จดหมายข่าว โครงการอียูรับมือโควิด ฉบับที่ 3 / EU COVID-19 Response & Recovery Project Newsletter Issue 3

EU COVID-19 Response & Recovery Project Newsletter Issue 3

The COVID-19 pandemic was still ongoing at the end of 2021 with the new Omicron strain. Although the government had implemented measures to control the spread, such as designating risk areas and restricting opening times of places with high risk, the number of infected persons continued to increase and broadly impacted everyone in aspects of health, economy, and society, especially to those vulnerable groups.

However, partner organisations of the EU COVID-10 Response & Recovery Project had by then all received increased experience, skills, and expertise working under limitations in the past, and therefore responded to and revised plans under the project, such as adjusting the type of activity conducted or the number of participants involved to ensure in advance the safety of the target groups and staff, enabling more activities to be carried out than during the first half of 2021. The main activity still focused on building up knowledge on disaster response and food security, to support communities to have a plan to respond to disasters in future, to convey the information from the targeted groups out to the wider public, and to enhance the capacity of partner organisations in carrying out the activities in various aspects.

In the final two trimesters of the project (January-June 2022), each partner organisation compiled a summary and list of challenges from carrying out the activities in order to develop a set of policy recommendations regarding COVID-19 response in various dimensions, such as a forum for exchanging views on disaster response that will drive policy and revise disaster laws, a seminar on future city planning “Creating urban food spaces” that involves Bangkok Governor candidates, and the seminar “Migrant workers and access to relief during COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand” for state agencies and relevant organisations, in order to present the problems and offer solutions to the public, as well as to encourage all relevant parties to carry out responses and participate in solving the problems of the various target groups in a concrete and sustainable manner.

Click here to read the EU COVID-19 Response & Recovery Project Newsletter Issue 3


จดหมายข่าวโครงการอียูรับมือ โควิด ฉบับที่ 2 ประจำปี 2564

EU COVID-19 Response & Recovery Project Newsletter Issue 2

The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2021 is currently still ongoing. Therefore, the government has leveled up the control measures, for example, determination of COVID-19 risk areas, the control of inter-provincial travel, the enforcement of curfews, etc. which results in challenges facing for the fieldwork. The EU COVID-19 Response and Recovery Project and partnered organizations therefore have adjusted their activities to the occurring circumstance, such as changing forms of some activities from onsite to online operations, adjusting number of participants and activity patterns to be safe for the target groups and actors.

This adjustment has created learning, innovation, and cooperation among partner organizations so that activities can be carried out under various constraints. However, during the first year of the program, more than 45% of all activities had already been organized, such as distributing survival bags and hygiene products to schools and communities as well as other target groups, developing necessary professional skills during the outbreak of COVID-19, promoting knowledge on disaster response and food security, encouraging communities’ planning for future disasters, communicating with society to pass on information of the target- groups to public, as well as strengthening the capacity of associated organizations in various dimensions to carry out activities to be able to reach the target groups of more than 32,000 people in 40 provinces across the country.

Click here to read the EU COVID-19 Response & Recovery Project Newsletter Issue 2


Covid-19 response story Ratchanee Paeseng

"At least someone sees that we are here": Ratchanee Paeseng

“The government should come to see what support the community is seeking, if they are too much for the government to provide. What we really need is a fund that allows each of us to start a livelihood. We can do the rest with our hands and strength. If it comes as the 50-50 co-payment scheme, it doesn’t last, better to put money in career support.”

Ratchanee Paeseng, a villager of the Sa Ton Pho community in Phuket Province, is affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Previously, she was forcefully evicted from a land where she put up her house seven years prior.

Ratchanee moved to Phuket from Nakhon Si Thammarat Province seeking career opportunities. She was evicted from the land she settled along with many others, but later the group joined the Phuket Community Development Rights Network and participated in social activities. Supported by Chumchonthai Foundation, People's Movement for a Just Society (P-move) and ActionAid Thailand under the EU-funded Land is Life Project, the community’s the land right issues were raised to the state and eventually a new Sa Ton Pho community was created in an area next to the old place.

