It Just Takes One to Make a Difference

North Thailand TCD Expansion


In 2019, our team held a meeting with a few community members from Baan Pongsa and the surrounding villages. We facilitated a couple of introductory Transformational Community Development (TCD) lessons, including one lesson entitled “Building Community Ownership” and another called “Needs and Resources of a Community”. In these lessons, the importance of a community identifying their needs as well as the resources they already have to meet those needs is emphasised. The end goal is that the community would “own” (meaning identify, design, work on, and manage) their projects and what happens in their communities. The lessons went well but after the meeting, some of those who attended never came back. Our team figured that this is the way things go and that nothing will come of the lessons.


We were wrong. Just recently, we were told that one of the villagers who attended the meeting caught the vision. With only a couple of TCD lessons under his belt, he went back to his community and began working. In his community, nearly everyone has a plot of land that they farm up the side of this one mountain. The road to their land is in very poor condition; so poor, in fact, that when the buyer of their crops comes to receive delivery, he charges extra just to drive up to the village! As a result, the farmers take home less money. With his new information on Transformational Community Development, this individual gathered the farmers and, together, they identified the problem, collected some money, purchased the supplies, and set out to pave the road themselves. The roughest stretch of the road has been graded and paved – roughly 60 metres, and the group intends to continue paving more of the road when funding is available.


This story demonstrates the power of TCD. This community of farmers identified a problem, found a local solution, did the work themselves, and will all reap the rewards. And we knew nothing about it until it was finished! This is what ownership looks like! And this is work that can be sustained and multiplied to other projects and villages. 


Thank you!