AFECT is a non-government organization for Thailand’s hill tribes, and was established in 1981. AFECT runs educational, health and cultural programme's for redeveloping Thai Hill Tribes in 268 villages within four northern Thai provinces. Dr. Sutep Suthornpasat, from Chiangmai University, was elected its first chairman and since then AFECT has grown into the longest running NGO for Tribes in Asia.
AFECT Vision Statement
The Association for Akha Education and Culture in Thailand (AFECT) assists rural hilltribe communities to build educational resources, stabilize and regenerate forests, develop and expand health management and preserve hill tribe cultural identity.
At AFECT, we believe that including local communities in the management of natural resources, bettering education, utilizing traditional naturopath health resources and promoting human rights leads to increased livelihood security and poverty alleviation that, in turn, encourages greater sustainable development. AFECT enables hilltribe communities to manage strategies that can forge integral and sustainable indigenous populations. We are run and managed by the Akha Tribe for the Akha communities and other indigenous partners.
AFECT'S programs are implemented through eight interrelated thematic areas: 1) To Educate Hill Tribe Children and Youth, 2) Create an Affordable Health Programme, 3) Develop Natural Resource Management, 4) Promote Human and Women's Rights, 5) Promote, Conserve and Resuscitate Akha Hilltribe Culture, 6) Strengthen Hilltribe Communities, 7) Strengthen Citizenship, 8) Build International Hilltribe Relations within the Mekong Region.
The program components are designed to engage regional policy makers, professional practitioners, and communities to facilitate learning, reduce conflicts, and ultimately create management agreements that result in more equitable, sustainable Hilltribe Communities.
AFECT has no links to or alignment with any political parties. We work primarily but not exclusively with the AKHA Hill Tribe.