As Women’s History Month draws to a close, let us share with you a meaningful story of Sine, Piyawan Chaiwisessakul, the Senior Manager of the Social Inclusion Program at Kenan Foundation Asia. Through this interview, we hope to inspire you with her passion for empowering people and communities. Read on to learn more about her work story!
Her passion for creating positive change has led her to work in the field of sustainable development for the betterment of people and communities
Piyawan Chaiwisessakul: At the beginning of my career, I had the opportunity to work at the policy or strategic level, which aimed to address systemic issues. While this was an interesting task, it felt challenging to make a direct impact on disadvantaged individuals or communities in need. I wanted to find ways to work more closely with people and communities, so I decided to work for a non-profit organization that focused on sustainable development. It has been 13 years now that I have been continuously working in this field, and it has been a rewarding experience.
Collaborating with the community to create tangible results
Piyawan Chaiwisessakul: From my point of view, what is challenging is putting policy into practice continuously. We still need a middleman to bring the policy into action, someone ready to get involved in the problems, find solutions with the beneficiaries, and jointly implement the project together. Working at Kenan, I had the opportunity to do fieldwork in the community. We worked with beneficiaries and local organizations and communicated with them to provide their knowledge, skills, and opportunities from public and private sectors and international development organizations to various agencies serving disadvantaged groups of people in Thailand, the Mekong countries, and Vietnam.
It is an honor and a point of pride to see the results of our work firsthand and to know that the things we provide can be helpful to the project participants. Some of them are more recognized and acceptable, which helps increase the opportunity to have a better life. This experience is something I am truly proud of.
The variation that happened gave her the strength to keep on going.
Piyawan Chaiwisessakul: Each project I work on has a different implementation length, ranging from short-term to long-term. At Kenan, we have been running projects in the southern border provinces of Thailand for more than 10 years, focusing on youth development and building good relationships between people in the community. Through my work, I have witnessed the transformation of a youth’s personality after constantly participating in the project. He evolved from being a shy and unassertive child to a confident and assertive boy who dared to seize opportunities. This is the actual result of people development work. It is fulfilling to see how the lives of project participants can be changed for the better through what we provide them.
We can build greater impacts by connecting people who share the same goals.
Piyawan Chaiwisessakul: At Kenan, I have been fortunate to meet a diverse group of people who share a common goal. We connect like-minded individuals and organizations to work together and collaborate on projects that create meaningful change. We aim to provide opportunities for disadvantaged communities to access knowledge and engage in positive activities by working with government agencies, civil society, and donors. Through these partnerships, we can achieve greater impacts in a shorter period of time. This is what makes #Lifeatkenan so fulfilling.