We are honored to be speaking with the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand this Tuesday. Please tune in to hear us at 6pm to discuss how we are facing the challenges presented by COVID-19!
The Covid-19 pandemic is more than a health crisis. Restrictions on movement, business operations, construction and more have created a critical situation that has also had a devastating impact economically and socially.
The pandemic has created situations of desperate material need. Workers, confined in their camps, lack direct access to food and water. Hospital beds for patients are now a rare commodity, while oxygen tanks, ventilators and other medical equipment are in short supply. Mental help assistance has also been scarce for a pandemic of this scale.
Although the public health response has been slow in many areas, private groups have emerged around Bangkok to step in where authorities and employers have been unable to do so. Addressing a wide range of needs and relying largely on private donations, these groups have managed to organize almost overnight, creating structures and systems that are adapted to immediate needs on the ground.
To discuss what they do and how they set up their operations in demanding conditions, the FCCT is pleased to welcome the following panelists:
Greg Lange and Friso Poldervaart are the co-founders of the Bangkok Community Help Foundation. Initially focused on providing emergency relief during the Covid crisis in the form of meals, survival bags, medicine and other necessities, the foundation has started to build its own Community Isolation Centers as well as provide oxygen to patients across Bangkok waiting for hospital treatment.
Sakson “Saks” Rouypirom is a Social Entrepreneur and Director of SATI, a nonprofit grassroots NGO focussing on healthcare and education for at-risk youths in Thailand. SATI co-founded Covid Relief Bangkok last year during the start of the pandemic, distributing over 1 million meals since March last year as well as developing programs on mental health awareness and job training.
Chris Potranandana is a former Future Forward politician turned organizer for a volunteer group called Zendai which was founded four months ago to help vulnerable people, isolated as a result of the pandemic. The group, which relies on donations, has more than mostly young 100 volunteers who handle calls to a hotline, respond to emergencies and conduct more than 10,000 rapid tests a day.
Sorawit Lim-o-pas Pulsawasd is a specialist for charity and development management, conducting research and teaching at universities in the UK and Thailand. He also manages and develops projects for the Thai government, charities and corporations that address the Covid-19 pandemic.
The discussion will be moderated by Vincent Vichit-Vadakan, freelance journalist and member of the FCCT programming committee.
In accordance with current regulations on social distancing, this is an online event.
Photo caption/credits: A 93 year old coronavirus disease patient Nuan, who lives without family, is treated by volunteers from “Zendai” group in Bangkok, Thailand. Aug 5, 2021. Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun