Srisak Thaiarry

Ashoka Fellow

Citation

This profile was prepared when Srisak Thaiarry was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
The New Idea
Srisak has long been the backstage motivator and organizer of youth development work in Thailand. She has strengthened citizen sector initiatives focusing on youth, fostered new partnerships with business and public sector organizations, and shifted the approach of youth development work from assistance to empowerment. Over the past 30 years, Srisak has developed a coalition of youth development organizations in Thailand into a powerful vehicle for change that is much more than the sum of its parts. Srisak has transformed citizen organizations (COs) concerned with childrens and youth s needs from weak and isolated voices into a coalition that has played an increasingly consequential role in advocating youth-friendly reforms in public policies and new legislation. She has also spearheaded an unprecedented degree of collaboration between the citizen sector and government on youth-related matters, as reflected in joint annual reports on the state of childrens rights in Thailand. Having long been motivated by the belief that youth have both the right and the responsibility to be active and equal partners in addressing their own and broader societal needs, Srisak has also played a central role in creating an enabling environment for them to claim those rights, including the establishment of a national association of youth-led organizations called the National Youth Council, as well as its provincial and district counterparts. In addition, Srisak has created a series of ongoing awards, both to recognize alternative role models for youth and to change public perceptions of youth, as well as young people s awareness of their own capacities.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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