By SOMLUCK SRIMALEE
“When I was young, my family did not have enough money to support my education. I had to work and was lucky to win scholarships from secondary-school level to university level. Without the scholarships, my life would have been much different from now,” Thongma said.
“That’s why I want to extend the opportunity to others as education can change their lives – and some could one day become the main drivers of the country’s economic growth.”
The scholarship programme started in 2001, when the company successfully revived from the financial crisis. Unlike the company, many households suffering from that disaster still could not find ways to support their children’s education. The project was kick- started as the company amassed funds to support the children of its customers, employees and poor families living near its housing projects, Thongma said.
From the beginning, it promised to extend more than 400 scholarships per annum, for students in the primary, secondary and university levels.
Not only did the company provide scholarships for the children, Thongma personally set up the Vijitpongpun Fund seven years ago to provide scholarships for students through both primary school and university.
The Vijitpongpun Fund also donates budget to support a religious foundation to teach people in the community to learn about religion that will serve them to gain peace of mind.
This year, Vijitpongpun Fund has donated Bt38 million for 52 organisations. Recipients include an education institute, religious foundation, and non-government-organisations whose activities support communities nationwide.
“We cannot say if these scholarships would bring a better future for the country. But for now, we know they are providing an opportunity to pursue education, on which they can build their future and become valuable manpower in the future,” said Thongma.
Besides education, the company’s CSR is now geared towards its own customers, who deserve to live in a good environment, regardless of the age of the projects. Established in 1993, Pruksa has delivered over 120,000 residential units in over 100 projects to its customers.
In its mission to build a sustainable community, Thongma said: “The main objective is to support our customers to have the better community and better living.”
“Our business philosophy is that - with me or without me – Pruksa Real Estate must be a sustainable enterprise. CSR would be a mechanism to ensure sustainability,” Thongma said.