Families are struggling, and we need your help.
Mundo Exchange is creating Covid Relief Care Packages to address the basic survival and mental needs of families living in abject poverty in our corner of Isan, Thailand.. Initially we created packages that included essential materials in short supply such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and more. Donations were a huge part of making sure families stayed safe and healthy during that dangerous and uncertain time!
At this time, Thailand is fortunate enough to have incredibly low infection and transmission rates, and these products have been distributed by local governments and they are readily available. Unfortunately Thailand’s borders remain closed, and the economic and financial fallout from the lack of business has forced many companies to downsize or shut their doors completely, and thousands are suffering for it. It is common in Isan for parents to leave their young children in the care of grandparents or extended family while they travel down South to work. Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and many other high traffic hubs offer more job opportunity with better salaries, and many choose to work there and send money home to support the family. Those who have stayed in Isan usually have rubber farms or rice fields and rely on the agricultural business to sustain them and their families.
Isan has been hit with a double whammy. The past two years have not been kind to farmers; two years ago we had flooding in the region causing crops (even the hardy rice crops that love water) to drown, and a lot of farmers completely lost their harvest. Last year and this year they have been faced with droughts and have experienced low crop yields and little income. Top it off with economic instability and inconsistent crop prices and one can understand the trend to migrate south and make a sustainable living. However, fears about covid-19 have prompted the government to close Thailand’s borders to tourism, bringing industries to a grinding halt, and thousands of jobs have disappeared as a result.
Isan has historically been the province with the highest poverty rate, lowest average income, and lowest economic output. With small businesses closing their doors permanently and factories in Central and South regions cutting down on employees, thousands of parents have been forced to return home to a jobless market in Isan, unemployed and with little savings.
Our goal over the next 3 months is to make and distribute as many Covid Relief Care Packages as we can to families and individuals who are in dire need in our Isan community.
Our care packages address the dire need for food by providing nonperishable staples such as noodles, cooking oil, canned goods, and dried goods. Many villagers have small personal or community gardens for fresh vegetables to supplement meals and add nutrients, but they lack the carbs and proteins that create a complete and filling meal.
We provide hygienic supplies to maintain a sense of dignity and pride. The addition of soap, shampoo, dental supplies, and laundry detergent allows for adults and children to keep themselves clean. Cleanliness reduces the chances of poor health and illness, and we want families to stay healthy! Feeling clean and cared for boosts self-esteem, and now that many adults find themselves unemployed and facing the daunting task of trying to find work we want to give them the means to be as presentable and as confident in themselves as possible.
Finally, antiseptic cleaning supplies such as multi-surface household cleaner and dish soap to keep the house clean are essential. Clean shelter is vital to keeping families safe by helping prevent the spread of germs and pathogens.