Rural Training Center, Thailand (RTC-Thailand)

The RTC-TH Logo (with 2009 Update)

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Basic Concepts

The Rural Training Center-Thailand (RTC-TH) logo is a derivation of the Earth Systems Science, Inc. (ESSI) logo. Gregory Lee developed the basic design concept for the ESSI logo to reflect the Geography foundation of ESSI combined with the dynamic balance of Yin-Yang. Yin-Yang was incorporated to express the duality of each person’s individuality and their role in society, as well as the balance we need to find between nature and civilization. The community-based environmental education curriculum and programs he developed builds on these conceptual foundations.

Blue and White

The blue and white colors have a multiplicity of meanings. Viewing the Earth from space, blue and white are the dominant colors. The Earth is a water planet (nearly 3/4 covered by water), and clouds cover significant portions of the sky at any given moment. Blue and white are also the colors of Kailua High School where Gregory graduated in Hawaii. It was during his student days as a volunteer youth leader in a summer YMCA camp that he first developed some of the basic concepts and methods of the community-based education model used in ESSI and the RTC-TH.

2009 Update: In 2009, the logo was revised and standardized across all programs. The basic design was enhanced with the addition of a light green Bodhi leaf shape. This symbolized the "green" environmental focus and the consistency of many RTC-TH guiding principles with Thai culture and Buddhism in general. Specific relevant graphics for a particular program / project are superimposed on the Bodhi leaf to show the continuity of those principles to the RTC-TH lessons. [A graphic summary of the 2009 RTC-TH logo with a brief description of each can be found in the PDF section of this website.]

The RTC-TH: Dream to Reality

The RTC-TH was an idea born during the 1999 Thai volunteer project that tested the application of community-based environmental education methods espoused by Gregory. Saifon was the local Thai coordinator. Later, they left ESSI to co-found the RTC-TH. There is a working relationship between the two organizations. To show the connection, Gregory developed the RTC-TH logo from ESSI (which he also co-founded).

The RTC-TH logo is a mirror of the basic globe-grid / Yin-Yang image. With a little bit of imagination, the gridded portion of both logos represents the Pacific Ocean. The plain part of the ESSI logo is to the right (east) of the Pacific while the grid is to the left (west) of the North American continent. The plain part of the RTC-TH log is to the left (west) of the Pacific while the grid is to the right (east) of the Asian continent. This correctly represents the geographic positions of the two organizations to one another relative to the Pacific Ocean.

Both ESSI and the RTC-TH use the community-based environmental education model that Gregory developed. The motto of ESSI is “community-based environmental education for urban families and sustainable neighborhoods.” This reflects the focus of ESSI to the greater urban area of Los Angeles and southern California. The RTC-TH motto is: Community-based environmental education for the self-sufficiency and sustainability of small rural family farms.” This reveals the focus of the RTC-TH and its relevance in Nan Province, in rural northern Thailand.

The fact that the core curriculum and methodology are adaptable to urban and rural areas is predicated on the relevance of the Geographic Systems Model and Yin-Yang. What appear to be diametrically opposed entities---the city vs. the countryside---are in fact complementary. Both entities exist in every country of the world. No nation can exist with only cities or rural populations. Thus, the community-based environmental education model is so fundamentally and universally applicable. It has universal application and can be adapted to any country and culture and to both urban or rural settings.

At the heart of all of community-based environmental education are families. The duality of Yin-Yang is repeated in many aspects and scales: man / woman, parent / child, family / community. This is consisted with the Geographic Systems Model that uses concepts of Location (place), Scale (level of detail or areal size), and Time (both relative---past, present, future---and absolute measures---hours, minutes, seconds) combined with the 4 environmental spheres (Atmosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphere, Lithosphere) to study the environment. If people and the communities in which they live are to persist over time, environmental sustainability become a top priority for their survival. The interconnectedness of all things on Earth can be found in direct and indirect relationships. The use of the Geographic Systems Model helps to guide our understanding of these relations to empower us to creating and maintaining sustainable lives.

Earth is our home. We all share it with others, willingly or not. In the perspective of Yin-Yang, the Earth is very large, yet at the same time, it grows smaller each day. Resources can seem limitless (especially if dealt with in a sustainable fashion) or very finite (especially if squandered and abused in an exploitive way). The choice is one for each of us to make, individually and collectively.

The RTC-TH strives to educate families and to empower them to strive for self-sufficiency as a means to revitalize rural family farms and communities. Sustainable practices enable them to pass along a legacy to their children and future generations. Join us on the path to tomorrow by nurturing and protecting small rural family farms that are the backbone and very foundation of all nations.

The dream continues as new projects and volunteer trips emerge. Check the RTC-TH Web Newsletter and Calendar on this site for the latest developments.

Last updated: 02 Dec 2009 for minor corrections, logo enhancements and clarifications based on reader feedback

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rtc2k5@gmail.com

Links

RTC-TH Web Newsletter
RTC-TH Web Calendar
RTC-TH Discussion Area

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