ARK International was founded in Perth, Australia in 2004 in response to the colossal need for dedicated and compassionate Christian workers to combat and advocate for children at risk worldwide.
In 2005, Sopo and Nicole Fakaua embarked on a research and scouting trip to Thailand and surrounding nations to field the need for opportunities to serve children at risk in Southeast Asia. The compiled results indicated that there was a great need for collaboration among ministries working with children and youth. In response to the overwhelming need to strategically network within S.E. Asia, ARK International began its work with a hub operating location in Bangkok, Thailand in 2007 as a ministry of Youth With A Mission, Perth, Australia and in collaboration with YWAM Thailand.
ARK International’s beginnings were a tiny office in the home of Sopo & Nicole Fakaua when they initially moved to Thailand. Each year we grew a little more until we were surprised with an incredible gift and subsequently, the provision to buy and renovate the plot of land and building that is currently the ARK operating location.
A Timeline of Impact:
2007 – 2 staff & first donation of office equipment which included one desk, one filing cabinet and 2 chairs
2008 – 4 staff, Faith seed donation of $70,000, donation of clothing from Benetton which we gave away to children/youth in our underprivileged communities. LIFE Life started (a ministry going into our SLUM communities and running simple healthcare, crafts and activities for the children and youth)
2009 – 6 staff, 2 Counselling Seminars (Understanding the needs of children at risk, Trauma and Play Therapy), First computer purchase, property purchase for ARK office and the first NAK SUU rugby camp
2010 – 7 staff, Launch of NAK SUU rugby academy, 1st youth camp with Kings Kids
2011 – 10 staff, Live Life 2 started, NAK WING started (intentional mentorship groups), An invitation into the temple schools to teach English, SAFE CHILD started (an anti-human trafficking initiative began after two girls in our community were kidnapped), our first Bangkok International Tens Tournament with Nak Suu
2012 – 11 staff, Youth Night started on Friday nights, 1st Camp Zoe (Camp for underprivileged kids), 1st Discipleship Training School with a focus on Children at Risk (CAR-DTS), donation of a Toyota truck and ARK International becomes a legally registered foundation.
2013 – 15 staff, CARM-DTS (our DTS with a focus on children at risk and Music), we started to enroll children in school and started to see some of our kids enter into middle school for the first time. Wednesday school started (an initiative to reach out to some of our migrant children with an opportunity to learn literacy and numeracy)
2014 – the vision to start Rock of Hope Community Center (this is where our Wednesday school is hosted), 70 children attend Camp Zoe
2015 – further collaboration with project partners, 3 of our teenage girls received their first passport which gives them legal entity and the opportunity to continue their long-term goals in the area of education, purchase of our first songteow (truck to pick up kids and take them to our programs), partnership with the Hilton hotel
In 2016, Ark International went through a time of restructuring, reducing and reformatting the ministry to enhance collaboration with project partners. Project partnerships are seen as multilateral alliances where together, we can accomplish more. This allows ARK International the opportunity to specialize in the areas of education, sponsorship and mentorship which are the main focus of this ministry to date.