by Rebecca Hilton
One Saturday at the end of August we saw that a fire had broken out near to where we live. We could see the fire from our balcony; it was in Pai Sing To, a small slum community located across the street from the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre. The fire destroyed 30 homes, and 75 people were affected although fortunately no-one was hurt.
The Australian School appealed to parents for donations on behalf of the Mercy Centre. The Mercy Centre had gone straight in to help the victims of the fire, and started immediately to rebuild the houses – it shocked me to find out that, in these situations, if there is a delay in rebuilding the residents can end up in a situation where they are permanently removed, thus allowing outside forces to demolish their community and build something in its place for other people.
The people affected by the fire are extremely poor – most of them are living on the minimum wage. I felt we needed to do something to raise money to help these people who are practically our neighbours. I am part of a regular playgroup, so I agreed with the other Mums that we would hold a coffee and cake morning instead to raise money, and I extended the invite to other friends. Cue some frenzied baking by myself, Lucy Chin and Malinder Singh….
We were very lucky in that lots of friends came to support us and, in one morning, we raised 16,400 Baht which I think is a pretty good achievement for a morning of coffee and cake!
A big thank you to all the women who came to what was a very enjoyable morning – you were very generous with your baht, and I apologise for the extra pounds gained!