Laguna Phuket: Community Relations & Corporate Social Responsibility
‘Developing Sustainable Communities’
Over three decades ago, Laguna Phuket was a tin mine and after the end of the tin mining era, the area was left neglected and ‘damaged’. But with the establishment of Laguna Phuket in 1984, the rehabilitation and cleanup of Bangtao Bay began. Once up and running Laguna brought jobs to locals and that subsequently led the community to security and wealth with a new economic dynamic. Thus a new chapter began; the era of tourism.
Laguna Phuket is a network of hotels, properties, restaurants, services and leisure facilities that provide a wealth of jobs and a complete lifestyle for local, regional and international guests. It is a community nestled within a community.
Phuketindex.com has the great honour to talk with Khun Prae Sunantaraks, Director of CSR & Community Relations of Laguna Resorts & Hotels PLC, and permit holder of Laguna Phuket Kindergarten. At the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Laguna Phuket CSR projects, we have her here to share about its stories, projects, and so much more.
Please tell us about Laguna Phuket CSR
It’s been 30 years now of our CSR commitment to developing sustainable communities. Be it business community or local community, we believe that we are part of the sustainable growth not only in Phuket or in Thailand, but also everywhere that we operate.
Our corporate ethos is developing sustainable communities. This implies looking at how we as individuals and as corporate citizens can bring about positive change in our community. There is an old saying that says, ‘one lives not for oneself but for one’s community’, and this, I believe, is our roadmap for a sustainable journey. Sustainability also means we will not focus on just corporate or shareholder profits, but rather seek to do what will keep our environment and people healthy, which is a true long-term profit for everyone.
Who is involved in the running of the Laguna Phuket CSR?
Everyone is encouraged to get involved in CSR planning and its implementation. We are like one big family with a diversity of backgrounds, ethnicities, and ideas, which makes us unique in our own way. I think it is important to exercise our CSR commitment together. As human beings, we all need to have a sense of having control in creating our future, a future that is not only for us but for those that we truly care about. We are very fortunate to have a big team of thoughtful, hardworking, and fun-loving CSR professionals. Our CSR programming is being driven from both top-down and bottom-up, which means we listen to what our stakeholders need as much as we try to implement the vision of our leadership. It’s comforting for me to work with and for people that care about what’s going on in the world that we live in and the future world that our children will be living in.
What are the Laguna Phuket CSR’s main objectives?
We can talk all day long about what Laguna Phuket does in CSR, but I’m not sure if you have the time! Let me put it simply that being socially responsible is basically our moral DNA. We focus on five areas: 1) Cultural diversity, 2) Educational empowerment, 3) Social equity, 4) Health & sports promotion, and 5) Environmental preservation. We have many long-range focus programs that are also serving national priorities for sustainable tourism development, and also serving the needs of our local community. For example, Laguna Phuket Kindergarten which was established in 1992 to educate our young ones to become responsible and concerned citizens; over the past two decades, over 3,000 children have taken part in our preschool program.
What projects are you working on at this time?
We have an eventful year of CSR activities. Our annual tree planting is happening in May of each year, and we have planted nearly 30,000 trees over the course of 10 years. For the month of June, it’s about the International Marathon that our CSR will take part in and will organize a fundraising activity to support the Children First Fund, a fund set up earlier in March this year to celebrate the Laguna Phuket 30th anniversary, and to aid a nutrition program for over 400 Phuket-based orphans. The fund-raising activity will take place on June 3 and I hope that we have a lot of engagement from our athletes and guests.
How can people get involved in raising awareness and money for your charity?
It’s very simple. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 076-362315. We’d be glad to share ideas and join hands with like-minded CSR enthusiasts.
If you were to tell the world one thing: what would it be?
If you want it in a small nutshell, I think I would say ‘be honest, be trustworthy’. It’s one of the human qualities besides kindness and courage that I value. A lot is accomplished when one shows integrity in how we treat ourselves and others, because people can do great things when they can safely trust each other. I believe, in order to live a meaningful and purposeful life, one must start with honesty.
About Prae Sunantaraks
Khun Prae is originally from Kanchanaburi Province but found that her passion about children is realised at Laguna Phuket where she’s been working for over three years. Her recent post is Director of CSR & Community Relations of Laguna Resorts & Hotels PLC, and permit holder of Laguna Phuket Kindergarten.
“I’ve always wanted to run a kindergarten; it is something very dear to me. I like to get up every day and come to work knowing that I will be seeing the children, being part of the creative learning activities not only for the children but for the parents and for the wider community which the children of Laguna Phuket Kindergarten will be influencing. I began in Bangkok setting up the Little Light Project to help blind children to ‘see’ the world. Now I can continue in similar work, but with a wider community impact in Phuket.
“Kids have this special power over me. They remind me of my happy days in the kindergarten – my childhood memories that I treasure. So I like to be able to create happy days for the children of Laguna Phuket Kindergarten so that they can enjoy loving memories now and can revisit these memories as often as they want to. I’ve been working with Laguna Phuket for just over three years. Time flies when we’re having fun!”