Giving is not just about making a donation, it’s about making a difference.
That has been the aim of Esso (Thailand) Public Company Limited, an ExxonMobil affiliate in Thailand, as it provides computers and laptops to educate the next generation of the country’s leaders and create a future for those in need.
It is doing more than just donating technology: the company is creating a supply chain of support for Thailand’s disadvantaged, teaching them real-world skills and giving them the ability to support themselves.
ExxonMobil has worked with multiple groups to support the “Knowledge with Integrity” program, which teaches young Thais with physical disabilities computer repair skills and then donates the repaired technology to students in need.
The company partnered with the Father Ray Foundation’s Redemptorist Technological College for People with Disabilities Electronic and Computer Skills Centre to make a difference.
Father Ray Brennan, the school’s founder, said the aim of the Foundation is to give these young Thais the ability to “earn their own rice.”
The students clean, check, and repair computers and laptops donated by ExxonMobil. The equipment is then given to needy schools nationwide through an award-winning social enterprise called Learn Education Company Limited, an expert on teaching science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) contents and tools.
Father Ray’s student Sabeeroh Leemoh or B. said it has changed how the students view themselves and their communities.
“The new students are often discouraged and hopeless when they come here to study,” she said.
“They then experience being here in a society that ‘sees us’.”
Fellow student Jidapa Nitiwirakul said the school’s computer education and English language courses gave her skills that have taken her around the world.
“[Because of the course] I had the chance to compete as part of the Thai team in the Global Technology Challenge in South Korea in 2019,” she said.
Her team went on to win a gold medal and she won two silver medals in the individual category.
Jidapa said they are also taught life skills “to help ourselves as much as possible, because if we go out alone, we can become independent.”
She now plans to study IT at a university, saying she was inspired to do so after the competition.
The computers and laptops the students repaired are also providing other Thais with opportunities for education.
Tanin Timtong, Learn Education’s Managing Director, said the computers have helped Thai students in areas where science and maths teachers are scarce.
“I saw the strong determination, thoughtfulness and activeness of ExxonMobil [in supporting this program],” Tanin said.
“ExxonMobil did not just give hundreds of laptops, but the company sent them to Father Ray’s, which also helped another group of needy people.
“I saw it as the complete supply chain of giving, which goes beyond just donating laptops to giving [students] solutions to promote STEM education.”
Since 2013, ExxonMobil has donated 165 laptops to almost 30 institutions across Thailand through the joint program with the Father Ray Foundation and Learn Education Company.