NGO

April ˗ September 2021

After experiencing the first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Klong Toey community realised the urgency of protecting themselves. Especially as the second wave had many different effects on them, such as loss of jobs, livelihoods, no income, emotional stress and illnesses, etc.

There are 45 communities in the Klong Toey district with a population of almost 100,000 people. But one day, the third wave of the pandemic arrived and spread rapidly among the people, with even greater numbers of people contracting Covid. The Klong Toey outbreak appeared on the news when a man who lives in the Lock 1-2-3 community caught the virus and quarantined himself in his car because there was no space to do it in his small house. Many media wrote about his story until he was finally accepted by a hospital to treat him.

The pandemic spread from one community to another and became known as the “Klong Toey cluster.” Some infected people died because many hospitals said “all our beds are full” and did not accept new people to treat in the hospitals. 

The Abbot of Wat Sapan Temple, Khru Prateep Ungsongtham Hata from the Duang Prateep Foundation, and the Klong Toey Deejang Group joined together to help the people and wanted to have a place to be a “Community Isolation Centre.” The Abbot was pleased to use a new building within the temple compound for the centre, which opened in May 2021 with 300 beds.

In the five months from April – August 2021, the Duang Prateep Foundation, local organisations and community leaders joined together to help the people who had caught Covid-19 or were affected by the virus in other ways. People both inside and outside Klong Toey were provided help, such as transporting them from their house to the “Community Isolation Center”, providing them with Survival Bags of essential daily items, distributing materials to protect themselves (such as alcohol gel and masks), hiring volunteers to spray disinfectant in houses and around community common areas. We also made regular public announcements by the community leaders providing the people with information on good habits to protect themselves and their families, etc. 

In July, the number of people who contracted the virus further increased (not less than 200 cases per day) and more than 10 people died. So, the “Community Isolation Centre” became full and could not take any more people. The Duang Prateep Foundation then asked the Port Authority of Thailand to make an area of their land to erect a temporary field hospital. 

On 27 August 2021, the Klong Toey Field Hospital with 300 beds was officially opened and began accepting patients, both Thai and foreigners, from Klong Toey and outside Klong Toey. Doctors and nurses from Kasemrat Hospital are on hand to take care of the patients. Finally, this place can provide a shelter for taking care of sick people sick with Covid-19, and no one is left at their house.

Statistical Record as of 16 September 2021

Anti-Covid-19 Help for Children

Produced media for young children and Primary level children

180 children

Teachers distributed lunch boxes and milk to children at children’s centers

590 lunch boxes

Distributed milk to children and elderly people

8,000 cartons

Distributed formula powdered milk for babies (up to 2.5 years) in Klong Toey and rural areas

1,250 babies

Distributed baby diapers

776 packs

Protection Against the Spread of Covid-19

Hired fire-fighters to spray disinfectant around the communities, children’s development centers and markets535 times
Transported Covid-19 patients to Isolation Center or Field Hospital888 people
Provided Oxygen for emergency cases40 people
Distributed alcohol spray/alcohol gel to the people in 60 communities2 times
Provided medical equipment such as oximeters and thermometers to community leaders706 pieces
Provided first-aid medicines such as paracetamol, antidiarrheal drug, etc. to people100 cases
Distributed herbal medicines to people5,190 boxes
Distributed Antigen Test Kits to community leaders1,315 sets
Distributed Homeopathy drinks to people6,026 bottles
Transported the people to check for Covid-19 infection620 people

Help and Relief for the Elderly, the Bed-ridden, and the Disabled Groups

Distributed donated food boxes75,000 food boxes
Delivered cooked food for the elderly, the bed-ridden, and the disabled groups (1,000 food boxes in one month)30,000 food boxes
Distributed Survival Bags to families affected by Covid-19 in 142 communities, both in Klong Toey and outside Klong Toey33,098 bags
Distributed adult diapers to 100 people400 packs

Photos of Help Provided to Counter the Third Wave of Covid-19 

Spraying disinfectant in communitiesTransporting patients to Isolation Center
Providing oxygen to patients at their homesProviding individual Survival bags
Distributing Survival bags to communities through their leadersDistributed food boxes to people in home-quarantine
Provided alcohol spray, alcohol gels and masks to taxi drivers and motorcycle-taxi riders in Bangkok
Distributed formula powdered milk and diapers for babiesHome visiting to patients
Distributed milk to childrenHome visiting to elderly people and providing Survival Bags
Provided food to elderly peopleDistributed adult diapers to elderly and bed-ridden people
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As Trash Heroes, we know a community cleanup is one of the most effective ways to help people understand the impact of plastic pollution and create the positive energy needed for change. But we also know cleanups on their own are not a long term solution to the problem of plastic waste. For that, we need to go to the source.