Before the pandemic, Ratchanee had worked in a spa in Phuket, earning about 800-900 Thai baht per day. With it, she could live with little difficulty. After the outbreak, the spa was shut down, and income dried up. She was struggling to buy food for survival. Investing in a new occupation was out of the question. And because Ratchanee was a non-registered person in Phuket, she could not receive any support from the provincial authority.

Fortunately, the community once again received emergency assistance from the Chumchonthai Foundation and ActionAid Thailand under the EU COVID-19 Response and Recovery Project. On top of distributing relief packages, the project hosted a meeting where everyone could exchange and share issues, to find solutions together in response to the current and future disasters in the community.

Ratchanee reflected that past hardships taught that one had to fight to get through, expressing gratitude for the help and moral support from the Community Development Rights Network and the EU COVID-19 Response and Recovery Project.

“The help from the project made me feel better and strong enough to fight on. At least someone sees that we are here and doesn’t leave us behind.”

"อย่างน้อยมีคนมองเห็นว่ามีเราอยู่": รัชนี แป๊ะเซ็ง ชุมชน สระต้นโพธิ์ จ.ภูเก็ต
รัชนี พร้อมชาวบ้านชุมชนสระต้นโพธิ์ / ภาพ: สุริยะ ผ่องพันธุ์งาม / แอ็คชั่นเอด ประเทศไทย

Food security: sustainable lessons for future crises

Sustainable lessons for future crises

Due to the surge of the pandemic, many vulnerable communities were struggling to survive. They could not afford enough food and necessary daily nutrients. Food security was one of the solutions that the EU COVID-19 Response and Recovery Project, led by ActionAid Thailand in cooperation with BioThai Foundation, implemented. The aim was to reduce food expenses, improve nutrition in target groups, promote chemical-free vegetable cultivation, encourage growing for family consumption and spreading the practice in the community, and improve target groups’ overall physical and mental health.

In 2020, BioThai Foundation held workshops on basic food cultivation, from soil preparation to food production, for 30 community leaders from Pho Rieang, Thai Kriang, Thai Noi, Amnat Charoen, Chumphon, Wat Sawat, Suan Luang, Wathai Ayutthaya, and Wathai Nonthaburi.

ชุมชน มั่นคงทางอาหาร เสริมสร้างความยืดหยุ่นในยุคโควิด
ภาพ: มูลนิธิชีววิถี

Phonnarong Punthong, a leader of a northeastern network from Amnat Charoen Province, said that during the pandemic, his community was severely affected. Earnings dropped precipitously. Yet, food supply was not a problem, because his network had been working with and assisted by the BioThai Foundation on organic farming. As a result, his community was able to cope with food shortage during the pandemic.

Phonnarong recognised the importance of food security and decided to take part in the training because he hoped to enhance his food security skill and knowledge to sustainably develop his community.

“Joining this training is very useful. It helps create skills in agriculture from scratch. Instead of the uninformed traditional approach, there was the methodical instruction on growing vegetables and proper storage.”

พรณรง ปั้นทอง แกนนำเครือข่ายภาคอีสาน / ภาพ: สุริยะ ผ่องพันธุ์งาม / แอ็คชั่นเอด ประเทศไทย

Phonnarong added that the factor that changed his life after the training was the proper knowledge that was practical and highly beneficial to his family and his community. It led to his intention to pass on the knowledge from the training to other areas in his northeastern network in future.

Sukanya Kerdtim, from an Ayutthaya community network, said that before the spread of COVID-19, she had been a company employee in Bangkok. When the outbreak occurred, her working hours were reduced until she was finally dismissed. She did not have the income to support her family. Then there was the food shortage as it was very difficult to buy food during the crisis.

After joining a training about soil preparation and vegetable growing, Sukanya could better appreciate the importance of food security and would raise awareness on the issue, starting by growing greens at home and transferring this knowledge to friends in the community.

“I believe the vegetables that I grow will be shared with colleagues and friends. The sharing is not limited to vegetables, knowledge can be shared too.”

ขจร ฉูตรสูงเนิน จากชุมชนไทยเกรียง / ภาพ: สุริยะ ผ่องพันธุ์งาม / แอ็คชั่นเอด ประเทศไทย

Kajorn Chutsungnoen, from the Thai Kriang community network in Samut Prakan Province, was a repairman. During the pandemic, he struggled with food shortage. Sometimes his wife could not make her daily trip to the market. With his interest in food security and experience of growing vegetables at home, he was interested to join this training. He wanted to properly grow his own food and to set an example for his community.

