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Angels by your side

The nationwide shutdown is almost a catastrophe for much of Thailand’s labour force, which has no financial guarantees. Phuket is especially dependent on tourism. Those who work as cleaning workers, tuk-tuk drivers, street vendors and scavengers, support themselves and the whole family on a meagre and unstable daily earnings every day.

By Jill N Wells

Monday 20 April 2020, 05:08PM

Most of them have no pension or any kind of insurance and live on thin margins. Without bank cards and savings, their cash on hand is all their property. These people fear that hunger may kill them before coronavirus.

About 70,000 of these labourers are “guest workers” and have no fixed residence. Since the closure of the island and different subdistricts, they could not return to their hometown nor to their country. Once the source of the finance is interrupted, they’re trapped in hunger in days.

On receiving a recent and generous donation of B25,000 from “Misean Cara Funding – Mission Support From Ireland”, Sister Euphrasia (Daruna Mesomklin), President of The Good Shepherd Home Foundation, decided to establish two new projects of the Good Shepherd Home Foundation and We are Banya to support the migrant children, their families and all the people in need.

Unfortunately, Sr. Euphrasia is in Bangkok cannot return to Phuket until the restrictions are lifted. She asked her onsite staff, Khun Mint (Puttachad Bussabong), Khun Sam (Somsuk Saelim) and Khun Tom (Jarun Zukzrejaruen) to make urgent Survival Kits, which including five day’s worth of rice, soup, cooking oil and sauces, milk, instant noodles, and so on.

With compassion and devotion, they made 100 Survival Kits and started to deliver them on April 17. This included different work camps where migrant labourers, Banya students and their families, some Thai families who can’t go to work or worse still, lost their jobs.

On seeing Khun Mint’s car arriving, they thought that’s the national relief from the government. Men, women all rushed back to their houses to get their ID cards to identify themselves. Yet, Khun Mint’s supply was far less than adequate for everyone. Though it’s difficult to leave alone their own Thai fellow citizens, Khun Mint and her little team had their target group.

Khun Mint and her co-workers hope the government relief could be distributed urgently and effectively. Thai and Mynmar people have been living very frugally during this health crisis and shutdown. They really don’t ask much, just a little to feed themselves and their family.

Of course the charity workers are scared of the virus. They didn’t want to get sick in the first place. Then, if they really got infected without any symptom, they didn’t want to pass it onto other people as they simply went out to send help and love.

Before the delivery, they learned more about this virus from government websites and hospital websites. Then they were less scared and knew how to equip themselves and how to disinfect themselves once one trip is done.

Thanyapura Health 360

While delivering, Khun Mint and her co-workers met people in need and trouble. They listened to their questions. They handed out the Survival Kits. They comforted their fear. They cheered them up.

Luckily, all the children were in good mental health, they’re not scared and they kept asking Khun Mint, “When does the school reopen please?” “We miss school…” Without internet, sometimes even without power, they can’t do any online study.

Khun Mint and her co-workers believe that day won’t be long away, but we need to solve all the problems one-by-one. And most importantly, we have to change our lifestyle. With more good-hearted people’s help, one little boy even received an urgent blood transfusion and related medical care.

Khun Mint and her co-workers are very modest. They didn’t want to say much as it was not their money. But they were extremely happy and delighted to deliver and comfort those people in need. They’re like the guardian angels who are taking care of people in trouble. This crisis is turning into a mirror, it reflects the hardship of life as well as the beautiful souls of many people who are among you and me. It is a real and local people-helping-people project.

“In this disaster’s situation, may everyone have compression, generosity and sympathy with each other. And everyone could help yourself as much as you can. Don’t only wait for help from others, as if you wait you might be a full disaster victim,” said Khun Mint.

In the meanwhile, let’s hope government agencies will help the soonest.

There are several projects under The Good Shepherd Home Foundation which help migrant children, local women and newborns. Since the shutdown of all schools nationalwide, Sr. Euphrasia is very concerned about the Myanmar migrant children who attend St. Euphrasia Banya Literacy and Learning Center in Cherng Talay and Patong Vocational Center and all their families. There are also a few new mums and babies at Home For Hope, Toplands near the bypass road.

Sr. Euphrasia sent her blessings and prayers to all of you from Bangkok. She wants to extend her love and appreciation to all who have been so kind and supportive of her charity projects over many years. Kindly please continue help us to help people who are struggling to survive. She and her team wish everyone could stay home, stay safe, and they believe that together we can make it.

To donate to, know more about or to contact the foundation, kindly visit the websites: GoodShepherdPhuket.com and WeAreBanya.com

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Kurt | 21 April 2020 - 15:04:05

Photos, many without face mask, no social distance. Tiring to see that now! I was in shop at 1pm, temp taken ( 36.6), 20 minutes later before entering a pharmacy temp taken ( 35.8).  Are these scan thermometers tested/certified? I not believe it. When they come at my gate for temp test I will demand to see certification of the thermometer. 


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