Side by Side with Pattani’s Governor for a Day

When Four Young Girls Shadowed Thailand’s First Female Muslim Governor.

Afaf Manyunu, Nutkrita Sawangsri, Nawiya Denbase and Nurumairohchamina cheleh.
4 Young people are holding UNICEF flag.
UNICEF Thailand/2023/Manchasing
Young people who had the opportunity to shadow the Governor of Pattani Province.
30 April 2024

In November, we had the opportunity to shadow the Governor of Pattani Province, Patimoh Sadiyamu, Thailand’s first female Muslim Governor, who has invested time, experience, and patience in establishing her capabilities as a female leader. We’d like to tell you more about our insights from the day in this article.

Adapting to Modern Society

The Governor demonstrated her hands-on approach to work and leadership, discussing how to leverage OTOP products by modifying packaging and utilizing online platforms for sales. This adaptation addresses the needs of today’s society, fostering income generation, revitalizing local economies, and creating employment opportunities for children and young people in local communities.

Young people met with the Governor of Pattani Province, Patimoh Sadiyamu.
UNICEF Thailand/2023/Manchasing
Young people met with the Governor of Pattani Province, Patimoh Sadiyamu.

Problem-Solving Through Community Engagement

We participated in a meeting focused on the Early Childhood Reading Skills Improvement Mechanism, witnessing the collaboration between government bodies, civil society, and local government with a shared goal of supporting and enhancing the imagination and potential of children in their early years. Additionally, we visited local experts in Baan Sai Khao and the Najmuddin Mosque, a 300-year-old mosque in Baan Sai Khao, Khok Pho District, experiencing the warm welcome of the Baan Sai Khao community (“Khuan Lang Nga”) and feeling honored to visit such a significant location.

Young people were in the field, talking to community members.
UNICEF Thailand/2023/Manchasing
Young people were in the field, talking to community members.

Insights from the Governor’s Work

Attending the Governor’s meeting with public officers from various departments, we observed the Governor's inclusive approach. She actively encouraged all attendees to share their diverse opinions, ensuring consensus was reached on each matter. This practice guarantees that everyone is aligned in the same direction for work and problem-solving.

Becoming the Governor

The Governor shared her journey through each stage of her career, elaborating on the challenges she faced as the first female Muslim Governor. She discussed the unique obstacles of being a female leader, especially one who is Muslim. Despite these challenges, the Governor remains resilient. Every challenge demands immense patience and resilience, with the Governor sacrificing her days off for the people of Pattani and prioritizing general gains over personal interests.

Young people participated in the Governor’s meeting.
UNICEF Thailand/2023/Manchasing
Young people participated in the Governor’s meeting.

Feelings about Joining This Activity

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to shadow Governor Patimoh, and our excitement grew even more after witnessing her progressive approach to work, which often broke free from old traditions. We observed effective collaborations between the public sector and civil society in addressing community issues. Moreover, they showed they were dedicated to promoting equality by decentralizing opportunities beyond the main city. The Governor served as a role model for us, demonstrating openness to expert and colleague opinions and making data-driven decisions rather than acting hastily. Witnessing a knowledgeable and capable female governor working to advance our society has been truly inspiring. It has encouraged girls like us to take pride in ourselves, embrace our potential and value, and cultivate self-love.

Young people, UNICEF staff and the Governor of Pattani Province.
UNICEF Thailand/2023/Manchasing
Young people, UNICEF staff and the Governor of Pattani Province.
Group of young people.
UNICEF Thailand/2023/Manchasing
Young people who had the opportunity to shadow the Governor of Pattani Province.

About Young People’s Takeover

In 2023, UNICEF launched the "Young People’s Takeover" initiative on Thai Children’s Day, offering young people the chance to shadow leaders in their respective provinces for a day. The opportunity to observe the work of an admired leader and learn from their governance is a new and powerful experience. Initially piloted in Bangkok, the programme has since expanded to southern provinces such as Yala and Pattani.

UNICEF Blog

The UNICEF Blog promotes children's rights and well-being, and ideas about ways to improve their lives and the lives of their families. We bring you insights and opinions from young people, our partners, child rights experts and accounts from UNICEF's staff on the ground in Thailand. The opinions expressed on the UNICEF Blog are those of the author(s) and may not necessarily reflect UNICEF's official position.

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