Based in Bangkok, Ruam Chuay (meaning “Collective Support” in Thai) is dedicated to helping create safer communities by preventing interpersonal violence. Started in 2018, the non-profit organisation collaborates with local schools, workplaces and other groups to host programs that help:
- People become more confident with their interpersonal skills
- Prevent gender-based and sexual violence
- Fill in gaps in current sexuality education programs
- Find more productive ways to address conflict in our communities
“We believe that everyone should be able to have happy and healthy relationships. However, gender-based violence poses a serious threat to people’s well-being and safety,” says the organisation’s founder Monisha Bajaj, a graduate of NIST International School who furthered her studies in the United States. “Sexual assault and domestic violence are problems that persist all over the world and Thailand is no exception. No one talks about it. These are touchy subjects, for sure, but we feel that dialogue surrounding these issues, including sex and gender equality, rights and power, is necessary.”
A few years back, Monisha started designing workshops aimed at teens and young adults on preventing interpersonal violence, using her training in paraprofessional counseling and crisis response. At the same time, she works as a content marketing strategist and digital media producer, where her favorite projects “lie at the axis of technology, social issues, and culture”. She was recently featured on the Giving Back Podcast with Rob Lowe.
In the one year since its inception, Ruam Chuay has brought its Consent and Healthy Relationships workshop to several international schools and universities. The workshop utilises facilitated group discussions and breakout activities to help participants understand why gender-based violence exists, followed by an exploration of the concepts of bodily autonomy and consent.
Monisha explains, “We have the students get into groups to talk about personal boundaries, consent, inter-personal violence, and understanding the emotional side of relationships. We use a variety of tools and techniques to create a safe space. The belief is that everyone is inter-connected, with a focus on creating a holistic and values-based approach to address harm doing in society. We try to engage young people in a positive and open way, rather than using the model of social control.”
Other programs include Facilitated Discussions and Talks on gender-based violence and how it can be prevented in the context of the global cultural landscape and in workplaces, schools and communities in Thailand.