The project began 18 years ago when Assoc.Prof. Therdchai, was then Dr. Therdchai ,an orthopaedist, provided medical treatment to HRH the Princess Mother who learnt that he was able to make lighter, more comfortable and much cheaper artificial legs. By way of comparison, Dr. Therdchai's one artificial leg costs 700 baht versus 5,000 baht for an imported one. HRH the Princess Mother then instructed Dr. Therdchai to set up a foundation to provide free prostheses to poor amputees regardless of nationalities or religion.

From its beginning in 1992 until the present, using materials made from recycled drinking yoghurt bottles, the Foundation has researched and developed methods to make better and more cost-effective artificial legs, prosthetic components and equipment. These include cosmetic legs of knee and above knee levels, farmer legs which are specially designed to climb hilly terrains, artificial energy saving feet that allow comfortable walking, hip disarticulation artificial legs,canes, forearm crutches,and walkers. King Mongkuth Institute of Technology's Engineering Department, North Bangkok and Thai Plastic Industrial Association give supervision to the Foundation on engineering and production development.

An artificial leg comprises of a socket, shank and foot made of domestic raw materials such as polypropylene, stainless steel, including recycled  drinking yoghurt bottles and donated women's stockings. The Foundation has also received five tonnes of donated aluminium can rings from over 1,000 private and public donors, including Australian ones. Most of these rings are then sold in order to purchase top grade aluminium for making joints and hip joints. The rest is moulded and produced as screws for artificial legs.

The Foundation also produces prosthetic equipment, including ovens which cost 50,000 baht per unit compared to 600,000 baht for an imported one. A plastic socket forming apparatus also just costs 30,000 baht versus 300,000 baht for an import.

With its capability and expertise, the Foundation conducts mobile unit sevices five times annually in honour of the late HRH Princess Mother, Their Majesties the King and Queen, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Her Royal Highness Princess Galayani Vadhana on their birthdays.

Since its establishment until last April, the Foundation has provided  88 mobile services which made artificial legs for 17,771 amputees in 60 provinces in Thailand, in Laos, Myanmar and Malaysia.

Ring pulls from the school reach this project through the Thai Embassy. If you wish to support this charity please give your ring pulls to a member of the HIgh School Earth Club who will be happy to see them recycled in this way for you.
Further information and photos can be found at this link.

Thanks to a very weighty drop off from a member of the ISKL community and collections on both campuses and at community recycling, the HS Earth club was able to deliver 26kg of ring pulls to the Thai embassy in January 2010. The collecting continues........

Ring pulls collections are now being pushed for in the Middle School, with the eventual goal of being able to spread to collection to the Melawati campus as well. Both would be collected not just on a monthly basis, but daily, and would be dropped off at the HS Earth club collectons. The ring pull donating should start soon...