THAILAND: Refugees and other vulnerable people receive food aid
The Salesian Family provides 600 food bags to those living in situations of vulnerability
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian Family in Thailand recently launched the “We are in the Same Boat” campaign to help bring relief to people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative provided 500 food bags for poor residents living in Khao Yoi, Phetchaburi Province and in Ban Pong, Ratchaburi Province. Another 100 food bags were given to refugees from Myanmar staying along the border of the Kanchanaburi Province. The event was held at the grounds of the Salesian Society in Bangkok.
The COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand is still impacting between 2,300-3,000 people who are testing positive each day. Many are working in large factories and in close contact with each other. The virus has also spread into adjacent villages. The government has made an effort to vaccinate people, but the numbers are still low.
There are also refugees from Myanmar who are fleeing to Thailand for safety but find once they arrive, they face hardships as they settle in. These families have few resources, and they are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
The Salesian Family in Thailand has reached out to people by offering food and support. The campaign, which was coordinated by the Salesian planning and development office, had the support and participation of Father Aaron Alcoseba, the Salesian vice provincial. It also had the support and participation of Salesian missionaries and members of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators, Association of Mary Help of Christians, Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Institute of the Queenship of Mary, the Sisters of the Queenship of Mary, and the Salesian Past Pupils.
The Salesian Family thanked Father Sarawin Phatsrirueang, the assistant director of the Social Development Center, for receiving the food bags, and Surasit Jit-uthat, a staff member of COERR Kanchanaburi, for bringing the food bags to be handed out to the refugees.
“Since the areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have been put in lockdown and refugees were difficult to reach, bringing the goods directly to the recipients was therefore impossible. We had to rely on the support of the Diocesan Social Action Center and COERR Kanchanaburi for acting as the ‘human bridge’ to bring the food donations to those who are suffering,” the Salesian Family said in a statement.
Salesian missionaries provide education and social programs in Thailand to give poor and disadvantaged youth an opportunity for a brighter future. One of the best known programs is Don Bosco Technological College in Bangkok, which has been ensuring poor youth have access to advanced education since 1949. Its education programs allow youth to gain the skills needed to find and retain stable employment. To do that successfully, the college has developed partnerships that help train youth in employment sectors that need a skilled workforce and have the jobs available to hire youth right after graduating.
Thailand has shown considerable economic growth over the last 20 years, reducing its poverty rate from 21 percent in 2000 to 10.9 percent today, according to the World Bank. Although the country has made strides in reducing poverty, improving nutrition and meeting the basic needs of its residents, inequality is still pervasive.
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Salesian Missions – Thailand
World Bank – Thailand