PDA
Population and Community Development Association

 
   
   
 
   
 
Youth as Avgents of Change Today and Leaders of Tomorrow

The Green Village Toy Library

     The Green Village Toy Library aims to foster a new generation of community-minded and philanthropic children. The Green Village Toy Library emphasizes four youth-centered concepts: philanthropy, leadership, community service and participation, and environmental stewardship.

      With the help and encouragement of parents and grandparents, young urban children will have the opportunity to extend their hands in friendship and generosity by donating toys to rural children. In turn, by performing environmentally–focused community service in lieu of monetary payment, rural children will be able to borrow and enjoy toys. The guiding principle of The Green Village Toy Library is that access to toys is a human right for children. We hope this small start will eventually foster a new generation of local public-spirited citizens.

To learn more about the Green Village Toy Library, please visit the website here.

The Village Youth Government
      PDA has also been at the forefront of youth empowerment in Thailand for many years, providing skills training and “life-skills” education to hundreds of thousands of students and their teachers. PDA started the Village Youth Government in 2000 to give a voice to the youth in rural communities; the Village Youth Government is designed to be a permanent village institution which will push future generations toward active involvement in political and community-building affairs. It has been PDA’s experience over the last ten years that all former youth government participants, upon compulsory “retirement” from the youth government at age 25, have been elected to the local Tambon Administration Organization (TAO).*

      Young people in each village elect eight dynamic leaders between 14 and 24 years of age to become Youth Government officers. To ensure fair and diverse representation, the government must be half male/half female and officers come from different educational levels, including out of the school system.

      Youth officers learn about writing proposals, planning projects, holding meetings, public speaking and promoting democratic governance. After training, they manage and organize activities and events around social and economic issues, culture, and health and environmental education.

The three main benefits of the Village Youth Government are:

  • Youth education: Young people are given the opportunity to take leadership roles and responsibilities. Ownership of problems and social awareness at this early age serves as training for future leaders at the village-level.
  • Gender equality: In a male-dominated community, the gender-balanced youth government works to empower women and change attitudes toward traditional gender roles.
  • Income generation: The Village Youth Government receives business training and often launches new initiatives within the community.

* A “tambon” is a legal entity at the sub-district level which oversees approximately 12 villages or 9,000 people.