Rak Tamachat’s Permaculture
Community Dynamic Systems
Community Development Areas of Interest
- Community Building
- Re-building Community
- Sense of community
- Defining Community
- Community Building Activities
- Community Gardening
- Community technology centers
- Sharing of Gifts
- Community Organizing
- Community-building and the Environment
1. Community Building
This would allow the core members of our community the ability to enhance our community among individuals within the regional area of Thailand based on the common belief and interest in “Permaculture”, “Communal Living” and “Natural Building”.
We like to sum this up under the term “Natural Living” at Rak Tamcaht.
The goal of Rak Tamcahat can be encompassed in the term “Community Development“.
The community development is accomplished by providing for a wide variety of practices, these can be utilized for community building.
We foster community with our daily activities which can range from, “organic gardening“, “seed saving“, “horticulture“, “communal cooking“, and our ongoing “Natural Building Projects“.
We strive to include local participants rather than outside contractors who can join with our ever changing variety of students and volunteers.
We have found that many of our guest, students and volunteers that come to Thailand to learn about our community building activists have felt their is an apparent loss of community in their own societies.
We believe this is one of the main causes of “Social Disintegration” and thus may be the very cause of the raising tends of many harmful social behaviors.
We fell that our ability to provide for a place that can serve as a center for building community can act as means to increase “Social Justice”.
By giving and working together we can help to build individual well-being, this will reduce the negative impacts of otherwise disconnected societies.
2. Re-Building Community
At Rak Tamchat we believe to build the community we want we need to focus on what it takes to re-build the community element that has been lost in the western culture.
In order to start on our community building at Rak Tamchat we need to appreciate where the community is located. We need to focus on building a strong cultural leadership we will need to understand our local geography environment, Thailand’s cultural history, and socio-economic status.
We have to appreciate that for the success of our community and it’s well being in the larger community of Thailand, that we operate and live in, we need to make sure all of the above areas of cultural understanding are integrated into our community building activities to assure our success.
At Rak Tamchat we find that the community well being and that of our resident members is very dependent on the type of relationships that are build in our community. We work to assure that Rak Tamachat can be an open and peaceful place for all types of relationships.
We also stress the importance of building “Social Capital“. We find that building social capital creates in our community a stonger sense of belonging to the community. This intern helps to enhance the health of the Rak Tamachat Community.
We feel the western culture has entered into a steady decline in culture due mostly due to its decline in social capital.
The west creates and exerts pressures on its citizens in the form of “Time and Money” that is manifested in the form of “Suburbanization“, “Urbane decline”, a growing number of persons being “Glued to Electronics”
But the most important issue we see facing the us in the fast approaching future are the “Generational Gap” create by western culture.
All of the above manifest themselves in the growing social disconnection being felt and expresses in our “Disconnection with Nature” and “Disconection with our Food“.
Rak Tamachat knows that by practicing and teaching “Permaculture” we can impact the changes we see in the world, “by being the change we want to see“.
This helps to strengthen our Social Capital, both at Rak Tamchat and in an every far reaching sphere of influence.
We must all learn to view the world differently, we believe that Permaculture shows us how to see the world though a “Social Capital Lens”
The world will get better over time with the continuing efforts of people practicing Permaculture and other Social Capital Building exercises. Once this type of behavior and decision making becomes the norm in the world we will see the change we want become a reality……..
We know at Rak Tamachat that one of the easiest ways fore us to create the “Structures that Facility belonging” is by working to make a community that creates a sense of the possibility of the world, shows the generosity and gifts of Nature. This positive reaction is far better then being in a negative mindset of western culture where we are continuously faced with “Fear and Retribution“.
When we all work to build a context that allows for persons to truly express themselves a new conversation on the positive elements of life begins to take place. Rak Tamachat works hard to make a sanctuary where those conversions can thrive.
We understand that the worlds citizens all need to have the ability to act with a authentic desire. We help each person that visits us find their voice by exercise both their mind and their body, this build the power within them create the world they want.
