MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — A Mankato couple has started a non-profit to help kids at the Kae Noi Orphanage in Thailand after visiting for a church mission trip last year.
Justin and Kelli Neumann started GROW Thailand this summer, which allows people to sponsor kids at the orphanage through monthly donations.
The donations go toward healthcare, education and daily living.
“After making relationships with these children, even though we don’t speak the same language, they don’t speak any English, and understanding the culture and the needs over there, we left in 2018, we left the orphanage completely wrecked. I mean, we were broken. We came home. We cried a lot,” Kelli said.
According to the Neumanns, the orphanage was built as a result of children fleeing Myanmar to escape war.
The orphanage is located in northern Thailand, about 10 miles from Myanmar.
Many of the kids have experienced extreme poverty.
The couple’s future goals are to continue to help update the orphanage’s facility and to raise enough money to provide transportation to the nearest hospital, which is about three hours away.
Justin said that so far, they have helped sponsor nearly 40 kids.
“They’re full of joy. They’re happy. They’re just incredibly amazing kids who look out for each other and take care of each other," he said.
The couple also said they hope that in the near future, donors will be able to reach out to the kids they help sponsor through letters.
For more information, you can visit the nonprofit’s website.