Recovering from the floods: helping livelihoods amongst Thailand’s poor
Recently, colleagues from CWS-Asia/Pacific and CCT visited some of the beneficiaries of CCT’s flood recovery program in Thailand, which is part-funded by CWS.
We visited the Sapanluang Bangbuthong Church, headquarters for a local relief committee established within the program to help to distribute bedding and kitchenware for local residents.
CWS-Asia/Pacific and CCT staff met with Ms. Marrini Jipmongkonkal and her daughter, who was undertaking bakery training provided by CCT’s program, which includes a component to support livelihoods amongst those who had lost jobs due to last year’s floods.
Ms. Marrini Jipmongkonkal and her daughter, participants of the bakery training provided as part of CCT’s flood recovery program, funded by CWS. Photo: CWS-Asia/Pacific.
Ms. Jipmongkonkal’s daughter has attended the training 2 to 3 times, and is now planning to sell home made cakes during her school holidays and at weekends.
Sapanluang Bangbuthong Church has already provided bakery training to over 30 people, 17 of whom have passed a test that qualifies them to receive 5,000 Baht (USD $160) to purchase bakery materials and equipment for use towards their livelihoods.
Later in August, the Church is holding its second bakery making competition.
The Church has also been providing massage training for local people. Starting in late July, the three-day training course has been attended by 6 people who hope to use their newly acquired skills to make some income for their families.
Massage training provided by Sapanluang Bangbuthong Church under the auspices of CCT’s flood recovery program, funded by CWS. Photo: CWS-Asia/Pacific.
CWS-Asia/Pacific and CCT colleagues also visited people’s houses where bedding and kitchenware worth 3,000 Baht (UDS $95), were distributed after the floods. These included five Buddhist families in Kalong Tarklai and five Muslin families in Kalong Jet.
Ms. Somai Sansan, who lost everything during 2011′s floods, grateful for some bedding and basic household supplies from CCT and CWS. Photo: CWS-Asia/Pacific.
Ms. Somai Sansan, 60 years old, told us that she had nothing after floods. She lost everything, including her job, as her house was submerged under the water. After the water resided, she began caring for a neighbor’s two children, earning 80 Baht (UDS $2.50) per child per day. Since this work was sporadic and since she has five family members who have to pool income together, she was very grateful to CWS and CCT for the accessories for her house.
Khun Form and his wife, one of the families assisted by CCT and CWS after the floods that ravaged Thailand last year. Photo: CWS-Asia/Pacific.
Mr. Form, from a Muslim family, also lost everything from the floods, including his fishponds from which he earned a living for his family. He went into shock during the flooding and had to go to hospital for emergency.
His family have had to relocate, since the land owner plans to sell the land. Their living quarters are incredibly rudimentary and so they appreciate the help provided by CWS and CCT.
CWS-Asia/Pacific and CCT also watched the distribution of bedding at Bangbuthong Church, where bedding was distributed for almost 100 people, including Thai and Burmese migrant workers in the area.
Plastic bags, which local people have been trained to make as a means to generate some modest income. Photo: CWS-Asia/Pacific.
The Church also introduced to us some of the products of the plastic handbag-making activity, supported by CWS.
The activity was featured on the “Thailand Today” TV show.
They are now planning to make a website and expand the market for these bags, as well as provide further training to help local people’s livelihoods.