over the years, I learned to value and understand Thai culture and realized it was as much a part of me as was my American heritage. I also could see the disparities in Thai education from other countries and wanted to make a difference. All children deserve the same opportunities, and this passion helped create the Areeya Scholarship Fund. Named after my daughter, it means generosity in Thai."
What We Do
At Sea & Grass, we believe in the power of education and want to help disadvantaged children dream. With this mission in mind, we created the Areeya Scholarship Fund. A portion of the profits of every bag sold helps pay the costs of tuition, books, transportation, and other necessities for disadvantaged Thai children.
The majority of the fund goes to the children of the same weavers who create Sea & Grass bags. In addition to paying a fair wage, we further their economic power by helping them afford school for their children, nieces, and nephews. We see the process as a beautiful cycle of entrepreneurship and generosity.
Why It's Needed
Sometimes a small gesture can go a long way. Helping families pay for schooling reduces the poverty rate, increases health outcomes, and lowers the chance of physical and mental abuse.
The Areeya Scholarship Fund gives back to the same community where the bags come to life. The fund provides school expenses to help children finish secondary school and go to college. Without this help, many children would never have this chance. At Sea & Grass, we are passionate about education because we know it matters. Your support matters. And we can only do it together.