“Kla Tum Dee” Stop Bullying and Violence
Bullying is one of the major problems at present and is even spreading to on-line abuse by youth against each other. From a young age, Thai youth are indoctrinated in the notion that Thai society is hierarchical. In many Thai schools, parents’ names are made fun of, and victims are bullied to hand over their lunch money and threatened not to tell the teacher. A 2016 survey estimate that 600,000 children suffered from bullying in that year, placing Thailand 2nd in the world (BBC Thailand, 2018). Some youth are bullied to the extent where their mental health suffers, and they may withdraw from society. Victims of bullying also develop depression, and some think about committing suicide.
We should not view this as a small problem; currently bullying is a national threat. Globally, over 246 million children have to face the fear of being bullied in school. Raks Thai is trying to counteract this trend.
Raks Thai Foundation has initiated the “Dare to Do Good, Stop Violence and Bullying” (‘Kla Tum Dee’) project to combat bullying. This project is not judgmental as to who is right or wrong one as we do not want these children to be labelled. That is because we believe that labelling will only damage a child’s mental health. Our project is designed to solve these problems and fix society. We will help every child, no matter what their circumstances are, to be strong and take care of themselves so that they can withstand bullying. We believe that every child can change and can develop to coexist peacefully and constructively with others in society.
Our project is carried out by using creative programs designed by the children. We intend to carry out this project until bullying within the schools has stopped. Many activities with the target group have been achieved through playing sports, initiating poster competitions, and developing a teacher’s manual for taking care of students. The project is collaborating with the Ministry of Education in Thailand to distribute the manual nationally, and publicize the program through all channels.
The “Dare to Do Good” project emerged from external and internal research in Thailand. The research found that bullying between children is widespread, especially in the primary and secondary education level. Furthermore, bullying normally damages the victim mentally and physically, and causes them to lose hope about the future. Therefore, this project recognizes the importance of this issue and is trying to find ways to tackle this problem as soon as possible, in order to reduce violence in all contexts.
The “Dare to Do Good” project emerged from the studies and research findings within and outside the country, which found that the problem of bullying in children is widespread in primary and secondary school. Bullying has negative effects on the children, including mental and physical pain which stunts their development and darkens their outlook on life. Raks Thai Foundation recognizes the importance to combat bullying, to reduce all violent behavior and promote peaceful co-existence from a young age. The aim is to build capacity of children to be observant for bullying and call it out. That way they will develop the courage to become a ‘hero,’ and continue to do good and help others within their school.
Raks Thai has been focusing on 61 primary schools near international borders, the highlands, remote areas, hard-to-reach places, and deep-south provinces. The target group are children age 9-12 years.
Remote schools lacking sufficient resources.