By all accounts, 2016 was a very successful year for Kenan Institute Asia. In raw numbers, we assisted over 290,000 direct beneficiaries, including more than 2,600 educators, a record number for Kenan, conducted over 200 seminars, workshops and trainings, developed 27 school curriculums, organized 15 youth camps, and held an incredible 70 community events. Looking deeper into these numbers, however, shows that Kenan has lived up to its promise of bringing truly impactful and sustainable programming to our stakeholders. From our work to reform Thailand’s education system, to our re-designed community development programming, to our technical and soft skills training for low and semi-skilled workers, Kenan continues to successfully provide lasting impact to our beneficiaries and deliver sustainable programming for our donors.
2016 was also a year for sober reflection, when Thailand lost one of the world’s great leaders with the passing of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. His Majesty the late King was a tireless champion for sustainable development in Thailand and the world through his Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP), which is derived from statements of His Majesty the late King regarding Moderation, Prudence and Reasonableness, together with Knowledge and Ethical Behavior. I am proud to say that much of the work done by Kenan follows these principles, and that our own Kenan values reflect so closely his development philosophy. Kenan’s values of Partnership, Leadership, Inspiration, and Integrity are embedded in everything we do, and serve as our guiding light to help us achieve our shared vision.
In 2016, Kenan worked through partnerships with 22 of Thailand’s top universities, a half dozen international development partners, 15 government partners, STEM and vocational education experts from the United States, Australia and Finland, and collaborated with hundreds of policy makers at the national and provincial level for systems change projects. Kenan continued its role as a key partner for SME and entrepreneurship work with the Thai government, including with the Department of Industrial Promotion and the Office of SME Promotion, and was proud to be honored by the Ministry of Science and Technology’s National Science Museum with an award for being an outstanding partner to the Ministry in the STEM education space.
Kenan also takes seriously its leadership role in sustainable development as well as building a new generation of leaders to help create a sustainable future. In 2016, Kenan’s largest initiative, the Chevron Enjoy Science project, received an award for being the best CSR program of the year from the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand. We also entered our second year of implementation for the U.S. Department of State funded Vietnam Women Improving Lives and Leadership (WLL) project, and continued our leadership role in working to eliminate malaria under the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria project. As well, the U.S. Embassy to Thailand selected Kenan staff, Ms. Sofia Jeana, to join the U.S. Department of State’s “Women Leaders: Promoting Peace and Security” program, which brought leaders from around the world to the United States to exchange ideas about promoting peace and development.
Kenan worked to inspire community members, students, and those in public service and the development field through training and the holding of public events designed to engage them in development activities. Under the ThaiBev Leadership for a Better Quality of Life project, student leaders mobilized thousands of community members to tackle projects such as canal clean ups and heritage sharing. Under the Caltex Fuel Your School project, students were inspired to learn about science and use those lessons to help solve community problems. Under the Microsoft TechSperts project in Vietnam, disadvantaged youth were taught technology and sales skills, and were pipelined directly into sales jobs in the technology retail sector.
As a non-profit organization that accepts donations to fulfil its mission, it is critical that our partners, beneficiaries and other key stakeholders recognize the great lengths Kenan undertakes to uphold the highest standards of integrity. Audited and publically available financial reports, published annual reports, an all-volunteer board of trustees, a separate executive committee and finance committee, prohibitions on kick-backs and bribery, and clear reporting of all funding sources are just some of the international best practices Kenan applies to its operations. I am proud that for over 20 years Kenan has lived up to the highest standards of integrity and worked to help others do the same, including our efforts over the past four years on the USAID funded ACTI project, which supports regional economic integration and encourages ASEAN to adopt transparent, sustainable, and inclusive trade practices.
I invite you to look through this year’s annual report to learn more about our history, and the over 20 projects we implemented across the areas of business and economic development, innovative education, community development, civil society capacity building, and public health in 2016. I also ask for your continued support of Kenan, as we seek to accomplish even more in the next year.
Khunying Jada Wattanasiritham
Chair of Kenan Institute Asia