That’s why Trash Hero has joined forces with Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) again this year for a mass data collection project focusing on “brand audits”.

Brand Audits September 2020 in Nagekeo, Indonesia and Tuaran, Malaysia

A “brand audit” is a detailed log of the plastic found during a regular cleanup. It records the date; location; type of material and the number of layers in each piece; and then the name of the producer, if it’s still visible. The data is collected in a systematic way and – for this project – from a wide range of locations on a global scale, involving many different NGOs and volunteers.

BFFP, as the coordinator of the project, will then compile and interpret the collected data for their annual Brand Audit Report (results of the 2019 report here). The results serve as evidence of the scale and provenance of consumer-goods-related pollution. They enable BFFP to push the biggest manufacturers of this plastic waste to change the way they make and deliver their products.

This year’s report is due out in early December. Trash Hero World has committed to make the findings available in Indonesian, Thai and Malaysian to amplify the media coverage in Southeast Asia.

Brand Audits September 2020 in Baubau, Indonesia and Basel, Switzerland.

To broaden the dataset, Trash Hero World and BFFP provided brand audit training for Trash Hero volunteers in several different countries in August and September. It was a new experience for most of them: gathering and recording the information is a fairly labour-intensive process, but one that proved to be both eye-opening and fun. In the lead up to the official data collection period, Trash Hero Canggu in Indonesia collected 140 unrecyclable tubes of toothpaste from a single brand (Pepsodent, by Unilever) in just one hour!

The data collection period lasted six weeks, coming to an end on 30 September 2020. Although the results are still coming in, our estimates show that around 80 brand audits were carried out by Trash Hero volunteers in around 60 locations in the northern, southern, eastern and western hemispheres.

This is more than four times the number of brand audits we submitted as an organisation last year and should in the end make up around one-sixth of the total brand audits contributed to the project globally this year (final numbers TBC). We are very proud of our citizen scientists, many of whom were working under challenging conditions due to COVID-19. We will publish the outcomes of the whole project in a future post.

Brand Audits September 2020 in Koh Samed, Thailand and Saba, Bali
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International tennis joined forces with the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer (QSCBC) in the fight against this disease, which has become the leading cancer cause of death among Thai women. The WTA, the international, Women’s Tennis Association, in partnership with the Thailand Open Tennis 2020, organised professional players and coaches to play tennis with the children of a slum community in greater Bangkok, while the QSCBC breast screening project team taught the community women of all ages, about the risks of breast cancer and registered them for the free full clinical screening project at the QSCBC hospital.

The Thailand Tennis Open 2020, which is a part of the WTA international world tennis tour, also raised funds for the QSCBC breast (and cervical cancer) screening project. The theme for the whole event was bright pink, including the centre court surface, to match the international symbolic colour for breast cancer, and to also honour the dedication of the QSCBC’s 25 years of work, providing the highest standard of breast cancer care for the underprivileged  in Thailand. The event, held at the True Arena in Hua Hin, included GSB, [email protected], APG Hong Kong and the Proud Group among its sponsors.

Closing ceremony GSB Thailand Tennis Open 2020 presented by [email protected]

Representative of the WTA, finalist Leonie Kung, Magda Linette winner, Khunying Finola Chatamra Honorary Advisor QSCBC and Dr Kris Chatamra Honorary Director of the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast (QSCBC), representatives of the Thailand Open including, Proudputh Liptapanlop (Proud Group) and Victor Ruiz Director APG Hong Kong – joint event director with Paradorn Srichapan – previously ranked 9 in the world. The GSB Thailand Open presented by [email protected], in association with Proud Group, APG and WTA Charities, raised over THB 1.6 million (around US$53,000) for the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foundation.

PINK Centre Court at the Thailand Open 2020, part of the WTA- 

International Womens’ Tennis Association tour. Pink, the internationally recognised colour for breast cancer, also honoured the work of the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer (QSCBC) which has taken care of the poorest women with breast cancer for 25 years.      

                     The Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer (QSCBC) slum outreach  screening project has been in operation for over twenty years, helping those in society who do not have access to breast (and cervical) cancer care. The project’s founder Khunying Finola Chatamra, works closely with the dedicated QSCBC medical and nursing team, as well as the patient support group volunteers, who all give up their weekends to help organise the project. 

