‘MY World’ gives children with special needs a voice in Thailand

20 Apr 2013

IMAGE COURTESY OF P&G THAILAND
IMAGE COURTESY OF Procter and Gamble Thailand

United Nations and P&G take UN global survey to school for disabled Thai children

Siriporn dreams of being a singer. Atikom wants to grow up and become a soldier.

But for these two Thai children and many more around the world, obstacles have been put in their way. Some have come from poor families, while others have been abandoned by their parents. Some are removed from homes by local authorities and placed in special homes and schools.

The 130 children at the Ratchaburi Home for Intellectually Disabled Children in Ratchaburi have faced plenty of tough circumstances, but the school as an advocate in their director, Prasert Pavintada.

“We want to hear what help these children need from us, the government and society. Then we can improve and get more support from communities,” said Pavintada.

MY World, the United Nations Global Survey offered him and the children he cares for that opportunity. In partnership with Procter and Gamble (P&G), the United Nations in Thailand brought a specialized ballot to Ratchaburi that enabled these children to have their voices heard—not only by local communities, but by global leaders around the world.

MY World is a simple survey that aims to capture people's voices, priorities and views so that global leaders can be informed as they begin defining a new development agenda for the world. Through creative online and offline methods, MY World asks individuals which six of sixteen possible issues they think would make the most difference to their lives.

At Procter and Gamble’s “Gift of Learning” event on Saturday, 20 April, over 20 extra-large MY World ballots were collected. With the aid of hundreds of crayons and huge, color coded paper ballots, teachers like Nusara Sribaleerat explained the 16 choices to the children using simple terms.

Some choices were condensed to a single word or color, while others were explained using simple, practical language. Some of the children had the ability to read, and simply checked the color code for each of the MY World choices.

“We had a chance to give people with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to exercise their rights. We gave some very special kids told Thailand and global leaders their needs and priorities through MY World,” said Kannika Jarusuraisin, External Relations Director, Procter and Gamble Thailand.

“They made us all very proud.”

P&G has made the MY World campaign an integral part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. The company has already collected the voices of its employees in Thailand, and has begun spreading MY World into local communities.

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities helps to protect the fundamental human rights of people with disabilities—such as long term mental, intellectual impairments that may block access to participation in society,” said Luc Stevens, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand.

“MY World gives these children a voice, and with that power enabled they stand a better chance of having some of these obstacles placed before them removed.