Rural Training Center, Thailand (RTC-Thailand)

On the 82nd Birthday of the King

Dec 04, 2009

On the occasion of the 82nd birthday of his royal majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the RTC-TH extends best wishes for good health and much happiness. We have followed in the footsteps of Tang Suttisan, Saifon?’s father and his quest to apply the King?’s Self-sufficiency Economic Theory to the family farm. This year, 13 years after Tang Suttisan died, we were informed that our farm was named the best farm in the Thawangpha District.

We are focusing our efforts at the Phase 1 level of the King?’s theory: To live at a self-sufficient level which allows farmers to become self-reliant and maintain their living on a frugal basis. We strive to do this with our family and farm. By way of example, we hope to encourage others to do the same. After all, the ?“proof is in the pudding?”. It is better to show people by example rather than speaking empty words. So we work outside the box of the classroom and put into practice the numerous lessons of soil erosion management, composting, mulching, terracing, organic/integrated pest management, avoiding the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals, etc.

We follow, His Majesty?’s value for education to improve the well-being of people. The RTC-TH strives for live-long learning through teach backs, social responsibility and community service. Formal education, diplomas, and degrees are not the key teacher qualifications. We use a community-based education model and recruit ?“teachers?” based on their possession of necessary ?“skills and knowledge?” to solve local problems. RTC-TH lessons incorporate group efforts in learning, training, practice, and application of lessons learned.

The RTC-TH applies the 5 Basic Sila and practices social responsibility via community service activities. Surpluses from the farm can be stored for emergencies, loaned to relatives/neighbors in need, bartered with others to cut down on off-farm expenses, contributed to community social activities (e.g. disaster relief, funerals, etc), support for the elderly and needy, or sold for supplementary cash reserves.

The effort to apply the King?’s Theory is a way of life for us. It is a conscious decision to seek a practical way to have a comfortable and happy life. By living this way, we hope to encourage others to follow. Toward that end, we freely share our knowledge, skills and experience to help empower others to follow us to finding their own balance.

We offer this as a way to celebrate His Majesty?’s 82nd birthday and to commemorate the memory of Saifon?’s father. Best wishes to all for the upcoming year and a good life.

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