Vision and Mission
Our Evolving Vision, Our Evolving Mission
The 1967 Articles of Association for The Education & Public Welfare Foundation listed five objectives, emphasizing education and medical aid and welfare.
After 45 years of experience, there are now six parts to our mission statement, but the emphasis is less on ‘charity’ as such and more on insuring the effectiveness and sustainability of our projects and programs.
An ambitious vision for a better Thailand: EPWF founding objectives
The 1967 Articles of Association listed five objectives for EPWF, setting out an ambitious vision for a better Thailand:
- to establish or support medical institutions to provide medical aid and welfare to impoverished patients
- to establish or support educational organizations and to provide assistance to needy students
- to give for charitable purposes and carry out other kinds of work beneficial to the public
- to promote in every way the study, research, preparation and implementation of projects beneficial to Thailand
- to cooperate with non-government and government organizations for philanthropic aims for the welfare of Thailand
|| EPWF board meeting in March 1996. Seated from left:
H.E. Mr. Pote Sarasin, Founding Chairman;
Khunying Dr. Puengchai Ngarmukos, Director;
Mrs. Sarunya Chowkwanyun, Founding Director;
Dr. Pracha Mokkhavesa, Founding Director;
Mr. Van Chansue, then Founding Secretary and presently Honorary Advisor;
||Mr. Pong Sarasin, Founding Director and presently Chairman; Dr. Suprija Mokkhavesa, Director; Mr. Chow Chowkwanyun, Founding Director and General Manager;
Standing: Mr. Bangkok Chowkwanyun, then Treasurer and presently Director and General Manager
What we have learned (and are learning)...
1st: Compassion and morality
2nd: Constructionism - a paradigm for lifelong learning
Our ultimate goal is to bring about peaceful and lasting social and economic change in the Kingdom of Thailand. In the year of our 45th anniversary, we draw inspiration from His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej speaking to the Thai people on his 85th birthday anniversary: I always believe that the kindness and goodwill that you have toward each other will create unity in the country. If Thai people are virtuous, there is hope that no matter what situation the country finds itself in, it will be safe and retain its stability. Our village development program promotes outreach from the affluent society of Bangkok and the Eastern Provinces to the poorer sector in the Northeastern Region while at the same time promotes by example Good Governance.
Significant progress will depend on adopting a new learning paradigm to replace the rote learning, ‘teacher lectures, student listens and memorizes model that prevails in Thailand. Based on advances in cognitive theory, we believe that constructionism is the most suitable model.
3rd: Leadership and Management
Our most successful projects have been ones to which we not only contributed financially but ones where our general managers or board directors have also been directly involved, contributing high level inputs of vision, leadership, and management as well as time, the most valuable resource of all. EPWF use constructionist practices in our two flaghip programs: Water Management and Village Development Program, and Vipassana Meditation Program.
Mr. Bangkok Chowkwanyun, EPWF
and General Manager planning
in Nang Rong, Buriram
Mr. Chow conferring on the Kra Canal in 1973 with nuclear expert
Dr. Edward Teller, the ‘Father of the Hydrogen Bomb’ and leading proponent of ‘atoms for peace’
– the use of nuclear energy for peaceful, constructive purposes.
Past EPWF Director
Dr. Khunying Puengchai
Ngarm-Ukos was a distinguished physician at Cardiac Unit, Chulalongkorn Hospital.
EPWF Director Lt. Gen. Dr. Suprija Mokkhavesa
is a founding member of Phaya Thai Palace Conservation Foundation to renovate and maintain Phaya Thai Palace
or Royal Phaya Thai Palace.
4th: Sponsors support and recipients self-reliance
5th: Technology: The Internet and social networking
6th: Philanthropy is a serious, professional activity
In thinking about our activities it is important to recognize a ‘supply side’ and a ‘demand side’. On the supply side, we need to promote ‘compassionate giving’ non-traditional giving by groups and individuals that does not expect a quid pro quo. On the demand side, we need to work with recipients to identify viable self-help projects, in terms of technical, economic, political and social feasibility.
We are a small foundation, even by Thai standards, and therefore we must seek maximum leverage from all of our activities to move toward our goal of promoting lasting social change. Constructionism, as a method of learning, depends heavily on the Internet. The widespread availability of relative inexpensive handheld computer devices makes constructionism available to ever more people. This technological factor, along with the popularity of social networking may be able to support both the supply side of compassionate giving and the demand side of identifying viable self-help projects, giving a large potential for leveraging. Eventually donors may be able to communicate among themselves and directly with recipients, just as recipients can share information and experiences among themselves.
Members of the philanthropy sector, like many other sectors in Thailand, tend to work in isolation. There should be a potential to share best practices in fund raising, project identification, management and administration, thereby providing a different, but very powerful, type of leveraging.