ACF projects are delivering results…

Our CovidCARE projects are delivering results…July 2020 update

Dear ACF Friends, 

Although the overall number of Covid cases didn’t increase in Thailand during July, the impact on the local economy definitely became more clearly visible.

Five star hotels are closing down. Phuket is desperate to return to business as usual.Discussions is taking place to re-open for tourism in October, with Phuket as a test zone as it is a self contained island should the virus flare up again. 
Because 90% of Phuket’s economy centers around tourism, the loss of tourism has severely affected so many peoples lives and businesses, and some have completely lost hope which unfortunately also leads to an increase in suicides. 
We continued to develop the opportunities we created to help our families and both our vegetable garden project and the equipment-on-loan project is now fully operational

Vegetable garden – we started to harvest our greens!
July was a whirlwind month for us as we kick-started our vegetable garden project to help families who lost all their income as you know. 
Seeds were sown; James set the water sprinkler system up, and we also had a lot of rain. Everything that our vegetable garden team planted grew exceptionally well!

The first vegetable we picked was morning glory, a popular local vegetable that is stir-fried with garlic and pork and loved by all.
We picked the first vegetables with the parents who work in the garden and some of our children joined us for this opportunity, while receiving instructions on harvesting for the first time in their lives.

The vegetables are used for our kids and staff lunches, and the families who work in the garden take some home for personal use as well.
Any additional vegetables are sold to parents picking up their kids from school in the afternoon, or to some buyers in the community.

Demand exceeds unfortunately the supply at the moment, but the ‘farmers’ are learning fast and soon we’ll be able to do better.
Who benefits?
One parent per family works in the garden and earns a daily wage of THB300 (Approx US$10). Currently, 8 ACF families benefit from the project and they feed 20 family members. 
Through donations received we pay their daily wages for every 8 hours they have worked. We would love to continue our fundraising efforts so we can continue to help our families provide for themselves.

Therefore we have set-up an online donation page which is ready for those of you who want to help us support an ACF family in need:Support our vegetable garden
Household accounting and small business training
In July we hosted the first of 3 workshops to help our families with information on household accounting and managing finance for a small home business.

The training was attended by 19 of our parents and everyone who started a small home based food or drinks business, also attended.
The next accounting workshop takes place at the end of August.
What kind of businesses were started by our parents?
The equipment we provided such as small barbecue stoves, a fold-up table or even just an umbrella, helped them to cook barbecued pork or chicken, or fish balls, which people love to eat as an easy meal on a skewer stick here.

Some needed a blender to make Thai style ice cream from ice shavings and syrup or needed only an ice container to keep the ice they wanted to sell.These little operations provide enough funds to help a family with their daily living costs and have been a lifesaver for those who took the opportunity.
What’s next?
This month: Providing food and transportation From this month onward we are picking our children up and dropping them off again with the school bus.Our scholarship team are doing home visits to update information and check in with our families to see how they are doing. We will continue to assist 12 families who still have not found alternative ways to earn any income by providing some dry food supplies and personal hygiene items. 
Welcome to our ‘Happy Farm’ Vegetable Garden! ACF visitors are welcome to visit our garden, which was appropriately named by the vegetable farmers as ‘Happy Farm’ Vegetable Garden. They chose the name because ‘everyone working there is very happy to have a job!’We want to thank everyone who have supported our CovidCARE projects and who have done some incredible fundraising efforts themselves to provide us with the means to give hope to desperate families in these extremely difficult times. You were all amazing! Every day we can see the relief and thankfulness on the faces of the parents when we see them. They are very appreciative and work hard to make the garden a success for all.

You can support our CovidCARE initiatives here
Until next time…Roelien and team

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