The Learn to Earn is a concept that the SCG Foundation established to inspire children, youth, and society to use education to tackle massive, ever-present changes in society. The concept promotes lifelong learning as well as learning outside of the classroom, and has an emphasis on active learning in terms of both hard skills used on the job, as well as soft skills like emotion management and understanding social cues. Learn to Earn is thus tailor-made to support education in the 21st century, and equips youth with occupational skills for the present and future. SCG Foundation is driven to develop improvement and excellence in all individuals, and has strived to accomplish growth in the youth community through this mindset. Learn to Earn fundamentally begins with granting scholarships and skill development programs for the young developer, as well as providing these individuals with opportunities to create occupations for themselves and members of their communities. One such example is the case of Jakkrit ‘Ped’ Tingwang, a youth community worker with SCG Foundation who branched out from environmental conservationism into community tourism management. Ped’s story serves as a prime example of sustainable growth within communities under the Learn to Earn mindset.
Having come from a fishing family, Ped was born and raised in Ao Thung Nui, Ban Lom Puen, La-Ngu subdistrict, located in the La-Ngu District of Satun province. He started his journey following in his father’s footsteps as an environmental conservationist, finding ways to preserve natural resources and local ecosystems. He began with easier activities that did not require much investment, such as collecting garbage along the coastline. Aside from this making the beach look better, another added benefit was that the local community could use the clean space for other activities. However, once the devastating tsunami destroyed most of the local coastline and surrounding areas of the bay, Ped was driven to help his community’s leaders and locals by replanting forests to restore the ecosystem. He also had the dream of developing Ao Thung Nui into an ecological learning site, where his community could also earn more from increased jobs, while preserving nature. This place was historically an ecological tourist site in Satun, as it featured 3 different kinds of ecosystems: the mangrove forests on land, forests by the beach, and the coastline that had been teeming with life.
Ped shared that he places a direct emphasis on environmental sustainability when managing his community tourist site, as well as preserving ecosystems. He also prioritizes the social and cultural aspects, as the community has actively participated in the planning, execution, and responsibilities of the site, all to maximize the value created for the community. The funds earned from increased tourism would be used as tools to develop the local community further, and create information exchanges and connections with those who visit. And, most notably, the tourist site will also strengthen the locals’ efficiency in managing resources, in terms of the environment, society, culture, and community economy.
Aside from turning the surrounding land into community tourist sites, Ped has also joined hands with locals to establish 4 tourist programs within the site, which consist of the natural passageway down the mangrove forest coastline, a route within the community itself, a Satun geopark, and a beach route. The programs are complete with lunch and snacks which are made locally. During their visit, guests can also buy locally-made products, which serve as income for villagers to support themselves and their families. Other examples of activities include an ecological learning site in the Ao Thung Nui area, and Punya Batik, a well-known producer of Batik fabric in Ban Pak La-Ngu that features the first tie dye fabric in Thailand, made from the colors of local soil. Tourists can also board boats to visit Ko Lidi, an island within the Mu Ko Phetra National Park that is abundant in natural ecosytems, such as mountainous forests, mangrove forests, and interestingly shaped rock formations. The island is also home to stunning beaches and a “time-traveling” bridge that transports tourists back to a time before humans existed. Part of this route includes a guided tour of ancient Cambrian age and Ordovician age rocks.
Not limiting himself to his own career growth, Ped has always been driven to develop his community at the same time. It is his aim to make everyone feel a sense of accomplishment and inclusion at the community tourism site. For example, children and youth members have been trained as information givers along the site, known as “little tour guides.” They are tasked with providing tourists with information about the community, and are paid for their efforts, as a way to foster a strong work ethic from a young age. Doing so also helps the youngsters put their free time to good use, by staying far away from sources of dangerous vices. As for elders in the community, they are responsible for educating tourists about traditional practices. Working-aged community members help run the operation, as the central force behind people and income development for the community in a sustainable way. Ped’s incredible work ethic and display of the Learn to Earn mindset has earned him the position of Community Tourism President, by CBT Satun (Community-Based Tourism). He has also received an award for community tourism achievements in 2023 from Satun Community College. Today, Ped is still active in creating value from ecological tourism and community efforts in Ao Thung Nui, Ban Lom Puen, in Satun, growing it economically, socially, and environmentally.
Ms. Suvimol Chivaluk, Director and Manager of the SCG Foundation, added in relation to the foundation’s efforts for the Learn to Earn concept that the efforts come from “a drive to develop this land into a community tourism site that has resulted in increased opportunities for locals of all walks to gain income for themselves and their families. This results in a decrease in the need for youngsters in the community to travel to the main city area to seek employment, which places a great emphasis on developing their homeland, while growing their knowledge and skills. These efforts also come from a hope to develop their home into a place where they can earn, creating careers for several locals in the process, which directly reflects the Learn to Earn concept that SCG Foundation has always placed importance on. Learning does not have a set pattern, the same way we don’t all work in the same career path we studied for. Rather, it is a present desire to always learn and adjust to the world, and a willingness to turn this knowledge into value, that results in a person’s ability to thrive in their community. Ped’s story serves as a wonderful example of someone who can inspire the community and other youth members to Learn to Earn.”
The SCG Foundation is committed to bolstering Learn to Earn by encouraging all concerned parties to increase awareness of the opportunities created from the mindset. This starts with youth members, parents, teachers, and thought leaders in society, who may all join in to shift the traditional ways of learning. These efforts are carried out with the goal of inspiring the next generation, as well as all people, to learn how to survive and thrive in an ever-changing world. To stay posted on news and updates from the SCG Foundation, visit www.scgfoundation.org and the “LEARNtoEARN” Facebook page.
#LEARNtoEARN #GenWillSurvive #SCGFoundation