*The QSCBC Foundation relies on donations to support the project. www.qscbcfoundation.org   

Chloe Paquet and international professional coach Stephane Cherret.

International tennis players and coaches from the WTA and Thailand Tennis Open 2020, entertaining the children in a slum community, while their mothers, carers and grandmothers are being taught about breast cancer and registering for the free QSCBC breast screening project. Above Chloe Paquet a professional WTA player from France.

Chloe Paquet WTA professional tennis player playing with the children at the QSCBC project in the Prapadaeng slum community Bangkok.

International WTA professional tennis players and coaches with the children from the Prapadaeng slum community. Back centre: Karim Perona, Stephane Cherret, Garry Sakuma, Harry Haines, Wang Yafen, Chloe Paquet, Victor Ruiz, Dr Kris Chatamra, Khunying Finola Chatamra co-ordinator of the project, Angelica Manalo. The children played tennis while the mothers and female relatives registered for the free QSCBC breast screening project and were taught about the risks of breast cancer. 

 

Karim Perona international professional coach en route to the Thailand Open 2020, volunteering to play with the children.
Local expat professional tennis coach, Gary Sakuma, based in Bangkok, volunteered his time to support.
Angelica Manalo a keen tennis player at the British Club Bangkok.
International professional tennis coach Stephane Charret, taking time out from the Thailand Open 2020 to play with the children in the slum community, while the mothers attended the QSCBC Breast Screening project.
Dr Kris Chatamra and Chloe Paquet WTA professional tennis player from France.
Victor Ruiz, Director of APG Hong Kong and Event Director of the Thailand Open 2020, Khunying Finola Chatamra with some of the children who enjoyed tennis with the international  professional WTA players and coaches, while their mothers were registered for the project.
The QSCBC Breast Cancer Screening Project. The children from the Prapadaeng slum community Bangkok and WTA professional coaches and players and other local Bangkok professional expat coaches  including Harry Haines, who helped to entertain the children during the project.

While the international players and coaches were having fun with the children playing tennis, QSCBC, Slum Community Outreach Project, an educational and screening project for breast and cervical cancer, was in action.

                   Over 20 years ago, The Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer (QSCBC), began an educational outreach programme for breast and cervical cancer in the slums of greater Bangkok. Teams comprising of dedicated specialist nurses, doctors and breast cancer survivors, volunteer their time to offer teaching programmes to the poorest women, during the weekends, when the women are not   out a subsistence wage. The QSCBC’s remit is to care for the women in the greatest need in society, who live a hand to mouth existence, feeding their families from the money earned during the day. The two days are offered as a free service to these women.

                  The QSCBC team give up their private time to carry out the project over three days, every 3 months when possible. The cost varies according to the number of women attending, but a pap smear and mammography and ultrasound costs 3700B, including medical examination and pathology lab costs.

*The funds are raised by the QSCBC for every session.

For more information, to volunteer or donate: 

www.qscbcfoundation.org      [click the GB flag for English] 

or email   [email protected] 

Khunying Finola Chatamra, coordinator of the QSCBC breast screening project for over twenty years, with women from the Prapadaeng slum community, attending the teaching session on breast and cervical cancer and registering for the project. [Day 1]
           
QSCBC nursing team during the teaching session for the women of the Prapadaeng  slum community. QSCBC nurse- Kritsanar Ronkard.
The project rotates around slum communities in greater Bangkok. A woman, who previously registered for the QSCBC breast screening project, living in the Klongtoey slum community. Her home, shown in the photo, is under an express way. All the women are visited at home prior to being accepted on the project to make sure those most in need receive help from the money raised by the QSCBC.
A  home, in a slum community.

The teaching (and registering) is carried out in the slum community by the QSCBC team and volunteers, in a friendly environment, where all questions can be answered without fear and embarrassment. A pre-questionnaire is given to the women, to test how much they already know about breast and cervical cancer. Following a teaching session, the questionnaire is repeated, to ensure that the women understand fully all that has been taught to them. Those who have difficulty with reading and writing are helped in a sensitive and supportive way. Prizes are given to make the event fun and not daunting. The women become the best ‘PR agents’ for the work of the project, spreading the word in their communities about the value of these teaching events and identifying the women in need of urgent treatment. The project aims to attract all ages, including the younger women, to inculcate accurate healthcare information on these two diseases, which today are the leading cancer killers of Thai women. During the teaching sessions the women are registered to come in to the QSCBC for free breast cancer screening, including digital mammography, ultrasounds and full medical examinations, as well as cervical pap smears.  Women under 40 years, are offered pap smears only, (unless they have presenting breast symptoms) and those over 40 years are offered both breast and cervical cancer screening. 

