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Thailand: Marked Improvements for Tsunami Survivors

Independent research shows support for education has increased, and stronger relationships have been forged through World Vision recovery efforts.

June 22, 2007




Pattana Saksee, 15, is one of 12 children World Vision staff trained as a radio broadcaster to operate a radio program they have aptly named, 'Good Things to Know.' Says the young communicator: "I think that it is very good when we have an opportunity to disseminate the issue of children's rights, since very few people in my community know about this." A recent independent study has revealed Thai families affected by the tsunami were pleased with our efforts to improve children's status.
World Vision has recently received encouraging news from Thailand, one of the countries hit hard by the deadly Asia tsunami in December 2004.

A new report from Thailand indicates livelihood security has recovered to a level near to what it was before the disaster. Support for education has increased, and tsunami-affected people have forged stronger relationships with one another because of collaborative community rehabilitation projects overseen by World Vision.

Encouraging News


The encouraging findings are from a comprehensive final evaluation undertaken by independent evaluators, TANGO International, which surveyed 1,565 households and facilitated 40 focus groups across World Vision Thailand program areas. Community- and staff-directed questionnaires were used in the assessment as well.

"Livelihood groups that were formed for activities such as fishing, batik-making and tourism ventures were clearly a focus, not just for economic support, but for communities to reconnect and rebuild," says Dr. Jamo Huddle, one of World Vision's Asia tsunami response team staff.

"Women in particular were enthusiastic about their role in the groups and the opportunity to be able to work together, socialize and provide tangible support to their families."

Efforts to Support Children Lauded

The study found that individuals are returning to their primary livelihoods, and asset ownership has returned to pre-tsunami levels, including boat ownership, which had dropped more than 40 percent as a result of the tsunami. World Vision's interventions in asset ownership included providing basic supplies, training and cash, as well as facilitating a number of livelihood support groups.

"Adult and children’s commitment to education was one of the strongest messages that came from communities in the study," Huddle says.

According to the report, World Vision's support for education, construction of Child-Friendly Spaces and promotion of children's rights were perceived to be vital to children's recovery and enjoyed a high level of community support.

Thailand Tsunami Facts

  • Approximately 58,500 people were affected by the tragedy.
  • Eight thousand people were declared dead or missing.
  • An estimated 300 villages across six provinces were impacted.
  • Tourism, fishery and agricultural losses were substantial.
  • Nearly 1,500 children lost one or both parents.

Improved Relationships Noted


Many households are now thriving; however, others continue to struggle for a variety of reasons, the study revealed. Reasons for this include the loss of prime income earners or continued underemployment. Those who reported negative changes pointed to financial stress and an increase in alcohol consumption.

Most people surveyed said there was a more positive relationship between community members, a renewed appreciation for one another and a higher value upon life after surviving the disaster.

Among people surveyed in all provinces, strengthened relationships were pointed to as the primary motivation for continuing rebuilding; benefits of this included working together on community-based activities such as building houses, collecting garbage and planting trees.

World Vision Response: 'Swift, Targeted...'

A World Vision transitional housing center for tsunami survivors at Ban Nai Rae, Thailand, where a batik making project helps women learn a new trade and earn an income.
A World Vision transitional housing center for tsunami survivors at Ban Nai Rae, Thailand, where a batik making project helps women learn a new trade and earn an income. World Vision photo by Jon Warren.

According to TANGO International, "World Vision's response to the tsunami was swift and targeted. Relief efforts comforted the lives of many as they struggled to comprehend the magnitude of their losses and to regain their lives and livelihoods.

"That World Vision remained in communities well beyond the relief phase was greatly appreciated by all communities, and it allowed them to undertake important medium-term actions to accelerate the recovery process and ensure that communities came away from the tragedy stronger than they met it."

Thailand Tsunami Recovery Concludes

World Vision will conclude its Thailand Tsunami Program in July. Thanks to the generous outpouring of donors, since the December 2004 tsunami, we've been able to:

  • Construct more than 400 homes;
  • Create livelihood activities for more than 5,000 people;
  • Build eight new schools; and
  • Construct 32 childcare and family-friendly centers, including one sewing and batik-making center, a boat-building venue, an organic rice farming complex as well as nurseries and fisheries.
Extensive health, water and sanitation initiatives were also undertaken, in addition to the construction of tsunami warning systems.

World Vision has worked in collaboration with a number of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the Thai Red Cross, to apply $20 million in goods and services to meet the desperate needs of Thailand's tsunami-devastated people.

Learn More


>> Read a two-year update detailing World Vision's Asia tsunami recovery efforts.

Two Ways You Can Help

>> Thank God for our generous donors' gifts that have enabled us during the past several years to help rebuild hundreds of tsunami-devastated communities in Thailand and throughout the Indian Ocean region.
>> Donate to help provide emergency aid to survivors of disasters similar to the 2004 tsunami in Asia. Your gift can help create good news in places like Thailand.

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Learn More

Read a two-year update detailing World Vision's Asia tsunami recovery efforts.

Two Ways You Can Help

Thank God for our generous donors' gifts that have enabled us during the past several years to help rebuild hundreds of tsunami-devastated communities in Thailand and throughout the Indian Ocean region.
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Donate to help provide emergency aid to survivors of disasters similar to the 2004 tsunami in Asia. Your gift can help create good news in places like Thailand.

 





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