SUT and SEAMEO-SEPS kick-off the 2024 Southeast Asian Youth Camp on Sustainable Development Goals

SUT and SEAMEO-SEPS kick-off  the 2024 Southeast Asian Youth Camp on Sustainable Development Goals
On January 29, 2024, Suranaree University of Technology in collaboration with  SEAMEO SEPS, held the opening session for the 2024 Southeast Asian Youth Camp on Sustainable Development Goals at SUT during January 29 – February 2, 2024. For this Youth Camp, 56 participants from 11 schools, representing SEAMEO-SEPS member countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam, consist of 44 students and 12 teachers.
Vice Rector for Engagement, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mullika Sungsanit gave a warm welcome to all participants on behalf of SUT. Afterwards, the opening session was given by Ms. Duriya Amatavivat, the Centre Director of SEAMEO SEPS, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Sufficiency Economy Philosophy for Sustainability.  Honored in attendance by representatives from the province, such as the Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Administrative Organization, the Provincial Education Office,  SUT executives, and local school directors, the camp then kicked off with a plenary talk with Jennifer Innes-Taylor from Udon Organic Farm to spark youth as changemakers on “Youth for SEP: Igniting Change, Sustaining the Planet,” followed by a moving session on “ Youth as Changemakers: SEP, SDG and Sustainability” by Ms. Methawee Thatsanasateankit, Founder/CEO of Vulcan Coalition and network of School of Changemakers. The opening session was complete with shared stories of “Thailand’s Sustainable Story by Entrepreneurs: The Power of Change” by Mr.Pruitti Kerdchoochuan, MD/owner/founder of Dairy Home and Ms. Panchana Watasathien President of Khao Yai Tourism Association, owner/founder of Pen Laos Restaurant. 
The camp aims to instill the principles of the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among youth from SEAMEO Member Countries. Championed by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the SEP integrates seamlessly into the Thai basic education curriculum, equipping learners with skills for sustainable development. Recognizing the significance of transmitting these principles, SEAMEO SEPS leads the 2024 Southeast Asian Youth Camp on Sustainable Development Goals.
The camp, run by SUT’s Student Entrepreneurship Development Academy (SEDA) and the Center for International Affairs, employs a design thinking approach. This approach emphasizes empathy, creative problem-solving, and collaboration. Students will visit Meechai Bamboo School and Otto Farm Studio, and engage in creative activities during the field trip.
The camp objectives are to foster a deep understanding of SEP and SDGs among participants and educators, inspire youth to integrate SEP into school routines and teaching methodologies, cultivate human-centered problem-solving skills within the context of SEP and SDGs, facilitate networking for youth, fostering connections and collaborations, establish a committed network of schools embracing SEP and SDGs, fostering knowledge-sharing platforms.
Recognizing the importance of cultural competency in education and career advancement, student participants from SEAMEO will receive a transcript for the course Social Innovation Development from SUT at the end of the activity series. This recognition is designed to fortify their global portfolio and highlight their organizational skills.  Teachers, too, will gain valuable insights into conducting design thinking workshops and coaching sessions within the context of social innovation development, applicable to their schools in their home countries. It is hoped that this camp will not only inspire change-makers in their communities but also empower teachers to continue fostering youth changemakers across the region. 
By Center for International Affairs