Below is a field report from Ann, one of the tireless volunteers at Help without Frontiers (HwF). HwF is currently providing emergency food packages to displaced people from Myanmar in Thailand who have seen their income being wiped out in the wake of COVID-19. (You can read more here: COVID-19 Response)
Previously, there were 515 families that have been receiving "Food Sets for Life". Today, we distributed Food Sets to another 106 families in the Thung Kham community. In this community, most villagers are employed in the agricultural sector. They used to receive a daily wage of 150 baht (4.5 CHF) per day but like other communities, they have had had no jobs for a long time.
The rain season was expected to start in the middle of May. However, there have yet to be signs of rain. Since the agricultural activities depend on the rain season, little work is available at this time. Fortunately, some employers allow the community members to grow vegetables to sell themselves. Most of the vegetables that are grown are okra (Roselle).
Today is vegetable collection day. There are 8 people working together today, 2 baht per bunch, and they hope to reach about 350 bunches, or about 700 baht taken together.
Although the village is on the Thai side, the children here take a boat to cross the Burmese governmental school. Many parents say that the border is not open yet, no one is allowed to cross the river. The parents don't have any information on when the schools will be opened again in Myanmar. Some say mid-July, others say that perhaps August. They have to wait until they get reliable information. Many children in these communities drop out from school and work in agriculture to help their parents.
HwF has supported education for children in this community since since 2014 (6 years ago). There are approximately 90 children supported by Hwf today. The family remembers the smile sun logo but do not remember the name of the organization. During this difficult time, the family said that we (HwF) were the first group to come help. The community has difficulty in obtaining drinking water as well as water for other purposes. They are required to travel far in order to draw water from a well.
Thank you for all the encouragement that gives us the strength we need to continue to put in the work. Thank you to the team that believes in the organization's mission during these challenging days. Thank you to our families for supporting us. We try to help all the people we can and in doing so we try to embody the spirit of the smiling sun that is featured in our logo.
You can help Help Without Frontiers with their emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis. For donations, please see our dedicated page on how you can support them: COVID-19 Response. If you are not in a position to donate, please consider sharing this message on social media to spread the word.