What does BCTFN stand for?
BCTFN stands for the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy. The organization has evolved from humble beginnings in 1946 as the simply titled ‘Charity Fair’, through to the 1950’s when it became established as the United Kingdom Committee for Thai Charities (UKCTC) under the auspices of the British Embassy and in 1999 when the UKCTC became a fully authorized and recognized Thai Charity Foundation. The name changed to reflect Thai law which requires the name of the charitable foundation to clearly reflect the purpose of the charity.
BCTFN has been supporting Thai charities since 1957 operating as the United Kingdom Committee for Thai Charities. In 2000 this became an official Thai Foundation as the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy. Since that time, over 70 million baht has been allocated to projects throughout Thailand with preference give to self-help projects, agricultural, educational and medical projects that benefit whole communities.
Funds to support these projects are all raised at the annual Ploenchit Fair, with an army of vollunteers and the sponsorship of many companies and organisations.
British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy Charity activities by members of the British Community in Thailand began at the British Club in 1941 when monthly activities including morning markets selling home-made cakes and other items run by the British Ladies together with the production of several plays were organised.
The British efforts were combined with the YWCA in 1951 when they held their first international Bazaar, but in 1957 the British community, led by the wife of the Ambassador realized the potential for an annual charity Fair and the need for a dedicated committee. The Ploenchit Fair was born.
A committee was formed from a cross-section of the community, UKCTC and charged with the objectives of maximizing the support from the British community for Thai charities, to ensure funds were properly disbursed and spent and to unite and promote British companies’ charitable donations, giving them a forum to handle requests received throughout the year.
The first committee, UKCTC, obtained Foundation status from the Ministry of Interior in 1999 under the name British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy and today continues the organization of the Ploenchit Fair. The members are entirely voluntary and, with the experience they have gained over the years, enables them to understand and administer to the needs of the recipient charities, advise them where necessary and monitor the work they are and have been doing over the decades on an ongoing permanent basis.
In recent years, priority has been given to self-help projects that benefit and enable a community to become self-sustaining. Assistance has also been given in the provision of basic necessities and equipment to improve healthcare, nutrition, education, agricultural projects and the disabled throughout Thailand.