Whilst many of our projects and work areas historically involved a focus on environmental issues, more and more we integrate and expand our community support such that EcoThailand projects and efforts in community areas now equal, or at times even exceed, our environmental activities, nevertheless, both are mutually supportive.
Without the engagement of the community many environmental objectives either fail or become meaningless. Equally environmental and habitat enhancement, coupled with sustainability can have positive impacts on local residents and communities – a ‘win : win’ situation.
Wherever possible we structure our work programs to foster and support community initiatives, be it with advice, training, finance or facilitation, in an unobtrusive manner via capacity building and by application of the principles of community philanthropy.
Collaborative & Innovative – co-ordination and community engagement are at the core of our strategy.
We facilitate and connect leaders, organizations, and self-starters with contacts, external resources, grant opportunities, and skills. We make an extensive Alliance Network accessible to change-makers in the region and sit with them and offer informed practical advice to make sure they have the support they need. We help to bring together disparate groups with common interests and involvement in the Thai Gulf to leverage group networking and knowledge dissemination across the region.
Capacity building focuses on furthering an organization or groups ability to do new things and improve what they currently do. Capacity building improves the organization’s performance and enhances its ability to function and continue to stay relevant within a rapidly changing environment. Many of EcoThailands Community focused projects involve elements of Capacity Building as part of their overall aim.
‘Giving Back’ – The Thai Gulf Community Philanthropy Program is an initiative of EcoThailand which unites businesses and customers in the tourism and retail sectors with local environmental, social, community and economic causes on the Thai Gulf Islands and constitutes part of our Alliance Network operating model.
In 2020/2021 our ‘Giving Back’ activities and reach have been significantly strengthened by the receipt of a support grant, and access to their global support network, from Global Fund for Community Foundations (GFCF).
What is Community Philanthropy?
Community philanthropy combines long-term local asset development with a focus on strengthening community capacities and agency.
A powerful and simple logic underpins the basic idea of community philanthropy:
- Community philanthropy is based on the premise that all communities have their own assets (money, skills, knowledge, networks, etc.). When these are pooled together, they build community power and voice.
- By contributing their own resources, people start to feel like co-investors with a stake in their own development.
- When people feel they have something at stake, they care more about the outcomes, and evidence shows that they become more invested in acting in ways that advance and protect their collective interests.
- When local contributions are brought to the table, a different, flatter kind of power dynamic is created when dealing with external donors, which challenges traditional donor-beneficiary dynamics.
- When local resources are mobilized, new, more horizontal forms of accountability emerge, based on trust and transparency.
The following are some simple examples of how you, too, can get involved:
- Join the EcoThailand sponsored governmental Low Emission Support Scheme
- Contribution of time to regular beach clean and roadside organisations
- Segregation of waste materials into appropriate waste bins
- Provision of resort and restaurant segregation bins
- Compost organic materials at your local school, restaurant, retail or resort business site
- Construction of appropriate waste water treatment facilities at your home or retail site
- Participation in EcoThailands sponsored schools, moo baan and business site educational programs
- Support and contribute to local community initiatives
- Financial contribution, as a personal donation, or as part of your Corporate Social Responsibility program. EcoThailand will administer donations and support local community applicants on your behalf
- Join the EcoThailand Alliance Network
- Be a good neighbour
Contact EcoThailand for details on how you can make a difference!
Our Community Projects supported include:
Community Garden Projects
Free Yoga Community Samui
Koh Paluai, Ang Thong Projects
EcoThailand supports the social media Facebook Group for Social Philanthropy: Phangan and Thai Gulf ‘Giving Back’ Hub: