Home » San Thai: Empowering Cambodians to create a sustainable future.

San Thai: Empowering Cambodians to create a sustainable future.

by Surya Narayan
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We’ve all at some point in our life had grand ambitions and dreams of changing the world. We actually start to await the perfect time to fulfill our high aspirations of changing the destiny of the world.

However, volunteering is the first step toward success. Although, when put into perspective, transforming communities may seem like a mammoth endeavor, volunteering to support impact activities is a way to go. A great ambition can only be achieved by first taking a step.

Being a volunteer is a fantastic way to change communities. One’s physical and emotional well-being improves when they make a contribution to serving humanity.

Additionally, it enriches the community by establishing connections. 

San Thai: Providing Cambodians the skills they need to build a sustainable future.

Thai San was aware that inequality and a lack of education are the main causes of poverty because he came from a background of hardship and did not start school until he was 10 years old. Due to this, Thai and his friends co-founded HHA Cambodia (Human and Hope Association) in 2011 when he was 19 years old as a nighttime English school.

Thai volunteered as an English teacher so that he could help the underprivileged children in his commune who could not afford to pay for their education. Then, in order to pay for his education, he drove a tuk-tuk from 7 p.m. until 12 a.m. On top of that, he also worked as a builder on the weekends.

Thai was promoted to be a community liaison after graduating from high school in 2013 and started his studies at the university on a scholarship.

Through his determination to help underserved rural communities in Siem Reap who are left behind in society, Thai has motivated others to make positive change over the past few years.

Thai is in charge of instructing workers from underprivileged backgrounds to challenge gender norms and other normative roles, especially for women, who are frequently discouraged from pursuing education and employment.

In effort for the children he works with to lead their communities out of poverty through fair and inclusive change, he instills in them the ability to think independently critical thought while making sure that negative elements of the society are questioned and challenged.

San Thai with Surya Narayan Founder, The Better Cambodia

In 2015, Thai was appointed managing director of HHA Cambodia, where he led the organization’s transition into a fully Khmer-operated entity.

In order to promote trust and resiliency among the villagers, Thai offers empowering programs that include entire families and develop close ties with each participant.

Thai is also the recipient of World Relief Australia’s 2017 Unsung Hero award.

Thai Says, “Being a Managing Director of HHA is important because I play an important role to make sure that HHA’s goal is being achieved. We are great role models for our Cambodian youth to understand the importance of their participation to help their own society under our local staff’s leadership.”

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