The QSCBC breast and cervical cancer screening project – registering and teaching the women about  the risks of both cancers
Day 1 in the Prapadaeng  Slum Community. Registering the slum community women for the QSCBC free Breast Cancer Screening project. The social workers shown , volunteer their time to assess the validity of each case, to ensure good stewardship of funds. (Right- Social Work Dept. Head Chalida Uthaichalerm King Chulalkongkorn Hospital)

QSCBC Nursing team Day QSCBC Breast Cancer Screening Project. 1- registering and teaching the women in the slum community. Kanokporn Nakarat, Fonthong Hongptomyart, Preeyaporn Wipchakul.
Khunying Finola Chatamra and QSCBC senior nurse Bencharat Thampreechapong co-ordinators of the project visiting the home of a woman shown below at  the hospital on Day 2 for the clinical screening.

  The women most in need are invited in groups of 120 to come to the Queen Sirikit Centre for screening. Thai Red Cross coaches collect the women and return them to their homes after the investigations. They are encouraged to bring their children to avoid any concerns over childcare and volunteers and a magician are on hand to entertain the children during the day at the hospital. The women and their children are given meals to further alleviate any further anxiety they may be feeling about any loss of daily income. Cosmetic companies are invited to do makeovers on the women, if they chose to do so, and gifts are given out at the end of the day too. The team will often invite a famous star into the slums or to the hospital, to reinforce the message that screening for cervical and breast cancer, is essential. The QSCBC endeavours, therefore, to make the whole experience a non-threatening and enjoyable day out. 

Day 2 at the QSCBC hospital. A group of 120 women attending the free breast and cervical cancer screening project at the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer [QSCBC]. The women receive mammograms, ultrasounds and pap smears if over 40 years and pap smears if under 40. If a woman presents with possible breast symptoms below 40, she will receive further investigation.        

*All fancy dress costumes and toys are donated by local parents and schools. To donate  contact  [email protected]@gmail.com

        

                     If a woman is found to have a problem that needs treatment they are followed up and brought back to the QSCBC for care. The project rotates around all the communities to repeat screening periodically and gather women who have health concerns in the interim period. Having built up positive relationships with the communities over many years, the women now know they can contact the QSCBC if they are in urgent need, before the next screening session or refer a friend or neighbour. Many of the women take care of children or grandchildren alone, so in addition to caring for the individual woman, this outreach programme also aims to protect the family. One in 10 women are at risk of breast cancer across a lifetime in Thailand. The QSCBC has a commitment to ensure that the message, ‘early detection may save your life’, is well understood in these communities. Often breast or cervical cancer is believed to be a death sentence; women suffer in silence because they do not seek help early enough, due to fear, lack of funds or because the individual becomes resigned to the fact that they will die whatever they do.

                      As a result of over 25 years of experience with the poorest women suffering from breast cancer, a hospice village has been built, by the QSCBC Foundation, near Minburi on donated land called ‘Pink Park’. This sanctuary will serve the underprivileged cases that are cared for at the QSCBC main hospital site, who may need a further period of recuperation or for a few patients it will be a place to pass away peacefully, pain free and with dignity, rather than in the squalor of a slum. Pink Park is a specially designed facility where all the individuals in need can be referred. The project has been launched, but donations continue to be needed to carry out this work and the breast screening project.

Donations :www.qscbcfoundation.org (click the GB flag for English) or contact [email protected]

 The QSCBC team, nurses, doctors, social workers and breast cancer survivors, volunteering their weekend, to register the women of the slum community for the QSCBC free breast cancer screening project and also to educate them about the risks of both breast and cervical cancer. Joined by the international professional WTA players and coaches from the Thailand Open 2020.

 During the week of Thailand Open 2020      

       The WTA Thailand Tennis Open 2020 sponsors, including APG Hong Kong and the Proud Group, with the QSCBC, collaborated to take the women and children from the Prapadaeng slum community, who are part of the QSCBC Slum Community Breast Cancer Screening project, to  Hua Hin for a day of activities. For many of the  women and children it was the first time they had ever had a day out in their lives, and most had never seen the sea. They visited the Intercontinental Hotel Hua Hin to swim on the beach, followed by a day of adventure at the Vana Nava Waterpark in Hua Hin and ended the day by watching the Thailand Open 2020 tennis tournament from the VIP seats on centre court.

