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COVID-19 Relief in Thailand: Food and hygiene kits

Helping church partners in Thailand provide Karen people groups with essential care during COVID-19

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The Need

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Compassion Thailand has been implementing disaster relief initiatives to help families in need by providing emergency food and hygiene kits. Since March 2020, these interventions have been conducted in several phases and have supported thousands of vulnerable children and their family members.

In addition to serving Thai citizens, many of our partners in the Omkoi and Mae Hong Son regions are also serving the Karen people, a displaced people group who have migrated from Myanmar. Since January 2021, the resurgence of COVID-19 in these regions has had a severe impact on families living in poverty. Community lockdowns and restrictions on movement have prevented many caregivers from earning a living and feeding their families. Migrant families like the Karen people are especially vulnerable, as they are considered stateless and therefore ineligible for any kind of government relief. Without the ability to work, they have no way of providing for their children’s most basic needs.

Forty-five of our church partners in Thailand wanted to continue to provide much-needed support to children and families during this difficult time by supplying food relief and essential hygiene items. They wanted to target support to the local migrant community, who are highly vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic.

Our Response

Compassion Thailand is committed to supporting vulnerable children and families through the pandemic. With your generous support, our frontline church partners have been able to provide 4,200 families in the Omkoi and Mae Hong Son regions with essential food and hygiene kits during this most recent wave of infection.

Centre staff met to plan how to manage the relief package intervention. They planned which items to purchase and which vendors to purchase them from. Then, they filled the bags with essential items for families, according to each families’ needs. Staff and church leaders also organized the distribution process. Some families came to the centre to receive packages, while those who were unable to leave their homes waited for centre staff and volunteers to deliver them to their homes. This especially worked well for those families with young children and for the elderly.

The packages included rice bags, dried fish, eggs, instant noodles, cooking ingredients, canned fish, hygiene kits, shampoo, toothpaste and more. In total, nearly 5,000 registered Compassion beneficiaries and their families received emergency aid—a total of 21,809 people. Churches were able to extend the support to some non-registered children in the community, as well as to church pastors and staff.

Activities

Preparing the relief packs: Centre staff worked hard to pack the relief items and prepare the food and hygiene packages for distribution.

Food and hygiene kit distribution: Children, parents and caregivers were so happy to receive packages containing enough essential food and hygiene items to last 60 days.

Spiritual support: Centre staff prayed with families after they delivered the food and hygiene packages to families. Families felt encouraged, loved and hopeful for the future.

Your Gift Provides...

● Locally-sourced food packs and hygiene items for 4,200 households:

○ Food items included rice, dried noodles, eggs, cooking oil, dried fish, salt, canned fish, instant noodles, sugar, fish sauce, etc.
○ Hygiene items included soap, shampoo, sanitizer, toothpaste, etc.