Cooperation from all parties is essential in order to build a good life for children. The aim of The Goodwill is to expand cooperation with partners and alliances to maximize benefits through initiation of campaigns in collaboration with UNICEF Thailand or Sermkla Foundation, or through cooperation with business partners to establish child-friendly spaces within construction sites. Helping children in emergencies or building a good life for them should not be a responsible of anyone in particular; instead, it should be everyone’s priority.
EXTENDING HELP ON AN INTERNATIONAL LEVEL
With a strong intent to help disaster-affected children in Thailand and other countries, every year, Sansiri contributes one million US dollars of its year-end profit to UNICEF’s Emergency Fund. This emphasizes Sansiri’s obligation as a Thai organization whose aim is to help the massive number of disaster-affected children around the world who are in need of emergency support.
2014 was the fourth year in which Sansiri has contributed to the fund. UNICEF has provided assistance to children and their families who were affected in four great emergency events, i.e. Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines which occurred in the previous year, and the conflicts in Central African Republic, Syria, and South Sudan. Towards the end of the year, UNICEF and alliances have extended humanitarian aid to 40 countries, including assistance to those affected by the war in Ukraine and Iraq, the conflict in the Gaza Strip, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
SANSIRI SOCIAL CHANGE IN GLOBAL FORUM
Thanks to the success of Sansiri Social Change, Sansiri has been invited as a business-sector representative to exchange its views with governments and business representatives from around the world at many of the United Nations and UNICEF forums as follows:
- UN Private Sector Focal Points Meeting 2013, Geneva, Switzerland: In April 2013, Sansiri was among the private organizations invited to share their achievements and work strategies with UNICEF at the United Nations System: Strengthening Partnerships Focal Points Meeting 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting was joined by representatives from UN agencies who discussed the best way to make business partnerships work in the field of CSR. Also published for the meeting was “UN-Business Partnerships: A Handbook” detailing the best practices by the UN and the private sector. Sansiri and UNICEF’s Iodine Please was included as a case study.
- UNICEF Children’s Rights and Business Workshop: In September 2013, Sansiri, led by Mr. Srettha Thavisin, was invited to attend UNICEF’s annual conference on the private sector’s role towards children’s rights. This was held at UNICEF headquarters office in New York.
- United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights: In December 2013, Sansiri exchanged its point of view with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as a representative of the global business sector. The organization expressed its standpoint in children’s rights protection through The Good Space campaign under which child-friendly spaces are established in construction sites. Sansiri also reaffirmed the business sector’s role in making changes at the policy level with the Iodine Please initiative. Member of the CSR Committee Mr. Porntat Amatavivadhana represented Mr. Srettha Thavisin as speaker and in discussion with government and private agencies from around the world.
UNICEF / Sansiri launches “Best Start”, inviting 6 celebs to spark change in children’s future and support government’s problem solving, child development
Bangkok, February 6, 2015 – UNICEF joined with Sansiri and artists and celebrities, i.e. ‘Nudi’ Vanessa Race, Yarinda Bunnag, Boyd Kosiyabong, Suharit Siamwalla, ‘Opal’ Panisara Arayasakul, and ‘New Klom’ (Roundfinger) Sarawut Hengsawad, to launch a campaign titled “Best Start: the first six years of life are the golden years for children” to raise awareness among parents and the public on child development during the first six years of life. They are calling public attention to signing a petition through www.beststartthailand.com and Beststartthailand Facebook page, with a target of 20,000 names, to propel the government to invest more in early childhood development and solve problems that have become obstacles to child development.
At the launch event, Valérie Taton, Deputy Representative for UNICEF Thailand, said the Best Start campaign aims to draw attention from parents, the public, the government, and all sectors to prioritize early childhood development as a foundation of human resources development which is essential for Thailand to overcome challenges in the future. “UNICEF realizes the importance of early childhood development, especially in the first six years of life which is when the brain develops most rapidly. It is during this crucial period that the foundations for life-long learning and development are laid. This will affect the child’s future and, thus, the future of the country. However, too many young children in Thailand still have to face problems that affect their development,” she said.
The campaign “Best Start: the first six years of life are the golden years for children” is endorsed by six celebrities, i.e. ‘Nudi’ Vanessa Race, Yarinda Bunnag, Boyd Kosiyabong, Suharit Siamwalla, ‘Opal’ Panisara Arayasakul, and ‘New Klom’ (Roundfinger) Sarawut Hengsawad, who have been appointed as ambassadors. They will promote awareness about early-childhood development and discuss the many problems affecting young Thai children in several aspects. Moreover, they will encourage the public to sign a petition to urge the government and all sectors to raise investment in young children and take serious actions in solving the problems that compromise child development.
Under the “Best Start” campaign, information about early childhood development in different areas has been gathered. The campaign points out that investment in early childhood development is the worthiest compared with investment in education for children of other age ranges. According to worldwide research, children who have been properly developed from a young age tend to succeed in education and grow into a quality adult. “We cannot let this most critical period pass without investing in it as it might be too late. If Thailand wants to create a good and productive society, we need to act now, by prioritizing early childhood development and by increasing investment,” said Taton.
However, the Survey of Children and Women in Thailand 2011, carried out by the National Statistical Office under UNICEF support, indicated several problems affecting the development and livelihood of young children in Thailand in such areas as nutrition, child development, family relations, and education. For instance, only 12 percent of children was just breastfed during the first six months of life, and as many as 16 percent of children under five years old who are short and thin due to long period of malnutrition. Up to 25 percent of three-year-old children also did not have a chance to go to nursery or kindergarten.