The establishment of People’s Empowerment Foundation (PEF) was aimed toward the Democracy-based Development of Thailand's Politics and Society.
Our beginning was dated back to the Black May incident in 1992, in which general public rallied on the streets of Bangkok to drive the February 23rd 1991 coup d’état leader and junta prime minister, Genral Sujinda Kraprayoon, out of the position. Massive violence broke out and resulted to great casualties of democracy-loving people. The junta unconditionally forced to step down. At that time, many came to believe that this bloody incident would be the last for Thailand, that the military would return to their barracks, minding their genuine roles on national security, and most importantly that Thailand would eventually become a true democratic regime. But the dream was short-lived. A little more than 14 years later on September 19th 2006, another coup d’état was staged, this time by General Sonthi boonyaratglin, the then-Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army. This was when the founders of PEF realized the best way to prevent any military coups in the future is to empower and strengthen the people on their knowledge and consciousness on democracy, human rights and fair and equal development.
It was two years before PEF finally received our first support from Open Society Foundation (OSF) and we are sincerely grateful to them. After years of taking both good and bad turns, PEF has reached our second decade. We have been working under three main pillar, namely; capacity building, people to people exchange and social business, relating to a diverse range of issues. PEF’s community and organizational network has expanded substantially, for both domestic and international arena.
However, the undesirable event happened again on May 22nd 2014, when the latest power seizure by the military took place.
"Though being devastated, we realize there is still a long way to go. Once again and more than ever, our fire for just and progressive Thailand has lightened up."
Development of the country is derived through
a development of the people
The capacity of people’s organization and movement on human rights, democracy and good governance must be enhanced to fight against any kind of injustice.
Empower the community network by sharing knowledge, developing capacity and skill, raising up public issues and cooperating for strategies of people movement, by believing that change must come from the people.
PEF persists on disseminating knowledge and understanding on human rights and democracy for the people to build their desirable, just and peaceful society. We hosted training workshops, discussion panels, study tours and people-to-people exchange on international human rights mechanism, both in domestic and regional level. We encourage our community network to express their needs and thoughts through existing problem-solving mechanism such as related governmental agencies, ASEAN, and the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) etc., to induce social changes that benefits all in the nation.
PEF has been taking a secretariat role of our network organizations and communities, currently consisting of more than 80 entities including marginalized communities. We have organized several people exchanges, in which many of the deprived communities could participated in national and regional meetings, where their voices are listened to. These are parts of the creating process of strong people movement toward change for just and prosperous society.