Our Mission & Philosophy

In Search of Sanuk directly provides food, shelter, and educational support for survivors of torture and trauma, focusing special attention on at risk women and girls.

Our hope is to provide as much ‘sanuk’, the Thai word for fun and enjoyment, into the lives of these vulnerable communities as possible. We recognize the power that play and laughter possess in communicating beyond barriers to override heartbreaking circumstance and enhance our mission.

Dwight and the Asylum Seekers of Bangkok from Tara Milutis on Vimeo.

Our Causes

We’ve recently restructured our work into causes to help you understand what we do. We hope you’ll take some time to investigate the work we’re doing and decide to share, donate, and volunteer.


The Survivors Project aims to rehabilitate and provide basic needs to survivors of torture and trauma. This includes victims of domestic violence, former sex workers, and refugees. [More on The Survivors Project]



Women often bear a disproportionate amount of trauma and guilt for societal ills. The Esteem Project aims to reinvigorate their lives by rebuilding their confidence through social support, skills training, and job placement. [More on The Esteem Project]


The Thrive Project is an initiative especially for the creation of educational opportunities and fun learning. We purchase uniforms, send kids to school, organize fun activities, and more! [More on The Thrive Project]

Dwight Turner of In Search of Sanuk

Our Beginning 

The In Search of Sanuk Project was started by Dwight Turner in late 2008. Dwight is from Atlanta, GA and has spent several years working in Thailand teaching and writing. He reads and writes imperfect Thai, loves living in Bangkok, and is overly active on social networks.

Dwight’s passion has been helping people and encouraging others to do the same. In Search of Sanuk looks for small ways to make a big difference in the lives of others. Over time Dwight and friends have clocked hundreds of hours volunteering, successfully spreading the word about worthwhile causes, and finding tons of ‘sanuk’ or fun in the process.