During the last two years, both the people and we at the foundation have faced a new threat in the form of the Covid-19 virus. The first and second waves of the pandemic in Thailand were not particularly widespread, with relatively low numbers of infections and fatalities. But, in April this year, the new Delta variant of the virus struck much more viciously and spread much more quickly all over the country. This was especially so in the crowded slums, where people live together in very crowded spaces. If one person in the family caught Covid-19, then 3-4 days later, all family members would be infected. As a result of Thailand’s slow procurement policy, very few vaccines were available.
This presented a new challenge to the Duang Prateep Foundation, and we needed to urgently adjust the focus of our work to adapt to the quickly changing situation. More and more people were becoming infected, and ever more people were losing their jobs and the income on which their families depended for survival. People working in the informal sector, such as vendors, also were losing their livelihood as result of market closures and city lockdowns. The survival of these people and families became a priority.
This involved a number of strategies. Firstly, with the co-operation of the community leaders, our volunteer fire-fighters began spraying disinfectant around the schools, markets, communities, walkways and even people’s homes to try to contain the spread of the virus. To also assist this strategy, we distributed large quantities of personal protection items such as hand sanitizer sprays and gels, and protective face masks.
At the same time, our volunteer fire-fighters were also transporting infected people from the slums to hospitals for treatment. However, by June and July, the Thai public health system would not accept any more patients, as the hospitals were full and they had no more beds for them. As a result, many patients had to simply wait, with some dying in their homes or along the street.
As a matter of urgency, community leaders and the foundation sent a letter to the government asking them to help solve the people’s problems by increasing the number of beds in hospitals, increasing the quality of the medicines and vaccines, and providing treatment for the poor.
So, the Port Authority of Thailand, the owner of the Klong Toey land on which the 100,000 slum dwellers live, set up a Field Hospital near the slum communities and our foundation. Doctors and nurses were assigned to work there, and our foundation was assigned to manage the basic and general works of the Field Hospital. From the beginning of September until now, over 400 people have been successfully treated at this Field Hospital.
Now, everything I have mentioned so far has to do with the people who were actually infected with the virus. But, as I mentioned earlier, many people and families were suffering through the loss of incomes. So, all along, right from the beginning, the foundation staff have been preparing Survival Bags containing dry foodstuffs, rice, cooking oil, drinking water, face masks, hand sanitizers and other essential daily items such as soaps and toothpaste for those in need. In addition, for families with elderly or bed-ridden members who required specific help, we also included items like children’s nappies and adult diapers.
Our staff also prepared a great many hot meals on a daily basis and distributed them to those who could not afford to buy any food.
Now that we have reached November, the number of Covid cases are thankfully starting to decline. But the situation remains serious, and we must stay alert, as the government has announced it will open the country to welcome tourists. Also, schools will reopen soon. Although the authorities tried to substitute learning online for students, many of them, including the children of the slums, had no access to computers and have missed out on nearly six months of education. It will be another future challenge for the Duang Prateep Foundation to help these children reconnect with their education.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have already written more than I planned to, and Khun Brigitte must be getting very tired of reading! I hope you enjoy the sumptuous Thai dinner that the Swiss Supporting Association has organized for you tonight. To illustrate what I have been talking about, I have also sent you a short video of our Covid-19 activities.
Thank you so much for your kind support."
Impressionen Benefizessen 7. November 2021
Über 80 Personen nahmen am diesjährigen Benefizessen des Gönnervereins der Duang Prateep Foundation teil. Die Anwesenden freuten sich über das reichhaltige thailändische Buffet und genossen die wunderbare Atmosphäre in der Halle 7.
Weitere Information betreffend Spendensumme folgen in Kürze.
Am Donnerstag, 11. April 2019 fand im Restaurant Tuktuk Thaikitchen in Basel die Jahresversammlung des Schweizer Gönnervereins der Duang Prateep Foundation (DPF) statt. Im Anschluss an den geschäftlichen Teil der Versammlung konnten wir bei feinem Thai-Food den Abend kulinarisch ausklingen lassen.
Wir freuten uns über rund 25 Interessierte an der Jahresversammlung. Das Protokoll wurde allen Teilnehmenden per E-Mail zugestellt. Interessierte können dies gerne via Kontakt anfordern.
Wir bedanken uns bei allen teilnehmenden Gästen und Spendern. Es war ein wundervoller Abend mit vielen thailändischen Köstlichkeiten.
Impressionen Benefizessen vom 21.10.2018