Members of Shrewsbury International School’s Community Engagement Team (CET), led by its head, Mr Greg Threlfall, visited the Bang Na slums in Early October. Following a 10-thousand baht donation by Shrewsbury Alumnus, Sam Simcox, an invitation was extended to the school to see what more could be done to help those residing in an area of Bangkok which needs community assistance.
Seasonal rains have recently made a tough place to live even tougher with structural damage to walls, roofs and flooring a common occurrence for many of the slum’s inhabitants. After surveying the challenging conditions, it was decided that an additional 10-thousand baht would be donated to Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation, Thailand (CWEFT) - the organisation set up to look after the well-being of the people in Bang Na’s slum.
A long-time volunteer and Shrewsbury Alumnus, Sam Simcox taught English at the local daycare centre and helped out wherever he could, while he lived in Bangkok with his parents. His affinity with the people he met through CWEFT has extended long-past his departure from Thailand as he continues to enquire about what he can do to help.
“My time spent helping out with CWEFT made me appreciate what I have in my own life. Sometimes people who have nothing can also be the most welcoming and kind! Giving your time to those less fortunate can really help you see things from another perspective. We have the power to help and give back to these communities, and I think it is imperative to do so,” Sam insists.
Sam’s generosity really struck a chord with Mr Threlfall, who immediately felt it necessary to match his donation.
“Although CWEFT is not currently a community engagement partner, Sam’s charitable gift encouraged us to support his donation and visit the day-centre as well. In addition to the donation, we are informing our own community about the
needs of the centre and the ways they can help out if they choose. We have also included them in our house food drive, with a specific focus on products that benefit the elderly. This is all part of our renewed vision for community engagement at Shrewsbury," he explained.
Orathai (Dang) Thaweesin, Executive Director of CWEFT, says the money will be put towards the families and individuals with the most pressing need in terms of repairs to existing structures.
“The long weekend in October gave us a chance to work alongside families in the Bang Na community to fix some roofing and begin the restroom project that was presented to Mr Greg’s team when they visited. We are very thankful for the gift from both Mr Sam and the Shrewsbury Community Engagement Team,” Khun Dang expressed.
The CET is at the beginning of a busy journey, which will see many projects working in collaboration with our school partners. The renewed focus for Shrewsbury on community outreach will be an exciting and positive development throughout the year and beyond.
If you wish to find out more about the work the Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation, Thailand is doing, contact them at their website: www.cwefthailand.org