Hua Takhe Community
Hua Takhe Community
If I could help tourists come there again, it would make me feel I have really done something amazingly productive -Veeriya Nana
The backbone of GSSE is the Project Based Learning (PBL). In general, it refers to a teaching approach that employs multifaceted projects for educating students to gain knowledge and skills by exploring and responding to complex social issues. Students grow and learn by constructing and running various projects throughout their 4 years. Today, our guest interviewee Veeriya Nana from Thailand will be sharing her project experience in Hua Takhe community. She is in Year 4, Cohort 1, of GSSE.
Tell me about yourself and your journey to GSSE?
My name is Veeriya Nana and now I am in my final year of my UG. After completing my high school in New Zealand, I saw GSSE faculty on a website. I wanted to help people in my society; therefore, I registered for this faculty by having an interview and writing an essay.
What about your Social innovation project, Veeriya?
In year 3, we have a class called Social Innovation (SI) project in which we have to do a project to help a community. In a group of five people, we initiated our project in Hau Takhe Community in Bangkok. We had 3-4 months of time for this project. First two months, we went to the community and interviewed the staff and community people to explore what they wanted us to develop in their community. They told us that they had a notorious tourism reputation as in 2002, the Hau Takhe community had a fire accident and houses were burnt. However, they wished to regain its reputation from tourists who think the place is not rather safe anymore to visit. To help them, we use social media to notify people through Facebook and Instagram pages that now it is quite safe and it might not have any potential fire risks, thus people can plan and visit to enjoy Thai culture and crafts there.
What is the impact did you hope to create through this project?
At first, people in that community didn’t want us to promote that community because they think that someday tourist and people will come on their own. We also interviewed general people about vesting Hua Takhe but they were very frightened and indifferent as they argued that it doesn’t have any interesting thing to see. Thus, we negotiated with the community members that we have to inform and attract people to come to the community again.
Therefore, when we created the Facebook and Instagram pages where we engaged 300 to 400 people there to like comment and share the page. Now, most of the people say that they would like to visit Hua Thake community to see a natural beauty as they know what is that community, what is it about and what are the interesting things that place has to offer them. We believe that our photos and information on social media might draw the considerable number of tourists to visit Hua Takhe community again.
Please share some key challenges that you faced and overcame in your project.
Communication in interviewing people was one of the big challenges. Sometimes, they couldn’t speak Thai very well as they were from the South of Thailand. We came up with the ideas to convert the questions into simpler forms which they could easily understand and answer us. Occasionally, we still had to find a translator.
Despite the challenges what motivates you to keep going?
I want to develop that community so that it may become a better place. We just continued this project until the end of the semester with a vision that if we could help tourists come there again, it would make us feel we have really done something amazingly productive.
How did you personally grow with this project?
I learned many things from this project such as we have to select good communicators to converse with the community and our group has to plan first about the questions we would ask in the interview. I think, our group has achieved this goal because every time we went to the community, we knew what precisely we had to do at that time.
What do you hope to do next regarding this project?
Now, we don’t know if the community wants us to continue doing this project again or not. Personally, I will try to continue it.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself to better conduct and enjoy your project?
If I can go back to that time, I think I could do a better job than I did. We learned a lot of things in our first and second year at GSSE. We can use that knowledge to develop the future projects. For example, I learned about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the first semester of the third year, so we could have used CSR to help this community. I think I could use more knowledge from my class to help this community.
Veeriya, similar to rest of GSSE students’, has the vision to create social impact by helping communities through creating, developing and implementing projects. From this project, she learned the ground skills of effective communication, planning, and significance of implementing classroom knowledge in the field. It is no doubt that the classes at SGS are pertinent to the practical work you do in the field. Thus, the more you actively learn in the class, the more you can creatively innovate and contribute outside the class.
Amina Noureen, Cohort 4, Pakistan