Flood Relief in Thailand – Where are they now, Part 2


On June 5, I accompanied World Vision International staff to see where the communities are today that received emergency flood relief.

When we arrived to the village in Chinat Province, the community was receiving first-aid training and how to drive boats in flooding circumstances through the Disaster Risk Reduction program. This community was supported by WVI when the floods hit with survival kits and child-friendly spaces. At the first-aid training, the instructor made sure to emphasize the importance of rescuing the lives of neighbors in addition to family while demonstrating how to do CPR and carrying an injured victim on a stretcher. After, the staff and I observed the boat driving training, and we even were able to participate. The community has never been educated on prevention activities in case of disaster until WVI and the local government teamed up to implement these trainings. Yajai from WVI explained, this program exists because we would like to educate citizens to help themselves and neighbors when other relief can’t be here immediately. Before, the village depended only on the head and leaders to make decisions, but now everyone is trained to help.

     

Meeting with families who received support from World Vision International, they explained that the floods happen every year but last year was the worst ever. This flood forced a family that has 3 children to move to the main road to live in a tent for 3 months. The mother said the house was flooded to the knee.  During the flooding she volunteered to cook for other villages. Now she and her family have been able to return home with government support. I asked if she was worried about the flooding happening again, and she said no because she has to accept what comes. At the DRR training, she was learning first-aid and “how to help in the right way when a disaster or emergency happens,” the mother shared.

See the water line on the second floor…

Next we visited a school that had 250 students from kindergarten to 9th grade. A director and teacher shared that for 3 months the school had to shut down. Some families lived on the street. The community was devastated because it is a town of farmers, and the main road was destroyed so there was not any transport making it hard to leave and receive emergency supplies. Here WVI fixed the playground, landscape, cement, and provided books, 2 computers, sports equipment, and school supplies. Again the issue was reiterated that although it floods every year, it has never flooded like that before so no one was completely prepared. We sat with some students, and I asked them in their words what happened. The girls all jumped in adding on to each other that every year it floods to their knees but last year it went up to the roof of their homes.  They moved to the main road and lived there for 3 months. Many of the girls became depressed hoping the water would recede quickly. They had to miss school and did not have anything with them – when the waters rose it happened so fast they had to leave almost everything behind. What did they miss most? Their books, one girl answered. The rest nodded agreeing. I asked if they were worried about the floods continuing to be this bad, and they said no – because they “believe in the good, that the good will happen.”

Finally we visited families that received livelihoods support from WVI after the flood waters receded. Working through the village leader, WVI selected the poorest families and supported the purchase of new income generating activities, for example: chicks and chickens, mushroom growing, or catfish farms.

    

I want to thank WVI staff on their hospitality and taking me along to experience and report on the impact GlobalGiving donors had on flood and emergency relief.

Jacqueline
GlobalGiving InTheField Representative | Texas

Jacqueline is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving and is now making her way across Southeast Asia. Jacqueline has lived all around the U.S., Central America, backpacked along Australia’s eastern coast while volunteering for the National Park Service, western Europe, and traveled around the world. You can also follow her via Twitter.

For more information about GlobalGiving, click here. 

Advertisements

Flood Relief in Thailand – Where are they now, Part 1

Part 1 is dedicated to my site visit with Global Vision Charitable Trust in Lop Buri, Thailand:

BEFORE: School in Lop Buri flooded almost up to second floor (Source: GVI Archive, Jax)

After one of the worst flooding in Thailand, Global Vision International Charitable Trust responded by providing relief and assistance so that communities could rebuild themselves.  On June 1, I was able to accompany GVI to one of its flood relief projects at a school in Lopburi.

GVI works with local groups and organizations to support communities. This specific one was in dire need of rebuilding its school that had to shut down for 2 months due to the flooding. During this time students had to stay at home and fell behind the rest of their peers where the flooding did not reach or subsided quickly.

Sitting with school staff and patron (the monk) learning about what really happened with the flooding

GVI was informed by a contact about the emergency situation, so they went out to survey the area. Before, community members had to walk through the water and take boats around the town.  Some of the staff at the school shared that GVI was the first people they saw handing out water in the emergency situation.   This school has 125 students from preschool to 6th grade with many from the hill-tribe areas. Some students have to sleep at the school since they live in such remote areas. During the flooding these students all had to return to their homes with no education, school, and away from their friends for 2 months.

One of the teachers explained that they were preparing for flooding, but the news never gave a clear timeframe for when the waters would arrive. By the time it arrived, within an hour almost the entire first floor was under water. She said the last big flood was about 16 years ago, but the school has never flooded like this before.  At the end, I asked the main supporter and patron of this school (a local monk) why he was so passionate and committed. He explained he was born in this town, studied at this school, and the monk he studied under had started the school. He wanted to continue it – it was the first and largest in the village.

The before and after pictures of the flooding are incredible. GVI was able to help bring volunteers to clean up flood water lines, repaint, rebuild walls that were rotted and or washed away, clean up furniture, and salvage what could be reused. They also rebuilt the gardens (where students learn about where food comes from and use the vegetables for meal times) and the playground.  GVI volunteers helped bring new bedding for the boarding rooms and new books since many were destroyed in the water that rose too fast to move everything upstairs.  GVI was one of the first to respond to the flood in this community. With the support of donations through GlobalGiving, children have returned to school. I am thankful to Jax, Apple, and GVI staff for taking me to see where the communities affected by the flooding are today.

Before and After Pictures:

BEFORE: flooded classroom (from GVI archive)

AFTER:cleaned, rebuilt, and restocked classroom

BEFORE: School gardens and playground damaged from flooding (SOURCE: GVI Archive)

AFTER: Gardens rebuilt

AFTER:  Playgrounds rebuilt

AFTER: Local school rebuilt, re-opened,and children back at school