Our mission is to create a positive and thriving education and culture by provide scholarships and opportunities for the advancement of education, youth leadership, visual and performance arts, heritage conservation and Buddhist scholarship within Lampang Province in Northern Thailand.
Khun Narong Pattamasaevi, CEO of Montara Hospitality Group, began Niyom Pattamasaevi Foundation with clear objectives – to honour the memory of his father, Khun Niyom, the namesake of the Foundation, to give back to the cultural and religious community that cultivated his moral values, and to instill a love of learning and contributing back to the community among the youth in Lampang, his hometown province.
Below, Khun Narong explains the history and mission of the Niyom Pattamasaevi Foundation.
What inspired you to start the Foundation?
Education and a strong sense of social and moral responsibility have been influential in making me the individual I am today. I am also a product of my community – the vibrant and culturally-rich Lampang Province. I knew early on that once I achieved professional success, I want to contribute to Lampang in tangible ways. Growing up in Lampang, we had limited opportunities for higher education. I was fortunate that my father sent me to Bangkok for high school and I received a scholarship to attend university in the United States. The generosity of the individuals who supported my education led to other opportunities in my life. I want to afford members of my community the same opportunities, and that is the main reason we began the foundation. Our programs facilitate access to education and cultural enrichment. Our objective is to instil in Lampang youth a spirit of collaboration – working together for the common good of their community.
Can you please tell us about Khun Niyom?
Khun Niyom, my father, set a wonderful example for me. He was born in Phichit Province and worked diligently to support his family. In a devastating fire in 1958, my father lost everything. He relocated our family to Lampang to start fresh. I watched him rebuild his personal and professional life, and he did it with incredible integrity. During my childhood, I observed his willingness to help others even as he was struggling himself. Each time he achieved any measure of success, he contributed part of it back to the community. He donated the land for our local temple, helped his neighbours and sacrificed a lot in order to provide a proper education for his children. He demonstrated to me that working together, we are able to achieve much more. I admired his sense of social and moral responsibility, and I have adopted them as my guiding principles in how I conduct my own life.
What are the underlying values and objectives of the programs you support?
Our programs provide resources – be it books or scholarships or instructional assistance – for education and cultural enrichment. Lampang has a rich architectural heritage – it is a classic small town in northern Thailand, and it has served as a cultural and economic crossroads for centuries. This is reflected in the architecture, food and visual and performing arts of the community. We want the communities visual and performing arts to develop, evolve and thrive. Additionally, we hope to imbue in young people a sense of selfless service for the benefit of their communities. We also want to emphasize that the health of the community and the individual are connected – we need to work together to achieve personal and communal success.
Why do you feel education is an important foundation for youth?
I believe education is the foundation for having perspective in life. It exposes us to different ideas and different modes of doing things — a strong educational faculty is useful in helping us develop tools to examine issues in new ways, to problem solve, to be creative and innovative. Ultimately, the perspectives we gain through education leads to greater understanding, compassion and love for each other.
Can you explain your “pay it forward” philosophy?
One way to recognize generosity is to emulate it. I have benefitted from the generosity of my father, my family, my community and even complete strangers. In my case, I received a scholarship to attend college in the United States through the generosity of a woman named Mrs. Jerene Appleby-Harnish, someone I have only met once and to whom I feel tremendous gratitude to this day. Rather than pay back those individuals, I decided to “pay it forward” — by giving to others so they have opportunities to move forward in meaningful ways. “Pay it forward” is a way to remember that we can help propel each other towards a better life.
Lampang is my hometown. It is the province where I grew up, where I watched my father, Khun Niyom, work tirelessly for the good of the community. It is a community with a strong artistic, architectural and Buddhist culture — I want to help preserve this. One hundred years ago, Lampang used to be the biggest international town in the northern region of Thailand. Many foreign merchants from Myanmar,India,England and China moved and settled here. Today we still see much old architecture and old houses. More than 30 houses over a 100 years old survive on both sides of the Mae Wang River, while the province claims to have the most Myanmar-style temples in Thailand.
What principles do you live by?
Every crisis is a prelude to bigger opportunity and fortune. Give at every chance, and don’t forget to thank those who provide you with the chance to give.
WHERE WE WORK
Our projects serve the citizens and town of Lampang. We also work with communities across Lampang Province. The Lampang Arts Center provides space for art exhibitions to artists from Northern Thailand.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
|Mr. Narong Pattamasaevi||Chairman|
|Mrs. Samran Pattamasaevi||Director|
|Mrs. Poonsri Pattamasaevi||Director & Secretary|
|Mrs. Siriporn Antarasen||Director|
|Mrs. Kanutkorn Yongsupamongkul||Director|
|Mrs. Marayart Thanompichai||Director|
|Mr. Kittisak Pattamasaevi||Director|