Despite Thailand’s rapid economic growth, income inequality remains a significant problem throughout the country. Many mid- and lower-income workers are not properly educated in personal finance and lack the life skills necessary to manage their household income and budget, often leading them to mismanage funds and enter a cycle of debt. Household debt is a pervasive and growing problem in Thailand that has an outsized impact on low-income earners and vulnerable groups. The government has attempted to raise financial literacy by embedding financial education into the high school curriculum; however, because most low-wage earners drop out by grade six, the government’s efforts are not reaching the people who need training the most. Without the ability to plan and effectively manage money, many people become trapped in cycles of poverty and indebtedness.
Kenan strives for policy change and for resources to be allocated to alleviate financial problems and enhance financial literacy among the most vulnerable groups. Kenan also works to raise the financial knowledge of communities to develop sound saving habits and long-term financial security. Providing fundamental financial skills, such as accounting, saving, and investing, that will enable them to manage their money effectively and achieve long-term financial goals. By strengthening community groups, Kenan aims to create a sustainable infrastructure for individuals to receive high-quality financial support. Our work reaches some of the most vulnerable members of society, including women and families living in slums, women involved in nightlife occupations, temporary workers, and women serving prison terms. Kenan’s programs have also improved the situation of low-income teachers and students, farmers, and factory workers.
Mr. Phan Phuangthong
Commercial painter, Sua Yai Utis slum in Bangkok
“Kenan and Citi trainers were instrumental in showing me how I could save enough money for our grocery store within three years by simply reducing my unnecessary, daily expenses. Six months after the training, I’ve stopped drinking and have largely cut out all of my unnecessary purchases. I’ve started giving more money to my wife and have been able to spend more time with my son. We’ve even started a savings account in the bank, which is growing steadily towards our goal.”