Community Empowerment

Building on these efforts, and maintaining our focus on working in partnership with community members to address their needs, Pattanarak has initiated savings and credit activities and continues to support a network of savings groups in border villages. These savings groups provide community members with a place to save money and to take out low-interest loans for starting a small business, pursuing education, paying a hospital bill, or other purposes. Savings group members also increase their financial literacy and learn about the benefits of saving money. In partnership with the savings group network, Pattanarak has initiated community cooperative stores in several communities; these shops service villagers with lower-cost animal feed, rice, and other products. These cooperative stores save community members time and effort in purchasing such materials in town and serve to vitalize the local economy. Pattanarak also facilitates cremation funds linked to the savings groups in each community; these cremation funds defray funeral costs in the event of a member’s death, supporting the family of the deceased person. Pattanarak also assists with other social welfare activities associated with the savings groups.