“I have never known some of the information taught in the training, like in planting, I didn’t know that you have to clean it first. Coming to this training, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge, which is truly practical.”

After the training, Kajorn would be able to have his own vegetable garden, eat them every day, and share them with his neighbours. Importantly, he believed that this knowledge would help him survive this pandemic and any future crises to come.


จดหมายข่าว โครงการอียูรับมือโควิด ฉบับที่ 1

EU COVID-19 Response & Recovery Project Newsletter Issue 1

Since the emergence of COVID-19, Thailand's national economy and society have been affected on an unprecedented level. With the support of the European Union, the EU COVID-19 Response and Recovery Project marches forward to consistently launch activities for the benefit of vulnerable groups and communities, such as provision of survival bags and training, with no undue delay in several areas of Thailand. All activities have met with positive feedback from the target groups and associated organisations taking part in shaping them with an objective to ensure a sustainable triumph over the pandemic.

Read the first issue of the EU COVID-19 Response & Recovery Project Newsletter


สอนคิด คำนึงถึงความแตกต่าง: คุยกับครูบัว–บุณฑริก ซื่อสัตย์ โรงเรียนบ้านฮากฮาน จ.น่าน โรงเรียนสอนคิด เครื่องมือสอนคิด

Critical thinking, individual differences: what Khru Bua's small school fosters

After a successful recruitment procedure, Ms. Bua Buntharik Suesat or, as her students call her, Khru Bua (khru is Thai for teacher) had her first teaching job at Ban Si Wa Doe School in Sop Moei District, Mae Hong Son Province, teaching Karen children from remote communities four years before making her transfer to Nan.

Today Khru Bua is teaching sixth graders at Ban Hak Han School, located in Nan’s Wiang Sa District. The school is under the Nan Primary Educational Service Area Office 1 and, with it being a small school of only 57 students and much fewer teachers, Khru Bua has to teach every subject required by the curriculum.

What made Khru Bua who she is today traces back to her childhood: coming from a low-income family, she had received student aid over the years. Although her family faced financial challenges, her education wasn’t overlooked. At fifteen, Khru Bua had to make a choice between pursuing vocational training or a university education. Choosing to follow her childhood dream of becoming a teacher, she got a student loan and applied for various scholarships. Eventually, the then-high school senior Khru Bua secured her place in the Bachelor of Education Program in Elementary Education at Chiang Mai University.

The reason she wanted to be a primary school teacher stems from her own experience with a short-tempered teacher who tended to hit students. The disdain for this particular teacher made Khru Bua feign mild sickness many times in order to miss the teacher’s class. But skipping lessons took its toll when her own grades worsened. For future students to like their teacher and not be driven away from school, Khru Bua wanted to start with herself and become a teacher. “Primary school is too important,” she said. “Kids shouldn’t feel like fending off the very foundation of their education.”

Photo: Patchgorn Pattawipas/ActionAid

Before getting to know Thinking Tools, a set of innovative pedagogical tools that Ban Hak Han School has incorporated in their curriculum, Khru Bua was skeptical. But she took time to reflect, as a teacher, what resources could be leveraged to help students develop critical thinking skills. “I came around,” she said. “It would be useless if a teacher has their students repeat things after them. That's rote learning and it does very little to help them solve problems in real life.”

“It would be useless if a teacher has their students repeat things after them,
That's rote learning and it does very little to help them solve problems in real life.”

On classroom management, Khru Bua notes, “positive disciplinary behaviour development is crucial. The teacher has to provide understanding, guidance and warmth. There should be no punishment and violence. The classroom should be a safe, stress-free space where students can express themselves and their views, where they can also laugh and play. That’s the ideal classroom. Its size may be small and we may not be equipped with the latest technology – only old fans and worn wooden desks – but if the teacher and students understand each other, that’s what makes a happy classroom.”

