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Marriage Preparation courses for youth in Thailand inspired by WI extension course

Jul 29, 2022
animated graphic of a couple standing, with their child seated and reading a book

by Diana Schaffter, WI Adjunct Faculty

In June, 2021. six youth in Thailand joined the Wilmette Institute course Foundations for Relationships, which helps youth deepen their understanding on relationships and how they can best prepare themselves for marriage. This course involved meeting for two hours weekly for 10 weeks. Two foreign friends from Thailand also served as faculty for this international course, which allowed for additional discussions on the subject in Thailand. The course is highly complementary to the Bahá’í-inspired Ruhi Study Series Book 12: Family and the Community, which focuses on practical aspects of relationships and how to put the Bahá’í teachings into practice. The Thai youth who attended this online course decided that there should be a similar kind of course in the Thai language for Thai youth. 

Thai Language Course on Marriage Preparation

In the follow-up to the Wilmette Institute course, friends worked together to translate materials on relationships and marriage, and developed a Thai language course with eight modules. This course can be offered in an in-person workshop setting or using the “café” style format used for Song Café and Story Café, a Thai initiative where people meet online for an hour a week and participants take turns facilitating sessions. The materials are being made available for anyone to use.

A two-day youth workshop was recently held in Bangkok, facilitated by one of the youth who had attended the Wilmette Institute course. A portion of the workshop used the newly translated materials based on the Wilmette Institute course. The youth attending the Bangkok workshop felt that these materials should also be shared with other Thai youth to help them to better prepare themselves for marriage. 

There are future plans for an online weekly marriage preparation course in Thai for youth.


Diana Schaffter, MEd, MPH

Certified Relationships and Marriage Educator

I am originally from Rochester, New York, but first moved to Thailand with my husband, Tim, as a youth in 1982. I have Master’s degrees in Public Health and in Primary Education, and I am certified in the Montessori method of education. I have worked in the field of international education for 35 years. I have opened private Montessori schools in rural Thailand and in Hanoi, Vietnam, conducted teacher training, have worked in international schools (Vietnam, Romania, India), and been an educational consultant with Save the Children, CARE International as well as the Ministry of Education in Laos. More recently, I have been a children’s book writer and have given talks in international schools about our travels and adventures. My husband and fellow WI faculty member Tim and I make our home in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We have been married for over 40 years, have two married children and two grandchildren (and have experiences with the consent process), and have worked as a team (“even as one soul”) helping couples and communities with marriage and family issues for 20 years. We are passionate about working with people considering marriage and married couples wishing to enrich their relationships. We enjoy helping couples to understand each other’s character more deeply and helping them develop practical skills and approaches for building their “fortress for wellbeing.” Tim and I are certified to deliver the Prepare-Enrich assessment and to conduct the Prepare-Enrich marriage education program. We are also certified in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), are trained facilitators for The Virtues ProjectTM, and have completed Dale Carnegie Training in human relations principles. Diana serves with her husband, Tim, on the Foundations for Relationships course.See Faculty Bio


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