We always put our “Community Focus” on an ideal of “Inclusiveness for All“, we strive to create a community that has clear leadership but operates with a sense of mutual respect.
Rak Tamchat is always working on our community building, we base our work on our beliefs, these beliefs form the base that supports our Community. A a core we follow the “Ethics of Permaculture“, “Permaculture Principles” and the base beliefs in “Shared Values“, “Sense of Spirituality“, “Basic Human Rights for All” and “Fostering Diversity”
3.1 Sense of Community
4. Defining Community
We we decided to form the Rak Tamachat Community, we were aware that their were several strategies that would influence how our community developed:,
- “Sense of Place” – By placing Rak Tamchat in a small village in “Issan Thailand” we would assure that our development would be fostered by the communal sense which is displayed by the “Thai Social Structures of Buddhism“.
- “Shared Beliefs” – Rak Tamachat was formed based on a belief in the sharing of common interests. The community development is strengthened by the “Common Interests” and “Shared Values” the allow our community to cross “Cultural Boundaries“.
- “Meditation by Doing” – At Rak Tamchat we know that with “Joint Action” we can create a “Sense of Coherence” which allows for the “Sense of Identity” that makes the Community feel like home. We work to always foster an atmosphere where common activities are included in our daily lives. We enjoy sharing our work tasks, we feel this helps to build our “Community Cohesion“.
- “Social Ties” – At Rak Tamachat our social ties are foster by our daily activities which work to build the sense of place that creates involved relationships and builds our community cohesion.
- “Social Diversity” – We are not working to create a global culture at Rak Tamchat but rather a “Permanent Culture” where we can enjoy the diversity of each others cultures and work to maintain the good aspects of each respective culture by sharing our cultural experiences.
We know that by forming an “Intentional Community” we will have to work with the many varied styles of living that come together, but we are assured that by respecting the above defining characteristics of community it is possible for Rak Tamchat to make a substantial difference in this world. Their are many different paths that community building can take, and we will see in the coming years how the Rak Community develops.
Our communal activities based upon “Doing” will unit and strengthen our Community Building.
Regardless of the type of community that’s formed, it’s possible to perform community-building and make a difference. The way that community-building takes place varies and depends on the factors listed above. There are many activities that communities use to strengthen themselves.
Community Building Activities
Community gardening helps to improve neighborhood, build a sense of community, and connect to the environment by planting and harvesting fresh produce and plants.
Community technology centers
Community technology center, like community gardens, have proven to be a locus of support for communities, promote neighborhood uplift, civic engagement, the digital divide, and poverty. They have also helped foster connections to the environment through the re-use of technology and proper electronic waste stewardship.
Sharing of Gifts
Music, dance, gardening, craftsmanship, mechanics, any skills or knowledge shared provide excellent opportunities for community-building. Service oriented activities invite individuals to strengthen relationships and build rapport as they help one another. The sharing of gifts strengthens the community as a whole and lays a foundation for future successes in the community’s endeavors due to the overall well-being and unity produced.
Organizing is a major way that communities unite. When the term “organizing” is used, it usually means that a group of less powerful people is banding together to solve a problem. There are several means by which communities are organizing. The most recent is through social media.Community organizing is distinguishable from activism if activists engage in social protest without a strategy for building power or for making specific social changes. According to Phil Brown, community organizing is the vehicle that brings the social cohesion and broad coherence to neighborhoods and municipalities, which in turn produces successful environmental justice actions (reference #4 at end of the article).
Community-building and the Environment
Community building efforts organize around toxic waste, environmental health, and environmental justice. Prior emphases on conservation, preservation, endangered species, rainforest destruction, ozone depletion, and other national global concerns often had no salience for local communities, and such emphases kept the environmental movement a largely middle class and upper middle class movement. (Brown) Groups may be as influential as the United Nations  or as small and local as neighborhoods. The Natural Resources Defense Council lists many publicly organized community-building groups created to decrease the ecological footprint and reduce the environmental impact that humans have.