Pimchanok, 17 year old mother and her son on first floor of the house in Bangkok, Thailand
Photo: ActionAid Thailand
Thailand’s floods have swept away the little support that existed for the poorest members of our society. Though the waters continue to decrease and disappear, ActionAid has consistently found that young mothers and their children are amongst the most vulnerable.
Pimchanok Monkolgerd, aged 17, lives with her seven-month old son and grandfather in the Bang-Bua community, a slum area that has sprung up alongside one of Bangkok’s many canals.
It was my mistake; I didn’t mean to get pregnant at that time. It was too young for both of us
she told me as she gently rocks her son to sleep. Recently abandoned by her husband, Pimchanok had been completely reliant on her grandfather’s income to feed her son but the floods have now jeopardised this financial lifeline.
Her grandfather, Somjit, is a daily wage construction worker. He used to earn 300 Baht per day (around 10 USD), this money just about fed the five members of his family. Since the floods arrived construction has stopped and Somjit hasn’t worked for over a month, depriving the family of any income.
“I feel for my grandfather, because he is the only person who has been taking care of all the family members up till now. He loves us so much,” Pimchanok said, her voice breaking as when she talked about her grandfather’s difficulties. Such situations, common across the Bang-Bua community, have made ActionAid’s relief work all the more urgent.
Goods in the relief packs are really useful for my son and my family. As a mother, I will do everything I can to take care of my son
ActionAid Thailand’s flood response team has provided emergency support to the community. This has included sand bags and two packs of rice and cooking oil for more than 500 households in Bang-Bua community and, just recently, 1,200 of flood reliefs packs including food, drinking water and 700 separate packs for children in 12 communities along Bang-Bua canal.
ActionAid’s programme team has been working in the Bang-Bua community for a year – we are immensely proud to support the ‘Child Care Center’ project. This project not only provides an environment for child development but also runs workshops for parents to develop their parenting skills. The ethos of the project is self-help and self-reliance. We have already helped 40 of Bang-Bau’s poorest parents develop the skills to improve the lives of their children – with your support we can help many more.