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Community Empowerment in the Deep South under the Kampong Takwa Concept

14 December 2016
The Secretary-General of the Southern Border Administrative Center, Mr. Supanat Sirantawineti, stated that the tackling of problems in the deep South and local development have proved satisfactory, following the active participation of religious leaders under the "Kampong Takwa concept.

Also referred to as "Community of Virtue, Kampong Takwa is a local community network that helps handle various issues in the community. The network aims to promote a local community that is suitable for religious beliefs, develop a peaceful community, revive local culture and traditions, and lay foundations for self-sufficiency. Mosques are the centers for the operations of this network.

The idea for the setting up of Kampong Takwa came up in 2007, three years after violence erupted in the southern border provinces. Later, in 2013, the Internal Security Operations Command, Region 4 Forward, formed a working group to support the establishment of Kampong Takwa and incorporate the project into its annual plan.

Mr. Supanat said that both security and development work in the southern border provinces have made significant progress over recent years. The success was a result of good cooperation from many groups of people, especially religious leaders, whose important role is well recognized.

Religious leaders are cited as one of the four main pillars in Kampong Takwa to help restore peace and empower communities in the deep South. Other pillars include village headmen, who have legal authority; members of the Subdistrict Administrative Organization, who are elected by the people; and natural leaders, who serve as a multicultural bridge.

Mr. Supanat said that the participation of religious leaders in community empowerment has promoted unity among local residents and led the community to virtue, which would bring about lasting peace.

The concept of the Kampong Takwa network has been spreading to various communities in the southernmost reaches of Thailand. It is believed that southern violence will ease when suspicion among the people is reduced.

The operations of this network play an important part in creating better understanding among local people. The four groups of people, as the main pillars, have also brought local residents closer together for various development activities.

With the four groups working to unite villagers through the belief in good deeds, an effective fence is created against violence in the region. The Government has been supporting the establishment of more communities of virtue in the deep South under the Kampong Takwa concept.
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