United States Celebrates Young Leaders of Digital Literacy in Thailand

United States Celebrates Young Leaders of Digital Literacy in Thailand

For Immediate Release
Friday, May 28, 2021

BANGKOK, Thailand – Yesterday, the United States Government, together with Facebook Thailand and DAI, awarded the Wai Kid Digital Challenge grand prize to a team of five students from Suranaree University of Technology. Through creative 90-second videos, the winning teams raised the importance of news literacy and identifying misinformation during COVID-19 to help the Thai public safely navigate online spaces. The Wai Kid Digital Challenge trained nearly 400 university students nationwide on content creation to promote digital literacy, critical thinking, online identity security, and positive online communications.

The Summit celebrated three prize-winning teams:

  • Grand prize winner: Yan-Hwang Team, Suranaree University of Technology (Nakhon Ratchasima)
  • Most creative: Four Hearts of the Mountains Team (สี่หัวใจแห่งขุนเขา), Srinakarinwirot University (Bangkok)
  • Best key message: Those with Knowledge Team (ผู้มีความรู้), Walailak University (Nakhon Si Thammarat)

“We wanted to make a video that was relevant and timely about identifying misinformation during COVID-19,” said Teerapat Suksawat, one of the members of Yan-Hwang, the grand prize winning team. “I hope that my team’s video on this topic can entertain whoever watches it, and influence them to make positive changes to their daily online behavior. We hope that they’ll also share the video with others in their own communities”.

Representatives from the United States government, Facebook, DAI, and six partner universities (Hat Yai University, Mae Fah Luang University, Ramkamhaeng University, Srinakharinwirot University, Suranaree University of Technology, and Walailak University) across Thailand gathered in a virtual Summit to celebrate the students’ journey in the Wai Kid Digital Challenge of becoming digital literacy champions. Students and their Thai content creator mentors shared their key learnings from the program and the importance of having digital literacy campaigns like Wai Kid Digital.

“The United States is proud to support young people and partners in Thailand who are developing creative ways to promote open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems,” said Michael Heath, Chargé d’Affaires,  a.i.  at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.  “The Wai Kid Digital Challenge demonstrates that when we effectively leverage partnerships with the private sector to equip young people with the right tools – incredible ideas and solutions flourish”.

“I am incredibly impressed by the student’s creativity and professionalism throughout the program – especially when they are also navigating through COVID-19 in their homes,” said Chakkraphong Phumphaichit, also known as Toffie, a technology vlogger and e-sport content creator in Thailand. “I hope to see more programs like this that empower young people to share their voices and knowledge creatively about digital citizenship to their communities”.

“At Facebook, we always listen, learn and get inspired by local communities, especially those that are inclusive and diverse. We are very excited to see so much creativity from the young participants who joined the program,” said Michael Bak, Head of Public Policy, Facebook Thailand. “I would like to congratulate all the winners and show our appreciation to all participants. This truly demonstrates that co-creation brings life to our digital citizenship vision – and that young people are a critical part of it!” he added

The winning teams were awarded exclusive learning opportunities with industry experts in addition to content creation equipment that will help the students continue their journey of becoming digital literacy champions beyond the Challenge. The Wai Kid Digital University Challenge is an expansion of Facebook’s flagship “We Think Digital” digital literacy program first launched in Thailand in 2019. Wai Kid Digital is being implemented by Love Frankie, and is part of USAID’s Digital Asia Accelerator activity (‘the Accelerator’) implemented by DAI. Through the Accelerator, USAID is working across Southeast Asia and Mongolia to advance inclusive and sustainable economic development by increasing businesses’ and citizens’ capacities to use digital technology safely and effectively.

Follow the students’ journeys and videos on digital literacy at #WaiKidDigital and https://www.facebook.com/wtdthailand/ . Visit Facebook’s We Think Digital Thailand dedicated online portal for more information.