BANGKOK — A former girls’ school abandoned for more than 20 years will become a hub for family and environmentally-friendly activities for the public this Saturday.

A sustainable cooking class made from food surplus, a fertilizer workshop showing ways to compost food scraps, and a neighborhood tour around the historic Nang Loeng will be among the activities held for free at the Ford and Resources and Engagement Center (FREC) Bangkok this Oct. 5. There will also be activities for kids such as hands-on mapmaking and ecological lessons.

The all-day event will be held in celebration of the opening of the first FREC in Asia, where the three-story elementary school building has been revamped into a multi-purpose space for several non-profit organizations.

“Like our first FREC in Detroit, Michigan, FREC Bangkok is a long-term commitment to a neighborhood brimming with untapped potential,” president of Ford Motor Company Fund Jim Vella said. “Through food rescue programs, conservation projects, plastic upcycling, our FREC stewards an opportunity to deliver services that directly benefit people in the neighborhood and the city as a whole.”

Under the same roof, eight NGOs will co-host the activities in the shared office and meeting spaces. There is also a kitchen, where food security organization Scholars of Sustenance can cook meals from leftovers from hotels to feed orphans, and a vertical farm, where plants are grown to be used as ingredients.

Apart from food programs, attendees can also learn how to revitalize plastic waste  into handcrafted products from Precious Plastic, learn how to rescue injured birds from the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand, and learn how to bring changes to communities from Urban Studies Lab.

In front of the center is a 120-year-old house that used to belong to a Siamese reformer Chao Phraya Thammasakmontri, a former education minister who pioneered the country’s first university Chulalongkorn University. The historic house has been turned to an arts hub Bangkok 1899, where food and drink from guest chef and urban refugee communities will be served.

FREC Bangkok Open House” will be held at FREC Bangkok on Nakhonsawan Road. The event will run from 11am to 9pm on Oct. 5. Entry is free. The venue is reachable by a 5 minute walk from Phan Fa Lilat Pier stop of the Saen Saep Boat Service.

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