A passion for farming
After graduating from the Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University in mid-2015, Saharath Kuakul, 23, landed a job as an environmental officer with CK Power Plc, a subsidiary of CH Karnchang Plc, which is working with the Laotian government to build the Xayaburi hydropower dam. His work in the neighbouring country focuses on fish migration in the Mekong river.
Saharath received the scholarship when he was in Mathayom 1 at Samut Sakhon Wittayalai School in Samut Sakhon province.
“I was very lucky. Otherwise, my life would have been much, much harder,” he says.
His father died when he was only seven. His mother was forced to leave her factory job because of health problems. He was fortunate to have a stepfather who supported his education.
This kind man had to support four children, grandparents and other relatives. He had to work very hard before deciding to work in Vietnam to support his extended family. All this has made Saharath more determined to study hard so that he could help his stepfather take care of the family.
Being admitted to a prestigious state high school in the province was also a life-changing time for him. “It made my life goal much clearer. Had I not been admitted to study there, I would have had to study in a community school. My life would have been much different.”
Saharath is the only student from Tamnop Praew School in his village to win a seat at the leading state high school in Samut Sakhon. Being a diligent student, he finally won a seat at Kasetsart University.
During school days, Sararath was also taught to grow vegetables, raise fish and make fertiliser, which made him want to become a farmer when he grew up. It was why he wanted to study at Kasetsart University, which focuses on agriculture. When he was a third-year student, he trained in the Philippines for four months, gaining more skills in prawn and fish farming.
After graduation, Saharath helped his parents pay for his siblings’ tuition fees and other family expenses. He wanted his stepfather to return to Thailand. But that meant less family income, which is why he decided to work overseas instead.
Saharath still has to support another young sibling’s education for another three years. After that, he plans to buy a piece of land to grow vegetables. His other plan is to get organised with his friends to share new farming techniques with other farmers.
“I want to give back to society. I want to see other disadvantaged youngsters get the same opportunities I had”
“I want to give back to society,” he says. “I want to see other disadvantaged youngsters get the same opportunities I had.”
Apart from offering computer training to students at Tamnop Praew School, he also wants to share the love of farming and appreciation of a self-sufficient lifestyle with them.
“I’m deeply grateful to the Bangkok Post Foundation, not only for the scholarship but also for the good advice and moral support throughout the years until I finished my degree.”