“Personally, I think physical tools and resources are necessary, but no more so than a good teaching method and how the teacher is towards the students. Even though Ban Hak Han School is a small school with no abundance of resources, we will overcome any material challenges.”

Khru Bua’s ideal school is not different from what society expects: a sufficient number of adequate classrooms, structural durability, a bright and well-stocked library, a playground and other physical environments that enhance learning. However, there’s no denying that small schools, particularly those in remote areas or in the mountains such as Ban Hak Han, don’t have everything of the ideal. They still face limitations running on funding the central government has allocated.

In many ways, a public school teacher is a civil servant working according to their line of duty. On her specific line of duty, Khru Bua reflects, “Thailand’s education system is always changing. When the person at the top changes, the policy changes. The system never stays still, and teachers need to keep pace with it and be ready for change. At the same time, we teachers have to be firm in the goal of student development. Like bamboos bending with the wind, we’re firm on the ground, but we’re also malleable.”

"The Thai education system needs to do better in recognising individual differences.
Forcing a fish that swims well to compete with other animals at
climbing trees is impossible and of no use. It’s the same with students.
As long as we use the same set of academic standards to appraise them,
there will only be 'smart' and 'slow heads'.

Ban Hak Han School became a Thinking School after the teachers had taken a learning visit to Chiang Rai Provincial Administrative Organisation School (the first school in Thailand to adopt the Thinking School methodology). The trip was supported by ActionAid Thailand. "We learned from hands-on experience and came back inspired to put the Thinking Tools to practice," she called. "We met with positive results and were able to create a positive learning environment. We’ve been doing this for about three years now.”

“Implementing the ten Thinking Tools in class has led to significant changes. Firstly, there’s change within the teachers – we’re more proactive, always learning. We make use of technology and don’t just recite books like before. I also personally see changes in the students. They’re more focused, responsive, expressive, and understanding of other people’s views. They’re able to communicate their thoughts more coherently, explain their reasons, make comparisons, summarise information, and make their own decisions.”

Cause and Effect, Compare and Contrast, and Mind Mapping are some of the Thinking Tools used at this school. Photo: Burassakorn Gitipotnopparat/ActionAid

For Khru Bua, the Thai education system needs to do better in recognising individual differences. “Forcing a fish that swims well to compete with other animals at climbing trees is impossible and of no use. It’s the same with students. As long as we use the same set of academic standards to appraise them, there will only be 'smart' and 'slow heads'. The current system takes teachers away from students. It takes away the students’ humanity and encourages them to be more like a machine."

Khru Bua is a notable example of a teacher who has adopted Thinking Tools. She has proven that an effective classroom doesn’t necessarily need to be equipped with abundant resources. This is because learning can take place in any circumstance, even in a Thai highlands community shared by various ethnic groups like Ban Hak Han. Today, Khru Bua remains committed to guiding and developing youth through innovative tools that not only teach them how to think, but how to exercise empathy – how to be human. She is an important player in the movement that’s bringing about change in the area and making an impact on many other schools in Nan and beyond.


ประกวดราคา: Telemarketing / Lead Generation Agencies

Face-to-face (F2F) Fundraising Agency - Merchandise Campaign

Tender announcement: Face-to-face (F2F) Fundraising Agency - Merchandise Campaign

ActionAid is an international organisation working with over 25 million people in 45 countries for a world free from poverty and injustice. ActionAid Thailand (AAT) is part of the ActionAid International Federation and has been working with people and communities in Thailand for over a decade addressing issues related to poverty, human rights, education, and women and youth’s empowerment.

More information on the organisation will be made available upon request or can be accessed through our website and ActionAid International.

As a charity, one of our main objectives is to use our resources wisely and effectively and we are continuously looking for ways to save time and money. To that end, it is the responsibility of the Fundraising & Communications Manager and the Contracts & Procurement Manager to ensure that all F2F vendors are managed by trusted suppliers who will work with us to deliver services with high integrity and ethics.

This request for proposal (RFP) is established on behalf of ActionAid Thailand to contract an organisation or company to work with us in the management and delivery of our F2F activities.

Programme objective:

    • Merchandise/one-time giving: To effectively represent AAT in driving one-time donations through the merchandise programme.

