Trintawat Thuraworn (known as Dr Chi) is from the Karen ethnic group in northern Thailand. Dr Chi grew up in rural Chiang Rai, but after leaving the area to study he did not return for more than 40 years. Here he tells us why he decided to go back, and what he is doing now.
Why did you leave Chiang Rai?
‘When I was young a lot of us left the area because we were attracted by the cities and did not want to work as farmers. I gained a PhD on the subject of non-formal education and worked as a professor for many years.’
What made you return?
‘My father, just before he passed away, gave me a vision for the future. He encouraged me to return home and start farming.
‘I realised that I wanted to restore the land given to me, live a self-sufficient life and become a role model for the people of my home town and area. I also want my land to serve as a learning centre to inspire people in Thailand and other countries.’