~ Service is Love. Invest and Empower Each Life with Love. ~
Danish-born Karin Andreassen moved to Thailand in 1981 with her husband, three suitcases and a three-year-old child with one purpose – to serve. All she knew about Thailand was through correspondence from a Norwegian friend doing missionary work there and a book from the library – which displayed colourful pictures of temples, monks, tourist spots and some brief history of the country. “It felt like a calling and my goal in life,” says Karin. So with that leap of faith, she and her husband sold their possessions, bid their goodbyes and moved to Bangkok.
42 years later, the passion for serving continues. Through the iCare Thailand Foundation, Karin supports the underprivileged, vulnerable, and inaccessible located in the remote areas of Thailand, ensuring they are loved, cared for, and not forgotten. The iCareThailandFoundation, set up in 2011, is a charitable organisation committed to long-lasting and meaningful community development through projects that empower youth and help the underprivileged. The Foundation is driven by the belief that “every life has value, and within each person lies the capability to reach out to those in need and make a positive contribution to society.”
Here’s a short video about iCare Thailand Foundation.
Entrepreneur ~ What’s your definition?
“An entrepreneur is someone who is not afraid to do scary things. They go for it – no matter the cost, and see how it works out.” But, she adds, “success does not come easy, and the entrepreneur is determined to work at it steadily as they feel strongly about this cause and purpose.”
Characteristics of an Entrepreneur – Your top 3
Service was not new to Karin. She had been reaching out to the needy through counselling to troubled youth in Denmark, but she says this was on a smaller scale. What drives her to keep the vision going are the following characteristics:
Determination is the most important, she says, as it serves as a driving force that reminds you about commitment and purpose.
Motivation – As a mother of two and a grandmother of five, seeing the youth’s and young children’s struggles is hard. “Sometimes it gets so tough you want to give up, but the motivation to create change keeps you going,” she says.
Sense of Humour – living in a foreign country with a different culture and language and with no family to turn to, you must take a moment and have a good laugh. “Things go crazy, and being able to laugh a lot when it’s impossible and looking at it as a bend in the road rather than an obstacle keeps you going because you know it’s a bend and you’ll come out ok,” she adds.
Entrepreneurship style – Love and Care
This is not a dream job in the conventional sense, yet Karin found a strong calling to do this for the rest of her life and inspire her son, Michael, who is supporting the day-to-day operations of the iCare Thailand Foundation. “It is a sacrifice, but I like to live life as an example for others to follow,” says Karin. “With this work, love and care are at the heart of everything we do,” Karin explains. Some of the activities undertaken by the Foundation include assisting the underprivileged, providing aid and provisions in disaster relief situations, educational and school projects such as scholarships, building dormitories, hospital visitation and rehabilitation for victims of human trafficking.
Faith and Motivational Podcasts about Self-Development
A devout Christian, Karin finds strength in her faith and finds time daily to read the bible. She also watches motivational podcasts about life, love and self-improvement to keep sustaining her motivation and find new ways and ideas to integrate service as a way of life.
What’s the best advice you have received?
“Never give up. There’s nothing too difficult that can’t be overcome with love and determination. If you want to find a way, there’ll always be a way.“
How do you pick yourself up from a not-so-great day?
“Think of somebody in a worse case or talk to somebody who could use encouragement, and your problem evaporates. Keep encouraging yourself.”
What would you say to someone reading this?
“When you prioritise understanding yourself and your innate leadership strengths and bring your natural, authentic self to whatever role you play, you will be more effective, regardless of your style.”
What’s one word that inspires you?
It’s more of a poem she says and shares the following:
“I may never pass this way but once. So if there is any good I can do, let me do it now because I may never pass this way again.”
~ Entrepreneur Your Life: Lead on your terms is an empowering account of women around the globe who carved their paths. Driven by passion and perseverance, these women created possibilities for themselves despite the odds. Resourceful and resilient, they represent remarkable strength of character and show us how to be the entrepreneurs of our life. ~