The Thailand Tennis Open 2020. The Prapadaeng slum community women and children, part of the QSCBC Breast Cancer Slum Community Outreach Project Screening Project, arriving at the True Arena to watch the Thailand Open tennis 2020.
Centre Court. The women and children from the Prapadaeng slum community, part of the QSCBC Breast Cancer Screening Project, watching the Thailand Open 2020 from the VIP seats on centre court.
he children from the Prapadaeng Community Bangkok, with their mothers, carers and family.
 
The children and women enjoying the beach at the Hotel Intercontinental Hua Hin, during a day out to the Thailand Tennis Open 2020 part of the international  WTA professional tour.

The children and women on the beach at the Intercontinental Hotel Hua Hin, part of a day out to the Thailand Tennis Open 2020 (WTA). For most of the women and children it was first time they had ever seen the sea.
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PINK RIBBON DAY: In recognition of October as an International Breast Cancer Awareness month, Bumrungrad International Hospital united Pink Ladies Group under the umbrella of the Queen Sirikit Center for Breast Cancer (QSCBC) Foundation and the International Women’s Groups of Bangkok on October 20, 2020 to raise awareness regarding the breast cancer continuum.  Donations were made to QSCBC.

From Left: Manjit Walia; Pink Ladies Chairperson under the umbrella of QSCBC, Mukda Sorensen; President of International Women’s Club, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wichai Vassanasiri; Breast Cancer Surgeon, Artirat Charukitpipat; CEO of Bumrungrad International Hospital, Dr. Thiraphop Waipradab; Breast Cancer Surgeon, Christiane Kitchakarn; President of Soroptimist International Bangkok, Andrea DiCastro McGough; President of the American Women’s Club and Italian Artist Arianna Caroli.

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October Luncheon Meeting

Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok

Expat Life in Thailand had the pleasure of joining the Soroptimist International Bangkok (SIB) for their well attended October luncheon meeting. 

Soroptimist International is a global movement working to transform the lives of women and girls. SIB was founded in 1977 and has 31 members from many different nationalities. The power of Soroptimism is its membership who together empower women and girls in all aspects of their lives. 

It was a busy meeting with introductions of new members and two guest speakers. Christiane, SIB President updated members and their guests with the impressive and diverse range of ongoing projects and fundraising activities.

The speakers, both prominent leaders in their chosen fields, were engaging and interesting orators.

Dr Meera Khorana MBBS, Assistant Professor Pediatrics Neonatal Unit at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health Bangkok spoke on the topic of ‘commitment to care, helping sick and vulnerable children’. Through her heart warming presentation, we gained a valuable insight into the highs and lows of working with premature babies. We learnt the importance of kangaroo care (skin to skin contact) and of the development of Thailand’s mothers’ milk banks. 

Dr Meera told us the longest stay in the Neonatal Unit was one year. It was her dream to see all premature babies in her care graduate, but sadly premature birth is the highest cause of infant mortality in Thailand.

It was beautiful to see photos of the reunion graduates now grown up, who were once so frail. 

Dr Oranee Tangphao – Daniels has over thirty years experience of clinical research and drug development in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. Hers was an uplifting account encouraging everyone present to follow their dreams. She recounted her personal journey to become a Doctor and Chief Medical Officer. Her dream was achieved with the support and kindness of others, through out her life. 

Dr Oranee offered a reminder that together as professional women we are stronger than each on their own. She discussed the importance of the collective wisdom of the Soroptimists and the value of encouragement and mentoring support to women across the globe.

This was a perfect introduction to updates regarding the work of the Soroptimist International Bangkok. This included domestic projects in Thailand such as a nurse scholarship program which supports 29 nurses for 4 years in Chiang Rai and a presentation of an LED phototherapy lamp for the Prenatal Care department at Prachanukrho Hospital. 

Further afield we were informed of a sewing machine project in a refugee camp in Democratic Republic of the Congo and a friendship link with the Sofia-Bulgaria Soroptimists who received Thailand Soroptimist’s face masks to support the Stay Safe campaign.

At a time when the world is working on recovering from a crippling pandemic SIB can be rightly proud of their actions creating opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls and thus helping heal the world.

