Fellow Since 1999
Housing Development Foundation (Ubonratchathani)
This profile was prepared when Chamnong Jitnirat was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1999.
The New Idea
Chamnong Jitnirat is successfully mobilizing slum communities to defend their rights to education, health services, and stable, sanitary living conditions. In the process, he provides literacy training and increases residents's awareness of their legal rights to these basic human services. Chamnong has also initiated a broader citizen-based movement to spread his work to other parts of Thailand. Employing leaders from Bangkok's slum communities as the trainers and developers of new community leaders in other provinces (where all conditions are not likely to be the same as in the capital city) will help Chamnong develop a coherent and flexible process for slum community development all over the country.