The youth leaders of Kokchan Pencak Silat clubs are local children endeavoring to practice Pencak Silat. The group includes five males and five females who have sports experience. They serve as Pencak Silat representatives in the project “Preventing Violent Extremism in Thailand’s Deep South Through Pencak Silat” and work with their communities, dedicated to using Pencak Silat as a means of peacebuilding in the target areas of Thailand’s Deep South. The youth leaders believe that Pencak Silat can be more than just a sport; it is a local and culturally-important style of martial art which they believe should be preserved. They feel that Pencak Silat can be used as a tool to connect children from different cultures, religions and backgrounds.
Anas Salaemae, 17, Male, a member of the youth leaders, said: “In the past, I practiced Pencak Silat because of my interest in the sport. However, there was limited access to training. We practiced following an athlete on Television and YouTube. We are lucky to now have the Pencak Silat club in the community. It is good if more youth have a Pencak Silat club like this in our community.”
Although Kokchan’s youth leaders are excellent at Pencak Silat, they lack strategic skills for running clubs and coordinating with their community; specifically communication and management skills. Notably, the youth leaders lacked confidence in their ability to engage with the target youth and the community.
To empower the youth leaders, Kenan provides ongoing coaching and training sessions which focus on communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and strategic skills. With this training, youth leaders are better equipped to promote a positive perspective of Pencak Silat, and in turn help develop a stronger sense of self-identity among the target youth. The training also teaches the operational aspects of running Pencak Silat clubs, namely: designing and scheduling activities, and communicating with the community regarding plans and results.
Since the project started in late 2021, Kenan has organized this training to empower and increase the youth leaders’ self-confidence. Sessions are designed to allow youth leaders to develop their confidence in communicating and collaborating with various members of their community. Further training, such as role-playing and presenting, allows them to practice communication and managing skills. In addition, the program provides hands-on instruction through monthly planning and progress sessions based on the youth group’s ongoing work.
Ayu Matae, 20, Male, a member of the youth leaders, said: “In the past, I just focused on practicing Pencak Silat and teaching the sport to the younger members of Kokchan club. The training improved my systematic thinking and time management, which I could apply to conduct Pencak silat practices in my personal daily life.”
Rohana Hasa, 16, Female, a member of the youth leaders, said: “I am not confident at speaking in public, even in school. By participating in the training, I can practice more in thinking and communicating. It helps me, as I am just a girl, but I believe that I can be a good trainer.”
Participating in a training workshop gives youth leaders more confidence when communicating with community members. Additionally, the youth can apply their newly-learned soft skills whilst running the activities of their Pencak Silat clubs. They are keen to continue improving their own Pencak Silat abilities, so as to share the sport and its benefits with other children. Today, they are more confident being mentors to their club’s newest members.
Mr. Ayu Matae and Mr.Aleemeen Wateh leading the youth leader meeting
|The youth leader collecting baseline survey|
|The youth leaders participated in role-play activity. The activity’s purpose is to provide preparation for conducting a baseline survey.||The youth leaders provide Pencak silat training for club members|