Nathnicha is an active, joyful and intelligent girl living in the hills of Thailand with her parents and one sister. The family lives in a wood and concrete house with a zinc roof. Her parents are farmers who do not own their own land but must use hillside land owned by the government. They borrow funds from a broker to begin the growing season and for four consecutive years the weather has been irregular resulting in poor crops. They grow rice for their own food and corn for sale. The families in this area are in debt and unable to repay loans. Her parents are not interested in learning modern farming techniques and have no knowledge of marketing and money management. They finished only primary level six. Nathnicha dreams of one day becoming a teacher. She is so thankful for the opportunity to attend school at the New Hope Childcare Center.
Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, and many people also believe in the spiritual realm. Children from poor families go to state-run schools where teaching is sub-standard. Their parents normally have little education and cannot be relied upon to help them. School children seldom reach the ninth grade and most end up working in family farms. Since the people have very low or no education, they lack basic knowledge of life skills like personal hygiene, household management, family planning and balancing budgets.