From right: Shanti Periasamy of RYTHM Foundation, Lee Hawkins of ASA Foundation, and Ms Annie, a Thai community leader.
RYTHM Foundation has launched a collaborative community empowerment project that aims to transform the lives of vulnerable girls and women in rural Thailand.
The “Community Capacity Building, Women Empowerment and Livelihood Education Development for Vulnerable Female Youth and Young Adults” initiative is a three-year programme combining the power of education and sports to drive social change in underserved communities.
RYTHM will implement the project in the kingdom’s east in Chonburi Province with its long-standing partner, ASA Foundation (ASA). The NGO focuses on youth education and empowerment through sustainable social interventions.
The RYTHM-ASA alliance follows a similar award-winning collaboration between the foundations in the Subang Regency in West Java, Indonesia, in 2019. The programme took home the gold in the Indonesian SDG Awards (ISDA) last year for efforts to improve the quality of education for vulnerable Indonesian youth and adults. The collaboration also promoted elements of inclusion, empowerment, and education development for 30 female teachers and over 5,000 youth of all abilities.
The Head of RYTHM, Santhi Periasamy, said it was crucial to design the Thailand project to be similarly community-driven.
“We want to ensure improved access to resources and opportunities for the communities to continue the efforts long after the three-year timeline for this project is over,” Santhi said during the project’s launch in Bangkok recently.
The Founder & Technical Advisor of ASA, Lee Hawkins, noted that his organisation is thrilled to work with RYTHM in Thailand on the back of its prizewinning cooperation in Indonesia.
“We hope this collaboration results in a remarkable increase in the quality of life for the marginalised youth and women in Thailand and across this region,” Lee said.
RYTHM will implement the project in Chonburi Province to benefit marginalised girls and women
Also read: RYTHM Foundation & ASA Foundation Collaboration Takes The Gold At The 2021 ISDA Awards
Community-driven Intervention Programme
The project’s carefully curated framework will initially train 60 women as facilitators, including single mothers and women from low-income families aged 21 to 35. Ultimately, RYTHM and ASA expect the effort to affect positive change for 10,000 disadvantaged women and girls.
The project will promote a community-driven livelihoods intervention programme that trains the beneficiaries in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, decision-making, and leadership, among other aspects.
Beneficiaries will also receive capacity-building training to develop sustainable solutions to issues affecting their physical, social, economic, and cultural conditions. It will also emphasise the community’s safety, health, and well-being to protect them from diseases, disasters, and exploitation.
In addition, the programme aims to equip the beneficiaries with 21st-century life skills, including effective communication, interpersonal relationships, character building, empathy, critical thinking, creative thinking skills, and more for future workforce development.
Project collaborators in discussion with local community leaders.
A New Chapter in Thailand
This initiative also marks a new chapter for RYTHM in Thailand. Santhi shared, “The opening of our Thailand chapter is a strategic move to enable us to do more within our backyard in the ASEAN region.”
She added that the Foundation aims to continue implementing programmes that affect long-lasting social change in vulnerable populations, especially among women, girls, and children in disadvantaged communities.
The Foundation also plans to expand its social impact initiatives for underserved communities in other parts of the Indo-China region, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.
RYTHM has implemented numerous successful social impact projects across South Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Hong Kong-based Foundation’s regional operations office is in Malaysia.