Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, Ltd. together with three leading non-governmental, social and economic development organizations – Kenan Foundation Asia (Kenan), Path2health Foundation, and Pact Thailand – announced a highly successful first year in “The Power of Human Energy,” CSR campaign, which is improving the quality of life for local community members through three exciting sustainable development projects.
After a year of work, the campaign has increased the capabilities of more than 15,000 targeted community members (students, teachers, youth, parents) and engaged over 105 partners. In its second year, the campaign continues to build individual and organizational capacity in human development.
Pairoj Kaweeyanun, Chevron Thailand president, said, our Power of Human Energy campaign focuses on human energy in all dimensions, including education,environment and energy conservation, economic development, and employee engagement. These exciting projects are the direct result of our conversations with the communities where we operate and respond directly to their needs. Chevron believes in the power of local communities, and our social campaigns are long-term, with specific and measurable targets to ensure we are successful in our goal of strengthening local communities.”
This two-year project, implemented since 2013, is tackling social issues in Thai communities by working closely with three partner organizations. The programs offered in each area were customized depending on the main concerns or problems found in each community, such as teenage pregnancy, lack of educational opportunity, unemployment, etc. “The Power of Human Energy” has been implemented in eight provinces: Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Phetchaburi, Chon Buri, Rayong, Songkhla and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Pairoj Kaweeyanun, Chevron Thailand president, said, “In the past year, underthe campaign, Chevron Thailand worked with three wonderful partner organizations that possess extensive experience, great skills, in-depth understanding and extensive knowledge on the social challenges we are working to overcome. With the help of our partners, we are working to improve the Thai education system through the promotion of inquiry-based science teaching, educate parents on ways to openly and positively communicate with children about health needs, and empower at-risk youth through job skills training and job opportunities. Our committed partners worked closely with our communities and employee volunteers, contributing greatly to the success of the campaign’s 2013 goal of strengthening local communities in Thailand by developing individual and organizational capacity. Most importantly, we can clearly see that the new mindset of people who joined our programs, who have changed the way they think, work and live their lives. I am proud that this campaign has contributed so much to our local communities, as well as helped create awareness among partners, human development agencies and others regarding the continuing need for sustainable “human development” as a whole.”
Pawana Wienrawee, path2health foundation country program leader, explained, “After implementing the program in the past year, we trained 140 people from government agencies, local administrative organizations, local communities, and NGOs to become volunteer trainers in four provinces. Furthermore, more than 700 parents participated in our activities and over 29 partners joined our network. This demonstrates the tangible outcome of the program. However, what is even more important than these figures are the positive changes in parents’ attitudes and behaviors after joining the Parent-Youth Communication Project, which aims to promote constructive attitudes toward open communication about sex. Many parents told me that they changed their attitudes and tone of voice, became calmer, became more open-minded about sex, and more fully engaged in listening to the youth under their care. After we pointed out the gap in beliefs and lifestyles between generations, parents felt more comfortable to talk with their children about sex. As a result, family relationships became stronger. Youths gained more courage to talk and discuss important issues with their parents. This helped to reduce risky sexual behaviors.
“We believe that sustainability will occur at the individual level when parents and guardians change their attitudes and behaviors to be more open-minded. However, in order to positively change and sustainably develop the whole social structure, we have to work closely with concerned parties. Our goals in 2014 are to help our partners recognize the importance of this issue, encourage them to take the lead in this program, and provide more support to local administrative organizations to play an essential role in the growth and development of young people.”
Piyabutr Cholvijarn, Kenan Foundation Asia president, commented, “The Inquiry-based Classroom Reasoning for Experiential and Active Science Education, or Chevron-INCREASE project, is improving the way science is taught in our schools, including through the development of inquiry-based science curriculums, a series of instructional leadership workshops for school principals, professional development for science teachers to adopt the new curriculums, classroom mentoring by senior science teacher mentors trained by Kenan, and “Fun Science Day” youth camps to show students and their parents that not only is science fun and useful, but to encourage students to think about exciting career opportunities in science-related fields.”
“First year results of the project were even better than expected, with more than 48 middle schools participating in the program. Originally targeted at 15 schools, after learning about the project, many school leaders asked Chevron to join INCREASE, and Chevron generously provided more funding to reach more schools to meet demand. To ensure sustainability, Educational Service Area offices, universities, local communities and the Department of Science Services were extensively engaged and brought into the project to assist with teaching methods, design model science schools, and build motivation among teachers. Experience shows that INCREASE is enhancing the sustainable development of the Thai education system. In 2014, we will expand the project further and form two model schools in each project province.”
Aunjai Jeamburanakul, Pact Thailand, YouthALLY program manager, clarified, “The development of a good alliance with local partners in Chon Buri and Rayong contributed to our success in the YouthALLY – Advancing Leadership and Livelihood Opportunities for Youth. Currently, there are 257 youths who received vocational training and over 300 youths who gained life skills trainings. The most important outcome after youths received training is that they gained greater self-esteem. Through partner networks, we have leveraged cross partnerships among local communities and provincial networks. We also received support from 21 private enterprises and local administrative organizations in Chon Buri and Rayong to encourage youths to gain employment opportunities.
“Our 2014 goal is to drive public sector partners to think out of the box to enable a more integrated approach. Initially, some organizations only promoted vocational training while some organizations only organized activities. Now the YouthALLY program will create fully integrated working processes from start to finish. Only at-risk youths will be selected to receive vocational skills training and life skill development to meet their needs. Our support also includes offering community service activities, livelihood enhancement, and job opportunities. After completion of the program, we have assessment processes in place to monitor the improvement in the capability of youth participants.”
Chevron Thailand, path2health foundation, Kenan Foundation Asia and Pact Thailand, are working continually on “The Power of Human Energy” campaign to develop the capacity of community members and to enhance relevant human development agencies for social sustainability. Partners will continue to work closely to implement, follow up and evaluate the work, in order to improve and develop the campaign and ensure that it provides the right solutions to issues and challenges faced by local communities.