More information can be found at www.sibangkok.org

The next meeting is on November 11th 2020 from 11.30am. Further details from  Christiane at [email protected]

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John Dalley, co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International, has been made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to animal welfare in Southeast Asia. 
Mr. Dalley was named alongside a host of celebrities, medical staff, key workers and volunteers in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List which was published today (October 10).
Asked to comment on the award, John made it clear that he saw this more as recognition of the work done by the foundation and the tens of thousands of supporters and volunteers who have made that work possible over the past 17 years.
He added that his only regret was that Gill, his late wife and fellow co-founder, was not alive to share in the award. Gill herself received numerous awards during her lifetime, including being the first non-Asian by birth to be named Asian of the Year in the Channel News Asia annual awards.
Soi Dog – “soi” being the Thai word for “street” – has seen remarkable growth since its humble beginnings in 2003. Founded by John and Gill on their retirement to Phuket alongside fellow retiree Margot Homburg, Soi Dog now directly treats and sterilises more animals than any other organisation in the world. In December, the foundation is forecast to see half-a-million animals sterilised and vaccinated across the country since its founding, with nearly 250,000 of those carried out in the past two years alone.
The award comes at a particularly challenging time in Soi Dog’s history. Like many non-profit organisations, Soi Dog has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, and its shelter in Phuket has faced severe overcrowding this year, with abandoned animals arriving in their droves. Despite this, the foundation has refused to close its doors to animals in need, andconstruction of new dog enclosures and the purchase of additional land is ensuring that this will continue to be the case.
Challenges and obstacles have never stopped Soi Dog in the past. Whether it be natural disasters, Gill losing her legs in 2004, Gill’s untimely passing at the age of just 58 in 2017 or winning the war against the dog smugglers selling hundreds of thousands of Thai dogs to the meat markets of Vietnam every year – Soi Dog has never given up.
John commented that he continues to believe that legislation, education and large-scale sterilisation are the best hopes for a brighter future for the animals of Thailand and beyond. With this in mind, Soi Dog continues to work with the Thai government to strengthen the country’s Animal Welfare Act, which the foundation helped to introduce in 2014. In addition, a brand-new education centre is soon to open at the shelter, emphasising the importance the foundation places on educating the next generation in respect for both stray and domestic animals.
He added that, although the foundation plans to expand operations in Vietnam and Cambodia in particular, Thailand willremain the focus until their goals in the country have been reached: no more unwanted dogs and cats and no more rabies. He remains confident that, with the cooperation of both local and national governments, these goals are entirely achievable.
Soi Dog Foundation today is a classic example of what very ordinary people can accomplish if they are determined to make a difference.
Chutima Srisawang (Oum)
Public Relations and Marketing Officer
Tel. +66 9 3710 7102
Soi Dog Foundation | www.soidog.org
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Greeting from Phuket, I hope this email finds you well.

My name is Oum from Soi Dog foundation; located in Mai khao on the Northern Phuket, taking care of around 1,000 stray dogs and cats.
We are appealing for anyone who will travel to European and North American destinations to be our flight volunteer.

To fly with our adopted dogs and cats to their new homes, with no additional cost.
They have been adopted since early this year, and we are preparing them to fly as soon as international flights start (in September hopefully).
This is an urgent issue for us, our sanctuary is full occupied now, even we just have 5 more dog runs.
And we might not be able to treat any new poor animal. So, we need to spread this message far and wide.
I am writing you to ask for a favor that you would share the story to your audiences, friends and families.
I would just really appreciate any space you could give us, so our dogs and cats have more chance to fly to their new homes.
Please don’t be hesitate to contact me for any need information. Thank you so much.

Best Regards,

Chutima Srisawang (Oum)
Public Relations and Marketing Officer

Tel. +66 9 3710 7102
Soi Dog Foundation | www.soidog.org
[email protected] or call 098 701 1341
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Walking around a floating market on the outskirts of Bangkok, I was spending the day with a Thai friend and a few of his work colleagues. While we were buying food for a shared lunch, I noticed his colleague accepting a plastic bag with every single item of food she bought. She started to look like the main character from the movie ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ with bags quickly filling up space on her tiny lower arms. 

As she went to buy pomelo slices, I pulled out my reusable cotton bag and expressed ‘Mai ow tuung plastic naka’ (no plastic bag) to the market vendor and motioned for him to put the newly purchased pomelo in my cotton bag. The market vendor smiled and lightly chuckled as he gently teased me about whether he should take off the plastic wrapping too.

It happened once again as I bought a coconut and whipped out my reusable straw. The market lady cackled with laughter and expressed “Dii maak farang!” (very good) as she put a plastic straw back into its box. 

“Why is there such a cultural difference between westerners and Thai people when it comes to the environment and using plastic?” I curiously asked my Thai friend.

