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The work of the Firetree Group is dedicated to Richard P. Haugland ("Dick").

Dick was an incredibly generous man who supported hundreds of thousands of people through various projects and organizations in Nepal, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India and Thailand. With his company, Molecular Probes (founded with his wife, Rosaria) he invented some of the most effective fluorescent dyes used in laboratories around the world (the Alexa Fluor dyes remain a best seller).  When he sold the company in 2003 he transferred a very significant sum into his foundation, the Richard P. Haugland Foundation, and kept adding assets to it until his death in October 2016. The Firetree Group is the Foundation's successor.

Those who knew Dick agree that he was a kind, naive genius. No matter what language, cultural and religious difference there might be, he connected with children.  He loved teaching and developing curricula and he was brilliant at that. 

Over the years, with Francesco, he traveled from Bangladesh to the Philippines, from Northern Vietnam to India and Nepal, from rural Myanmar to every corner of Cambodia and Thailand. Starfish Country Home School Foundation, in Northern Thailand was his home from 2004 until his passing in October 2016.


At Starfish, Dick was actively involved with curriculum development and children’s enrichment activities to ensure that the children get the best quality education from the programs. His unique multi-media teaching methods and materials in math, English ("Thaiglish") and Thai languages have made a tremendous impact on preschool and primary school children.

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