Diageo, Mechai Viravaidya partner for women's empowerment
Diageo Moet Hennessy (Thailand), led by Thanakorn Kuptajit, corporate relations director, and Shutchada Chandrangsu, CSR manager, has announced a partnership with the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation, led by Mechai Viravaidya, founder and president of the foundation, to kick off the company's "Plan W Project".
The partnership aims to empower women in Nong Ta Kem village, in Buri Ram's Nang Rong district.
The objectives of the "Plan W: Empowering Women Through Learning" project are to reduce inequality between genders, bridge economic and social differences in remote areas of Thailand, as well as to educate and empower women in need with the chance to develop necessary skills.
Target groups include unemployed women, single mothers,women living with HIV/Aids, and the elderly.
The ultimate goal of the project is to equip them with the necessary knowledge and financial support to be able to support themselves and their family, and eventually be able to help to develop their community sustainably.
The first Thai community involved in the project is Nong Ta Kem village, which was selected by Diageo Moet Hennessy (Thailand) and the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation because of the determination and enthusiasm of the villagers to develop and use knowledge for the benefit of their community.
The village was also seen as a good fit because of its strong female leadership.
Plan W in Nong Ta Kem consists of four core activities: gender and community empowerment; a social-enterprise farm where villagers will grow off-season lemons,
marigold flowers and cantaloupes; a Women's Economic Empowerment Loan Fund for women in the village to develop their own business; and training to improve their skills while opening doors to better work and quality-of-life opportunities.
These activities will involve more than 170 households, with the intention that Nong Ta Kem villagers will be able to influence their surrounding communities about how to sustainably and strongly grow themselves and their community.
The "Plan W: Empowering Women Through Learning" project is a regional initiative by Diageo, with the aim of empowering more than 2 million women from all walks of
life in at least 17 countries across Asia-Pacific by 2017, with a budget of US$10 million (Bt310 million).