Warwick Rotarians hear from Thai friends

Following the Boxing day Tsunami in Thailand in 2005 the Warwick Rotary club established an annual food and dance Thai Festival to raise money for aid
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Warwick Rotary Club kept up the friendship with Thailand this week after hearing from Jackie Winitkun, of “Magic of Thailand” about how the county has been coping during coronavirus.

Following the Boxing day Tsunami in Thailand in 2005 the Warwick Rotary club established an annual food and dance Thai Festival to raise money for aid.

For the last three years these have been organised by Magic of Thailand, with the 2020 festival being cancelled due to coronavirus.

Warwick Rotarians sent £250 for food parcels. Photo suppliedWarwick Rotarians sent £250 for food parcels. Photo supplied
Warwick Rotarians sent £250 for food parcels. Photo supplied

Over these years’ friendships have been established bringing awareness of the customs and traditions of the country.

“Magic of Thailand” are closely in touch with their families in Thailand who were subject to strict lockdown from the beginning of April with businesses closed and much unemployment.

Jackie Winitkun told the Rotarians how life there is often 'hand to mouth' and she sent money for food parcels for those in need in Sukothai where she came from.

She then got together with four friends and set up a charity project “Learn to Gift” teaching English language to Thai people on-line.

A 'thank you' poster to Warwick Rotary Club. Photo suppliedA 'thank you' poster to Warwick Rotary Club. Photo supplied
A 'thank you' poster to Warwick Rotary Club. Photo supplied

With up to 50 students they were able to raise more than £3,000 for food and aid for the vulnerable.

When Rotarians saw this project on Facebook they agreed to send £250 for food parcels which were distributed by Jackie’s mother and others.

Later the region was hit by flooding 2 meters deep and further aid had to be distributed by boat. A local canteen was set up with hot meals and bottled water distribution.

Finding vulnerable people isolated and in need they gave bedding and other assistance required.

Rotarians sent £250 for food parcels to people in need. Photo suppliedRotarians sent £250 for food parcels to people in need. Photo supplied
Rotarians sent £250 for food parcels to people in need. Photo supplied

Jackie Winitkun also reported that Thailand has only suffered 53 deaths from coronavirus which she puts down to the population rapidly adopting face masks and maintaining social distancing.

The borders were closed on April 1, any Thai returning were put into 14 days quarantine in a hotel at state expense.

Finally on October 1 the first 1,250 tourists from China have been allowed into Phuket with strict monitoring.

Jackie Winitkun said that without formal state aid people are reliant on the charity of their community, and demonstrated the differences between the two countries.

A canteen was set up with hot meals and bottled water distribution. Photo suppliedA canteen was set up with hot meals and bottled water distribution. Photo supplied
A canteen was set up with hot meals and bottled water distribution. Photo supplied

Warwick Rotary Club President David Brain expressed the club’s admiration for her assistance to others in their hour of need, and being inventive to find a way to raise money.

Lessons could be learned from the Thai approach to the virus and we asked for our appreciation to be conveyed to the team in Thailand.

Ties of friendship have been strengthened and we look forward to the Thai festival returning next May.