People College was founded by a group of social development workers, academicians and youth who used to be a human rights volunteer in the Three Southernmost Provinces of Thailand. These groups of people were trained in law enforcement and accessing to justice from many organizations that play role in resolve violent crisis in these provinces.
Target group of People College are youth, students, community leaders who used to be a volunteer and have experience in supporting their communities, including working with those who got affected, by investigation, providing knowledge about justice system and law enforcement. Therefore, People College would like to include these youth, students and community leaders in order to create community academicians to provide knowledge to their communities through People College that work for people
From the crisis in the Three Southernmost Provinces, People College realized that one of the important reason that cause conflict in this area is about no trustworthiness among people in the communities. That makes people feel suspicious of others. Moreover, there is no public channel to communicate to each other. In order to create trustworthiness in the communities, they should have opportunity to expose to communication channel that will make people start meeting and creating new knowledge together, for instance, knowledge about Peace Studies, moral and ethics and self-sufficient lifestyle. These will be conducted by community academicians who got training from People College. People College believes that suspicious and mistrust among people in the communities can be reduced by people in each community with supported by community academicians. It can be improved as a result of having better communication and have more understanding each other through public sphere.
Main objective of this project is to set up training courses about “Leadership for Peace” for youth, students, staffs, employee in private organization and community leaders. Those who pass this course are expected to organize public sphere in their communities that affected from violent crisis. This should include peace development process from people in their communities. In the past, there were many activities in each community, for instance, meetings, religious, moral and ethics training and culture activities. However, these activities were discontinued. This project that establish public sphere is expected that people in each community will have more collaboration, join activities together and help develop public mind for people in each community once again.
Mr. Muhammad Ayub Patan, People College Advisor said “People College is the place for knowledge and idea exchange, communication and peace development process. I think it is important but most people always think that it is not the priority because this area is full of crisis and conflict. It is interesting to have People College because it will be public sphere for people in this community, private organization, students, and community leaders. This will happen through easy understanding, friendliness and informal style. Everyone can be a teacher. I think People College should expand their work to other target groups as well”
Mr. Sugifli Yunu, the first generation of People College said “It is good to have public sphere to create new knowledge in community. It also improve environment for peace development process in community. What I learned from People College are about history, politics and economics in many dimensions. Speakers are from many fields so they open new perspectives on learning.”
Reported by THAWEESAK