One Phuket

The devastation has started

When you are living in a developing country, you are seeing the impact of the pandemic through very different eyes. I am watching people getting back to work, being vaccinated, getting on with their lives, but when your neighbors are starving, it’s very challenging to even relate to this mindset.

In developing countries all around the world, this is playing out. In tourism destinations it’s even more alarming. Can you help?

Here’s a story I shared today on One Phuket.

I share it to help raise awareness, but also to hopefully attract support for Phuket, or to encourage you to pay attention to tourism places like Phuket, who are suffering terribly. Wherever you can help, whatever you can donate, please do. Remember #Just10Percent will change the world.

Due to a recent surge of infections in Thailand, which has spread to Phuket, the need for Life Bags and support has escalated rapidly in the last week. It was expected, but for those on the front line – the team at 5 Star Marine and Sutai Muay Thai – delivering the bags, they are seeing a level of desperation not seen before.

For the first time, people are running up to the trucks, worried the team will run out of Life Bags before they get one. This is new behavior and a rapid expansion of need.

There was one story of a man that broke my heart this week, and it was communicated to me with the title – the devastation has started.

Expecting a surge of tourists for Songkran, a man invested in three million baht of supplies, but he didn’t have the cash to pay for this, so took it out as a loan against his house. Due to this third wave, and the impact on tourism, he’s now at high risk of losing his house, and will have to move his family of nine and himself into a workers camp.

This story is being played out all over the Island, and since the start of this pandemic, many Thai’s have been forced to move into workers camps.

Songkran provided a moment of hope for many

New jobs, new opportunities, and investments they hoped would pay off and help their families move forward. This didn’t eventuate, as we all know, and so many are suffering.

In the workers camps, the Thai team are reporting a lot of men present during the day. This is always a sign of big problems, as the men are usually out working during the day. Another camp reported they are only getting one day of work a week, and a third camp was packing up to get out of Phuket before the lockdown would make it more challenging. Their project had fallen through because of this third wave.

Over the last two days, the legends on the front line have delivered more than 1,000 Life Bags. But the need isn’t slowing down. Just another story coming through today – and there are many. The team turned up in an area with great need and 900 people were waiting in line for Life Bags. They only had 300 Life Bags to hand out. Can you imagine how hard that is for the volunteers, leaving so many without?

To give you an idea of numbers. In one district alone, they need 6,400 Life Bags, and there are three districts, 17 sub-districts and 103 villages in Phuket, not including the surrounding islands.

Based on these three bigger districts, we estimate a minimum of 20,000 Life Bags will be constantly needed to get through this crisis. A HUGE need to meet and hats off to so many people around the Island doing their part to help in their community.

Right now, 3,000 Life Bags are urgently needed, but it’s going up all the time. Therefore, the only way we can get through this is with significant financial support.

We have enough people on the ground packing and distributing, including the boarding students at UWC Thailand. But money will always be the biggest need.

If you know someone who has money, please share this message. All donations are welcome and appreciated. But we need some big ones. Donations of 100,000 (USD$3k+), 200,000 (USD$6k+) or 500,000 (USD$15K+) baht make a massive difference. Can you or someone you know afford this?

To give you an idea of the cost for 20,000 Life Bags, with reduced content to ensure we can deliver more, they are now priced at 120 baht/bag (USD$3.83). For 20,000, that’s 2.4 million baht. Please spread the word. People are in real trouble, and the more we can do to help them, the more chance we can make it out the other side. None of us want to see our neighbors starve, right?

The other people we are really helping are those on the front line – facing this, day in day out, never stopping, never giving up, working around the clock. They are amazing. This is not easy work and it’s very confronting because people are so desperate. We really can help them succeed from the comfort of our homes.

Let’s do all we can. Be generous. Donate what you can. And thank you for all of the amazing support so far.

We can make it through this time together, but we need everyone helping in whatever way they can #OnePhuket.

If you have a love affair with Thailand or Phuket, can you donate?

Or perhaps you have a love affair with another place – especially one that relies so much on tourism. Can you help them?

If you want to help Phuket, here is the donation information

Account no: 706-265040-3 (Saving Account)

Account name: Mrs. Andrea Therese Edwards and Mrs. Donna Caroline Toon and Mr. Gary Charles Crause

Swift code: SICOTHBK

Branch code: 0706

Bank code: 014

Bank address: The Siam Commercial Bank Plc.

Choengthale (Phuket) Branch

167/9 Moo 1, Srisoonthorn Road, Choengthale Sub-district , Thalang District, Phuket 83110 Thailand

Bank contact number: +6676 324501-2

Please, don’t forget the people who are really suffering from this pandemic. The need is enormous, but we can all come together and help our neighbors. I will always believe in the goodness of the human spirit, especially as I am witnessing it everyday at the moment. It is very humbling.

Let’s see each other, really see each other, and remember what is really important.

Cheers

Andrea

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