“Thai people are conscious about the environment too, they’re just not as serious as farangs,” he replied. “It’s more common amongst the younger generation as it’s seen as a ‘modern’ thing to do. I guess it’s too much of a culture shift for older people who aren’t used to carrying their own bags, straws, and cups. But people are trying. There’s more awareness now from the government on the news and social media.”

Despite this eco-conscious way of living becoming a seemingly ‘new’ way of living for most of the Thai population, Thailand has been making small ripples in a more environmentally-aware world.

Environmental consciousness has been gaining attention worldwide over the past decade. In 2019, we saw widespread media reporting of environmental problems such as natural disasters and the largest climate strike in history, led by Greta Thunberg, which grabbed the attention of global citizens worldwide. 

But where does Thailand stand in this global movement?

Where does Thailand rank with Eco-consciousness? 

Over the past three decades, Thailand has made remarkable progress and advances in economic progress. But this is not without costs to the environment. Industrial power plants, urban architecture, an increase in vehicles and seasonal agricultural burning have all led to the destruction of forests, overuse of the land and water and shocking air pollution levels

Air pollution 

Anyone who has stayed or visited Chiang Mai during the ‘burning season’ will have experienced the awful air quality first-hand. In March 2020, Chiang Mai was given the top spot for having the worst air pollution in the world. Bangkok came in at 18th place. Air pollution is responsible for five million deaths each year on a global scale.  

Ocean pollution 

According to WWF, more than 310 million tons of plastic were generated in 2016 – one-third of that plastic ended up in the ocean. They diagnosed the issue as being ‘uncontrollable’ and warned the global population that unless change happens, the plastic pollution of our oceans could double and impose severe threats to marine life, our economy, and our health. The last global research report in 2010 identified the top polluting nations – Thailand was ranked at number seven, with a contribution of 1.03 million tonnes of plastic waste to the ocean. 

In summary, the Sustainable Cities Index 2018 report, which explores city sustainability, ranked Bangkok 80 of out of 100 major cities around the world (1 – best; 100 – worst). 

What is Thailand doing about reducing the use of plastic? 

Saying no to plastic bags 

From the 2 million tonnes of plastic waste generated by Thailand per year, most of the waste is single-use plastic bags from malls, supermarkets, convenience stores, local markets, and street vendors. 

In September 2019, Varawut Silpa-Archa, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment announced a public campaign banning the use of plastic bags in a public campaign to encourage shoppers to use reusable bags from January 2020. They even went as far as pixelating plastic bags in commercials and TV shows.

Many big-name companies such as 7/11, Big C, Tesco Lotus, and Villa Market were onboard and made the necessary changes to support this campaign. However, disappointingly, many locals and expats (including myself) are still being given unbranded plastic bags in our local 7/11s without asking for them. 

Saying no to plastic straws 

Along with the plastic bag ban movement at the beginning of 2020, Starbucks took the lead in saying ‘no’ to plastic straws. A global commitment, the food and beverage retailer started to provide strawless lids and eco-friendly straws to their customers. They are committed to eliminating more than one billion plastic straws from their stores per year. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Thai coffee brands. Cafe Amazon now provides biodegradable straws and compostable cups and Inthanon Coffee uses cups made from 100% plant biomass. 

In response, Thailand has promised to ban all plastic straws, cups and styrofoam containers by 2022. Government Spokesman Athisit Chainuwat added that the goal is for Thailand to only use recycled plastics by 2027.

Annual trash collection events 

For those of us who have lived near beaches, we are already familiar with beach cleanup programmes led by the government and local organisations on an annual or quarterly basis. 

In Bangkok, a professor at Thammasat University has organised the biggest river cleaning campaign called ‘Kayaking for Chao Praya’. Every year, volunteers kayak along the Chao Praya river, collecting trash and debris along the way. Volunteers cover 400 kilometres of the river in approximately 10 days.

Sustainability programmes in schools 

International and public Thai schools are getting onboard with sustainability and plastic reduction programmes, whether they are internal or external. Programmes such as the Traidhos Three-Generation Community for Learning Barge Programme offer field trips for students around Bangkok and within surrounding National Parks. In 2019, the programme successfully engaged 1,331 students in service environmental projects: from tree planting (560 trees planted) beach and river clean-ups, and litter picks.

Kirsty Shakespeare, Head of the Barge Programme states, “Students who take part in service activities can see firsthand the problems caused by plastic waste and unsustainable living. The programme gives them the platform to take positive and direct action which is very empowering for young people.”

What can we do to help? 

