During my stay in Thailand I had a great chance to participate in march for elephants and rhinos. There purpose is to become the voice for these animals and bring awareness to stop ivory trade and poaching. The event happens every year at the park, but this year the military has given permission to hold it in Chiang Mai city for the first time. I had a chance to be part of the event organizing committee and was responsible for creating information booths at the event in Chiang Mai and also look after volunteer where we could provide them with essentials such as water and t-shirts.
It was a good way to see how team work is managed in this organization and see the dynamics.
From my observation , people here operate as one unit just like a family. I really appreciate how caring and considerate people are towards one another which makes any job more pleasant. At the day of the event it was quite hot and we had concerns for our volunteers, but actions were taken immediately were we could provide more shade and water for an unexpected delay. There were times when certain things did not go as we have planned, but the staff were quite relaxed about it and even in the middle of chaos people will still smile and try to work it out step by step. The event planning I have seen in U.S is quite well planned and on schedule, but I have learned that even in perfect situation we have to prepared for some flaws and be prepared for it. Sometimes all you can do is find solutions on the spot and that’s where team collaboration helps. Overall, the event in Chiang Mai had a big turn out and the event was a huge success for first timers. The event was also held in places like Burma(Myanmar) and Cambodia where other branches of SEF held their own event for ivory awareness. Ambassadors of SEF from all around the world also showed support through social media and some even had a chance to hold their own march in the cities, such as in Vermont where there is a big community of elephant lovers were able to show support.
After the event I started to see how the system works in the office and get an understanding of overall work environment. It is quite clean people have high respect to Khun Lek(founder) and a lot people choose to work directly under her and talk about issues only to her. Even though there are a lot of assigned managers, the people who have personal connections with her will only follow her rules. It is understandable as her being a powerfully inspirational person but also in a way lack of authority. There is definitely some aspects the staff focus more on and neglect other parts, however, every organization has its flaws and there is always room to improve but being such a large non-profit organization in Thailand it is doing a great job.