Why Thailand?
Thailand has a culture of pious Buddhism, kindness, hard work, and a simple lifestyle. The Thai people have no religious, ideological or political conflict with the U.S. Family planning is widely practiced, and the needs of our students exist in spite of responsible child-bearing policies. There are job opportunities for educated young people. There is no caste system that limits economic or social mobility.

What corporate expenses does the RTSF have?
Very few; primarily postage, bank fees, web site rental, and bookkeeping. We also pay the teachers $1.00 per student letter translated. Directors pay for all airfare and other travel related expenses personally. None of the board members or any of the teachers or directors in Thailand are reimbursed for their work.

Will these scholarships really enable these students to move from poverty to a middle-class income?
Often, but not always. The problems of poverty are not easily solved in Thailand, or elsewhere. However, the Thai culture and economy does offer a lot of opportunities to the educated, even if they come from poor rural backgrounds.

How well will I get to know the students that I sponsor?
You will get of copy of their application form, the student's photo, and a thank-letter written specifically to you (in Thai and English). However it is an arms-length relationship. You will not be a personal friend, Facebook friend, boyfriend or employer of the student. We believe that the school staff knows far better than we do how to help each student, and do not want to risk harm - emotional or otherwise – to the students.

Is it true that some girls in Thailand are sold to brothels?
As near as we can tell, nearly all prostitution in Thailand is “voluntary”. However, we hear the same stories that you do, and worry about the girls. For this reason the RTSF has a standing offer at every participating school to buy the freedom of any girl who feels she may be forced into such work. So far, no one has asked for help. However the problem is widespread in SE Asia. Contact the Somaly Mam organization if you would like to help. http://www.somaly.org/slavery

Why are the thank-you-notes that I received so dull?
Unlike American children, most of these students have never previously received a gift of any sort. They do not have years of practice of writing thank-you-notes for presents received for birthdays, Christmas, Bar/Bat Mitzvah or other events. They really do appreciate the help, but often do not know what to say or how to say it.

Is there a minimum donation?
The minimum amount to support one student for one year is $100. However as we lack salaried staff, the teachers in Thailand usually do not have the time to assign the students to donors in groups less than five. So if you want to be certain that you will receive their biographical data and letters, the minimum donation is $500.

Does the RTSF promote any political or religious beliefs?
No.    However, the schools and students are all told that the U.S. government deserves much of the credit for the program.  This is because as the I.R.S. has classified the RTSF as a tax-exempt foundation, the U.S. Government is effectively paying for nearly half of the scholarships (by forfeiting tax-receipts that would otherwise be due from the income of donors).

Are the scholarship students typical Thai children?
Esan, where the RTSF schools are located, is the most traditionally Thai, and also the poorest region in Thailand. These students come from families that are poor even by local standards. However, it is reassuring to note that in Thailand, these children do at least have food, clothing and shelter.