Invest in reusable bags, bottles, straws, cutlery, cups and boxes

Having a reusable collection can drop your plastic usage dramatically. It puts an end to the plastic bag hoarding and the number of plastic juice cups clogging up your bin. Farmers’ markets are a great place to find these commodities. Ecotopia in Siam Tower and The eco shop in BACC also stock reusable products. 

Go to a refill station

Instead of continually buying products that come in plastic packaging (haircare products, body products, cleaning products), take your empty bottles to a refill station. I regularly visit Better Moon Cafe On Nut. It’s simple, cheap and very environmentally friendly. 

At Better Moon, you can also get cupboard staples such as pasta, tea, lentils, nuts, and dried fruit as well as reusable products available for purchase. It’s heaven for eco-conscious people.

They also have a small refill station in the middle of the Ekkamai BTS. 

Use your reusable products

Once you’ve invested in your products – use them! Put them in your bag and take them wherever you go. Ordering coffee? Give them your refill coffee cup to use. Buying fresh fruit from the street vendor? Ask them to put the fruit in your reusable Tupperware box. Decline plastic cutlery at the street food market and use your own. 

Some people feel ‘stupid’ doing this and fear that they will be laughed at. I can’t guarantee some people won’t tease or joke with you, but it will be with good intention and maybe they will feel encouraged to make some changes themselves.

Use water refill stations 

The amount of plastic water bottles I see in my condo trash area makes me shudder. Especially when most condos have water refill stations installed. They are literally everywhere. Walk down your soi and I guarantee you will see one. Buy a 45B gallon from 7/11 and keep refilling it for 5B a time! Think of all the money and plastic you’ll be saving!

Go to a clothing swap

Along with plastic, the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Globally, we produce 13 million tonnes of textile waste each year 95% of which could be reused or recycled. 

In a mission to combat this, Jessica Teal, a long-time Bangkok expat came up with the initiative ‘Swap ‘Til You Drop’ – a clothes swapping platform based in The Home BKK, Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok. The swap is normally hosted once a month and the concept is pretty simple. You bring any clothes you no longer want and swap them for something you do want!

Jess can see the difference this is making to people’s attitudes towards fashion waste. “When people come to swap, they are becoming more aware of the positive impact they are having on waste reduction,” Jess states, “I think Thailand has great potential to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. People don’t really realise how one small action can make waves globally.”

Along with the rest of the world, there is still a lot to be done to tackle climate change. However, regardless of whether you think Thailand is doing enough or not, they are trying. We can all take some social responsibility and do what we can to limit our own use of plastic and reduce waste. 

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On 7 July, a party from Thailand’s largest agro-industrial and food company, Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL (CP), led by CEO and Executive Chairman, Mr. Suphachai Chearavanont, visited the DPF to donate 100 sacks of rice and 100 packs of eggs to families severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, plus 100 sets of Meiji milk to promote children’s health now that schools have reopened. They were welcomed by Khru Prateep, students sponsored by CP and elderly residents of the slum.

In addition, CP is supporting a special project at the New Life Projects in Kanchanaburi and Chumporn called “Raising Laying Hens Project,” which will be a sustainable food source for the children’s health in the future.

To find out more about how we help the lives of the poor, and how you can help too,kindly contact us at http://www.dpf.or.th/en or phone 02-249-4880, 02-249-3553, 02-671-4045-8; Fax 02-249-5254, [email protected] ,[email protected]

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Members and friends collected bottle caps, which we will then sell and from the income that we make from selling these bottle caps, we will use it to purchase an infant incubator for a hospital in the North East of Thailand.

About Us

“We are committed to a world where women and girls together achieve their individual and collective potential, realise
aspirations and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities worldwide.”

Inspired by a similar project in Bulgaria, our idea is to collect plastic bottle caps through our network of companies, organisations, clubs and groups working in the trash field (such as Trash Hero). We would also approach consumer businesses like hotels and restaurants, as well as places like spas, tourist attractions and schools.

HOW IT WORKS

Logistically, we would collect caps in plastic 5-litre bottles, which hold 100 caps or the equivalent of 1 kilo each. The collected caps would then be sold while the bottles themselves are sent to recycling facilities. One kilo of plastic caps can earn 15 baht and the funds raised will be used to purchase an infant incubator for a rural hospital in need. We would require 6,666 kilos of plastic for one incubator as each unit costs over 100,000 baht.

SIB Plastic Caps for Life is a new project by the Soroptimist International Club of Bangkok. It falls under our Climate Change Initiative, with the goal of promoting greater environmental sustainability while serving and boosting the welfare of people who have limited access to adequate healthcare.

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