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06/03/08 : The Pagoda’s Solid Base

NHCO / Story of the Month  / 06/03/08 : The Pagoda’s Solid Base

Sustainable Healthy Happiness: Healthy Communities in Society are the Pagoda’s Base. It is not a tall order to establish heaven on earth or a civilized society. The significant turning point is to first start with the local community since it is the momentous substratum of society.

Similarly, to build a permanent pagoda the constructors must start from the foundation, not from the top because it can crumble down easily. This wise advice of Prof Dr Prawes Wasi, a senior citizen, reveals how to establish prosperous and intellectual society which can result in the big metamorphosis of our country. The community he mentioned is not the big one but a small village, tambon, and district, all serving as the important bedrocks of local administration organizations and as the main drivers to catapult the country into the forefront.

So far, the number of these organizations totals 8,000 nationwide. Dr Prawes has suggested about the rule of thumb concerning about the fundamental working principles of all local administration organizations. First of all, they must not work alone, but should join forces with the community. However, members of community must initially find out the community’s problems and their primary causes before finding ways to tackle them which will later lead to the drafting of Community’s Master Plan. A small community then will be grown up to be a well-knitted tambon, district, and finally province. And this kind of organization thrives on the humanitarian hearts of its residents. It’s the first time that over 400 local organizations involved in development work gathered together to exchange their personal experiences on social contributions with other communities at the seminar entitled “The Seminar Forum of Local Administration Organization and the Driving Strategy of Happy Tambons” organized by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, the National Health Security Office, and the National Health Commission Office on February 27.

Dr Supakorn Buasai, the manager of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, explained that now the political and the national problems are more complicated so it is like an uphill battle to solve all the problems within a blink of an eye. But if we take a look at the community – the smallest unit and the foundation of society – we will see that the overall problems of the community are less complicated than those of the national level. Hopefully, members of the community can help find the right solutions to their problems. But it will be bootless if each individual lives their own life independently and pays no attention to the looming problems. Most of the problems found at the local level involve with poverty, insecurity in life and assets, vices, and drugs, to name a few. If the government wants to tackle with such problems as it once did, the result will be the same, fruitless and unnecessarily wasteful. However, members of the community can reach the sustainable solutions if they team up and learn how to settle their predicament altogether and then share their situation with other localities. Momentarily, the Community’s Master Plan has already implemented in more than 400 local administration organizations including the organizations that are the alliances with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation such as the No-alcohol and No-cigarette Project and the Prevention of Road Accident Campaign, and the alliances with the National Health Security Office now working in the experimental community on the Tambon Health Fund. Apart from inspiring others to follow suit in contributing more to society, this forum also serves as the helping center where people from one community can discuss their unsolved problems with other communities so they can pick up some potential advises from their alliances to better their own situation.

Dr Supakorn would like to drive home a message that all relevant sectors should pay heedful attention to the local administration organizations if they want to solve the national problems since local communities are already empowered by many laws such as the Decentralization Act, the National Health Act, and the Community Organization Council Act, etc. In addition, local forum should be held regularly to allow all networks to exchange their viewpoints and help solve the local problems together. If they find out that the Community’s Master Plan still has a weak point in terms of academic angle or when they encounter an acute shortage of any equipment, those related parties should lend them a helping hand and fully support their endeavors.

The golden rule is that strong society can’t be built overnight. It takes years. Most significantly, it desperately needs a strong cooperation from all communities. This conference can energize all of us to forge ahead and achieve our ambitious mission. At present, there are many already strengthened communities that are waiting to be connected with other networks. And we can help bridge that gap. At the end of the meeting, Dr Prawes wound up that if the country consists of healthy communities it can move to the next stage and become peaceful and self-reliant society by the next decade. But the big challenge is how to keep the local administration organization’s strategy active over the next five years in order to attain such a noble mission. When the right time comes we then can live a healthy, happy life altogether.


Source: Ban Muang Newspaper Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:34