Beginning in 2007, ARF-Pattani have been running a peace training programme in 36 schools in the provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwar. Students are taught about human rights and the importance of peace. Living in conflict zones, many of the students bring personal stories of lives affected by violence - many have lost a family member, or know somebody who has. By learning about their rights, students are able to protect their basic rights, and will be better able to speak out about human rights abuses.
Some schools that have completed the Peace Training programme have gone on to establish 'Peace Clubs', and contribute to peace education activities. ARF-Pattani’s role with these schools has therefore changed from that of a trainer to that of consultant, arranging meetings between the clubs to share what they have learnt and to develop relationships between the members.
After finishing the Youth Peace Clubs in schools, in early 2009 ARF-Pattani moved into working with young people in the villages most affected by the violence in the region. Many young people in the villages are poorly educated, very few progress further than high school; many only ever finish primary education.
This lack of education creates serious problems for young people in the villages. Many find it extremely difficult to find work in the cities, and some migrate to Malaysia. Those that stay become targets for drug gangs and terrorist organisations, which also draws attention from the army. ARF-Pattani offers skills training to unemployed young people to try and ensure that they don’t become part of the violence.