Collaboration between local partners of Thailand and Lao PDR has moved forward a further step. April 28-29, 2008 – Dr.Ugrid Milintangkul (Deputy Secretary-General of the National Health Commission Office – NHCO) together with Mr.Sunthorn Srinual (Chief Staff of Nongkhai’s Social Development and Human Security), Mr.Kumkong Amartayamontri (Lord Mayor of Tambol Na Mafuang Minucipality, Nong-Bualumpu Province) and team visited Vientiane in Lao PDR to meet with Sombath Somphone (Director of the Participatory Development Training Center – PADETC) and his team for a further discussion on collaboration among PADETC, Vientian of Lao PDR, Nongkhai Province of Thailand, NHCO, and other related organizations regarding ‘the Gross National Happiness, GNH among youth of the two borderlands.
This initiative has been subsequent to the Gross National Happiness International Conference in 2007 aiming at the development of Gross National Happiness (GNH) among the youth using Nongkhai as a pioneer province, as it is ranked 7th of the world’s most livable places! Regarding this initiation, it is with great pleasure to have PADETC interested to join and willing to share with us its successful experiences and lessons learned. (PADETC is a non-profit organization partially supported by Lao PDR Government, whose work is to establish new paradigm of youth education and strengthen its participatory in communities in order to promote the development network of sustainable well-beings among people in Lao PDR) According to the meeting and discussion in Vientiane this time, it is concluded that youth education network is among the best tools for social change and development. Therefore, in the initial phase of the project, it is agreed to have an MOU and a constructive collaboration between Vientiane and Nongkhai localities on strengthening the youth education network and its participatory activities in each community for further development on GNH among the 2 communities.