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Capacity for Poverty Eradication
Population and Development International (PDI) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization. PDI works with local institutions in Southeast Asia to reduce poverty, improve education and facilitate health and socio-economic development in rural settings. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has recognized PDI as a charitable organization with 501(c)(3) status since September 1983.
PDI is governed by a Board of Directors which establishes the organization’s policies, priorities and procedures for support of foreign projects and foreign grant making. Its headquarters are currently based in the State of Hawaii, USA, and the organization maintains a regional presence in Bangkok, Thailand.
PDI has been assisting institutions in Southeast Asia since 1983, overseeing the development of country programs and research activities in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In Thailand, PDI’s main implementing partner is the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) - one of the largest NGO in the country renowned for its pioneering efforts in family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, community development, education and poverty alleviation.
PDI’s current emphasis is on helping to improve education in Southeast Asia with the spearhead of its endeavour in rural Northeast Thailand at the Mechai Bamboo School. Over the last ten years, PDI has assisted the Bamboo School to become a lifelong learning center for all and a gateway for social and economic advancement in communities surrounding the school. Students play an important role in the management of the school which empowers them “to bring economic development to their communities, as well as learn leadership, empathy and compassion”, as described by PBS’s Newshour on 6 February 2019 (available for viewing at the following link: www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-this-thai-educational-movement-empowers-rural-students).
The Bamboo School, together with PDI is now helping other rural schools to also become gateways for social and economic advancement in surrounding communities. In 2019, the Bamboo School will launch a twinning program between a Thai school and a school on the border in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. The objective is to demonstrate to Thailand’s neighbouring countries that they too can encourage their schools to become kay actors in the improvement of the quality of life and income in surrounding communities.