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Kids Ark USA

Kids Ark USA is a 501C3 non-profit dedicated to raise funds to support Kids Ark Foundation – Thailand.

What we do:

  • Child Sponsorship – find and support people who want to sponsor children in Thailand. These children are typically chosen by teachers or others that are familiar with the local situation. While most of the children we support are from the Red Lahu ethnic minorities we also have students who are Shan/Thai Yai and disadvantaged Thai citizens too.  This is a direct sponsorship to a student and their family that is contingent on their attending school. The money is typically transferred to an ATM account that is controlled by the student, a teacher and a 3rd person typically from the family.
  • House of Hope (after school program) operational support
  • Other programs such as transportation, sometimes equipment etc on a need by need basis

Our 501c3 EIN Tax ID 26-3401617 

To make a online donation Click here This is tax deductible for US citizens. Or send a check to Kids Ark – USA, PO Box 291, Peterborough, NH 03458.  

Our Board

Ron Witzke – has worked with the Kids Ark Foundation in Thailand since 2006 and helped form the Kids Ark-USA 501-(c) (3) non-profit in 2008 to assist the efforts of the Kids Ark Foundation. He worked for 25 years with a company providing logistics and procurement services for international humanitarian relief organizations, with assignments in post-war and post-disaster international settings. He has been the head of two non-profits, War Child and Kids Ark-USA, both international agencies working to provide aid to children.

Ms Rita Holm Gustafsson  – In her native Sweden, Rita Holm Gustafsson is a registered nurse and nurse educator. She has worked in various fields ranging from 25 years of teaching to information about HIV policy. Furthermore she has worked several years in managing positions at the Foundation Noaks Ark´s department for people living with HIV and their relatives as well as at a Red Cross center for migrants, refugees and people living with disability. Together with her late husband Allan Gustafsson she founded Kids Ark Foundation Thailand.

Ms Ulrika Peppler Barry – worked for over 20 years in education and knowledge management for the United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, and for UNICEF. She has recently launched her own company, Peppler Barry Galerie, for the development of the arts, and is a partner in Galerie Documents 15, Paris.  Ulrika has a graduate degree in History, Swedish and Pedagogy, and has worked as a history and Swedish teacher in Stockholm schools. She lives in Paris. A Board Member since 2015, Ulrika is currently the Managing Director of Kids Ark Foundation.

Thomas Westheimer – has been a volunteer with Kids Ark since 2008 and a board member since 2015. He helped to start a Kids Ark USA charity in the US and is a former US (Iran 1970-72) and Canadian (1973-76) Peace Corps volunteer. He ran a computer company for 20 years in the United States. He and his wife lived in Thailand from 1973 – 1983 and still see it as their second home. He also volunteers with The Foundation to Encourage the Potential of Disabled Persons and has been a Rotary member for over 24 years.

Rita Bruder – 

Mary Lou O’Neil – has a passion for helping students of all ages. She has over 25 years of community service experience. including board involvement with  Kids Ark USA, Dollars for Scholars, Nature’s Classroom Childcare,. Monadnock United Way, the local Chamber of Commerce Education Committee,  among others. She has been a School To Career Coordinator since 1997 helping high school students find internships and explore other career-related activities.  She received a  2013 NH Scholars Award for creating exemplary business and education partnerships.

Roy Schlieben –  has been a board member since 2013.  He has worked for 15 years in international development, most recently as communications Associate for Freeland Foundation in Bangkok, Thailand.  Previously he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco (2001-2003) and worked on several peace building programs in Francophone Africa.  He currently resides in Peterborough, NH and provides consulting services for a wide veriety of non-profits.  He also volunteers as the Executive Director for Peterborough’s MAxT Makerspace and has been a Rotarian since 2012.

Marie Bennett – Treasurer – Marie has experience in accounting and tax preparation. She earned her BS in accounting in 1990 and has been working as an accountant and tax preparer since then. She is also an Enrolled Agent which enables her to represent clients before the IRS. Marie has been associated with Kid’s Ark since 2010.


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