Orphaned teen boxer receives 70k baht donation, with help of English teacher and Facebook

A 14-year-old orphan in Khon Kaen has raised THB70,000 in cash donations and will receive a full scholarship. It all started when his English teacher shared a photo of the boy’s tattered uniform and asked his social media networks for help.

Somprawong “Yan” Wongdaeng, 14, lives with his sister and her husband, who is a Muay Thai fighter. Since the age of nine, Yan has been taught to box and has fought in over 100 matches to earn money. After each fight, he would receive compensation as low as THB500.

Prin Swiworasarn, his English teacher at Nongkham Pittayakom School, started an online campaign to raise donations for Yan after seeing the boy wear old pants to school that were held together with safety pins.

“I only started posting about him in our circle, but then the story became popular. All the benefits go to the kid himself,” Prin wrote.

“He was embarrassed to be mocked by his friends [about the pants], but he still wants to go to school,” he added.

Aside from the THB70,000 in donations, the World Professional Muay Thai Federation announced that they will give Yan a full-ride scholarship following the media attention, Sanook reported.

While the bank account that received the money is in Yan’s name, the school has appointed a committee to control the funds and make sure the money is well-spent for Yan’s own benefit.

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