by Sue Davy
Dear Khun Gale and the ladies,
Thank you so much once again, for your very kind donation of 5,000 baht for our VCCT Event, held on Saturday 28th April.
We used the donation money to purchase donuts and ice creams, which were greatly enjoyed during the day.
The day started off with Father Joe officially opening the March through the community areas. We started off from the main park, through the local markets and finishing up at the school, where the main event took place. All participants were given a T-shirt to wear during the day.
Our children from the kindergarten all dressed up in traditional Thai national costumes and helped us distribute leaflets and condoms to people in the community and invite them to take part in the day.
The day started off very well, however, due to the extremely bad weather and heavy downpour of rain throughout the day, our expected attendance was severely impacted. We had initially aimed for 300 attendees, unfortunately, we only had 150 participants during the day.
However, the day was still a great success for everybody who took part. We had 150 participants, who attended all the seminars and talked to the counsellors. Out of the 150, we had 98 people that proceeded to take blood tests, which was over 65% of the attendees. The remaining 52 participants did not have blood tests, as after counselling, we deemed it not necessary as they were not at risk of the HIV virus.
The great news is that out of the 98 tested, none of them were found to be HIV Positive. They received their results within 10 minutes of being tested and were extremely grateful of the opportunity to attend the event.
Our post-counselling activity focused on prevention and education and ongoing reviews are taking place to determine those who may become at risk, offering them support, guidance and education, to help them make informed decisions about their future health.
After the event, a review of the day took place to analyse the success. Due to the extremely bad weather, the community leaders have requested another day to be organised, on a smaller scale, for those that could not attend. Any donations that have not been used for this event will be put towards other donations for the next VCCT event that we hold.
The people and leaders want to live together in a healthy community, free from AIDS and we will work together to achieve this.
Your very kind donations go a long way to changing the lives of people in our community, we are extremely grateful for your ongoing support.
I have attached a few photos from our day to share with you.
On behalf of the communities, Mercy Centre and everybody involved, we thank you so much.