Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Sometimes Life is Good!!

I don't know if you remember but about this time last year I visited an area in Klong Toey slum which had been decimated by fire (you can read about it here). I was just starting in my BWG Welfare role and going there made a huge impression on me.....one which has haunted me ever since. At the time I knew I was going to visit a fire site and had prepared myself for that but still wasn't really prepared for what I actually saw!! People were living in temporary shelters under a motorway - they had no water, no electricity, no sanitation and the entire place was infested with rats. It was shocking!! (We signed a cheque on the spot and that amount has been added to since).

A few weeks later we learned that our money was going to be used to build a house. The idea was that the house would be used to teach the people made homeless how to build their own (No money for builders so it's a DIY job) and the house would then be donated to one of the families made homeless when it was completed. All the families names were put in a pot and one was selected. When we next visited we met the lady who's family had won and we were invited to come back once all the building work in the area had been finished. (This is the house in the process of being built)

Today we went back to the site........I didn't recognise the place (trust me that is a good thing!!). There were still people living in, what I can only describe as, a shanty town but the area where the fire was has been transformed!! These are the before and after photo's!! (Can you believe the difference!!). We were invited into their home where we were presented with with drawings that had been done by the two girls who lived there and they both gave a little speech. It was very very humbling.

This is the house that BWG built



This is the lady of the house

and this is her with her daughters




Sometimes life is good!!

21 comments:

Amy said...

What a wonderful follow up to the tragedy of that fire. You and Chris made a real difference in the lives of a family.

SueG said...

An inspiration. Fantastic!

Lane said...

God that's amazing. Thank you for sharing that Carol. x

Anonymous said...

The joy on that wee girls face. Done good Hon Hats off to you /:-x

Tomato

Carol and Chris said...

Amy - I'm just really lucky that, at the moment, I don't have to work which allows me to do stuff like this!!

SueG - It was very humbling and just lovely to see them in their new home!!

Lane - I was all emotional when I got home!! I hear so many hideous stories doing the welfare stuff that it was just brilliant to get to see what a difference the work really does make!!

Tomato - :-D. Her wee speech would have brought tears to a glass eye!! Next time you visit, if you fancy it, I can take you along to the Mercy Centre and you can see what they do there - it's amazing!!

C x

JJ said...

Carol, that's fantastic news. Lovely pics.
Jjx

Carol and Chris said...

Thanks JJ. It really was nice to see what a difference our money had made!!

C x

Anonymous said...

Haven't the BWG and the people themselves made a huge difference? Great what a little helping hand can achieve - their smiles say it all!

Well done!
Love Mum xx

Carol and Chris said...

Mum - Sometimes it gets really stressful trying to get everything done and coordinated but going there and seeing the difference it can make really makes it all worthwhile!!!

C x

Mel said...

Wow! My heart swells looking at that C :-)What an amazing thing to be part of and to see such a massive difference in their lives when they would have thought everything was lost just over a year ago. Good on you!!

Carol and Chris said...

Mel - So did mine!! They were so excited to be in their new house and really excited about their future.....it was just brilliant!!

C x

DJ Kirkby said...

What a great post of hope. I am not sure if it is the perspective of the pics but the houses look very big and very close together. I am willing to believe the latter impreressioin but surely the houses are not big?

Carol and Chris said...

DJ - It's the perspective of the pics. The walkways are very narrow (They didn't used to have any walkways at all but all the families agreed to give up some space that could be used as a fire break) and the houses very small. They are all two stories in order to make the most of the land and the entire family lives there - Mum, Dad, kids and often even both sets of Grandparents!!

C x

SueG said...

And just to add a little more spice to your life, I just tagged you on my blog. Here you go......

The Lehners in France said...

Carol&Chris, this humbles me so much. Having worked in the jewellery trade and heard my boss on numerous ocassions joking we pay 2 bowls of rice per day not 1 bowl, to which everyone laughed. You have made such a difference to a family, you must be so proud of your achievement. Well done you two. Debs x

Carol and Chris said...

SueG - I've never been officially tagged before!! I'm going to have to think about this one.....

The Lehners - I'm just glad that money goes such a long way here that we were able to do it!!

C x

The Lehners in France said...

Carol&Chris I forgot to P.S. re your comment on Lanes Write. Taupe isn't just a colour, it's French for Mole (the little critter, not the skin blemish) Debs.

Anonymous said...

That's a great and highly informative article - wow how amazing it can be in Thailand. I personally recommend visiting the GingerAsia site for up to the minute advice on life hee and some funny stories including a very good forum too across Asia. Go to www.gingerasia.com

Carol and Chris said...

The Lehners - That's fab....now I can tell him that, not only is it a colour, it's an animal too!!!

C x

Carol and Chris said...

Ginger Asia - Thanks for the comment. I seriously hope that your not just trying to promote your website!!

Mel said...

I've got some major comment envy going on :-D!!! hahaha Just one more!