Qualifications:

    • An outsourced F2F agency who has at least 3 years of work experience organising events and booth activities in Bangkok shopping malls, event venues, etc.
    • Has good reputation in F2F ethics.

Contract period:

6-12 month contract.

Tender submission:

Tender submission can be made at jobs.thailand@actionaid.org no later than 20 November 2020. The required documents for the submission include:

    • Agency/company Profile.
    • Proposal for 6 and 12 month plan and expenses.

The proposer which fails to include any of those documents mentioned above may not be contacted in accordance with ActionAid policy.


COVID-19 Response & Recovery

Project

Enhancing Civil Society Organisations’ Capacities in Response to COVID-19 in Thailand- Nationwide Intervention (EU COVID-19 Response and Recovery in Thailand – Nationwide Intervention)

Background 

ActionAid International (Thailand) Foundation has been responding to the challenges that the most marginalised communities have been facing since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in Thailand, along with project co-applicants Bio Thai Foundation (BTF), Chumchonthai Foundation (CTF) and Foundation for Labour and Employment Promotion (FLEP). We have come together to respond to a range communities and their specific needs for relief, recovery and possible resilience, namely stateless people residing across the borders of Thailand and Myanmar, migrant working groups from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia who couldn’t leave Thailand when the lockdown was announced, informal sector workers in urban areas, poor communities in semi-industrial and rural areas, rural poor including smallholder farmers and ethnic minority groups. We have been providing relief to the vulnerable communities. This action ramps up the relief efforts, followed by recovery and possible resilience in the medium term of two years. The co-applicants and ActionAid International (Thailand) Foundation collaborated to prepare the action design. Women and children, people with disability and elderly people amongst all targeted communities will be the primary focus for the action.

Locations

28 provinces in 5 regions – Central, North, South, East and North East

Timeframe

July 2020 - July 2022 (24 months). This considers the possibility of subsequent waves of COVID-19, time taken to gradually open the economy and support needed for communities to rejoin the workforce.

Objectives

    • Overall objective:  To increase the participation of Thai civil society organisations (CSOs) working with the most vulnerable communities in Thailand in preventing, addressing, and mitigating risks and vulnerabilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • Specific objective: To support and strengthen the capacity and engagement of Thai CSOs in response, recovery and building resilience of the most vulnerable communities, and to mitigate the health and socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

โครงการอียูรับมือโควิด EU COVID-19 Response and Recovery in Thailand – Nationwide Intervention

Target groups

    • Vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19 including: migrant working groups from adjacent countries – Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos; informal sector workers in primarily urban locations; ethnic minorities (Chao Le); stateless communities; urban poor communities; rural poor communities including smallholder farmers; and schools and community centers with 12,970 children (including 5,780 girl children). The approximate number of this target group is 387,038 individuals.
    • Co-applicants – Bio Thai Foundation, Chumchonthai Foundation, Foundation for Labour and Employment Promotion – and seven third-party grantees.
    • Government officials from the Ministries of Labour, Social Development and Human Security, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Interior, and Finance; and local government officials.

Final beneficiaries

9,500,000 people reached through advocacy and relief outreach programmes.

Expected outputs

    • Provision of relief to the most marginalised communities: CSOs support the immediate relief and access to essential public services including health care systems and access to information for vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19.
    • Socio-economic recovery and rehabilitation: CSOs support and advocate towards local authorities and other government authorities for social security and sustainable and inclusive socio-economic measures to assist the most vulnerable communities in Thailand to help in their recovery to recover and rehabilitate from the impacts of COVID-19.  
    • Building resilience and preparedness of vulnerable communities: CSOs strengthen preparedness and resilience of communities and local authorities to help them withstand future health, social and socio-economic crises. 

Main actions

    • Food support, temporary shelter, access to health services, personal protective equipment, relief kits for target populations (with focus on women and children among them), legal assistance for migrants, campaigns on information related to COVID-19.  
    • Skills development and building resilient livelihoods for target vulnerable communities, supplementing food needs through innovative solutions, policy advocacy on social security, and occupational health and safety training.
    • Pilot green communities: set up community product exchange system and resilience building for the target communities. 

โครงการอียูรับมือโควิด EU COVID-19 Response and Recovery in Thailand – Nationwide Intervention

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