Monday, June 13, 2011

Meeting Mechai Viravaidya, Condom King, in the Philippines

Mechai Viravaidya, former Thai Senator and activist, founder and chair of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), more known as "Condom King" of Thailand, is successfully working on family planning and empowerment of the poor through education to eradicate poverty. He has been sharing his Village Development Partnership program not only throughout Thailand, but also to developing countries like the Philippines. Not everybody knows, Mechai is also a Trustee of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, Asia's Nobel-like award which aims to honor "greatness of spirit in selfless service to the peoples of Asia."

I was very lucky to have met him and heard him lecture weeks ago in his short stay in the Philippines for RMAF related activities.


I want you to see this TED video of Mechai Viravaidya on "How Mr. Condom Made Thailand A Better Place". It's a video worth watching :)

Because of his efforts, which continues up to today, he's become a well known individual. His ideas are continuing to help the poor have dignity, uplift their lives, and change societies and their mindsets.

Dr. Helen Gayle wrote about Mechai Viravaidya in the TIME MAGAZINE's 60 Years of Asian Heroes, and let me quote a bit from the piece:

...he places a high value on action and impact, even if it means making some people uncomfortable. Never afraid to challenge the status quo, he's a refreshing change in arenas too often concerned about consensus and not rocking the boat.

If only our leaders try to open their minds on new ideas, and ideas that work...if only they are result-driven, hands-on, then probably, we'll also be better off. Just a thought ;)

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