A year has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck the world, and we are still reeling from its impact. As strict lockdowns and border closures are continuously enforced everywhere, life as we know it has drastically changed. Its ripple effect has left a sizable dent in various industries, affecting people from all walks of life, while governments and private entities continually battle this silent killer.
Like its Southeast Asian neighbors, Thailand’s economy has been pummeled by the pandemic and is expected to record a 6.5% contraction in 2020. Reliant on tourism cash flow, data from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports showed that tourist arrivals in 2020 plunged to 6.7 million from 39.9 million a year earlier. This generated a total of 760 million baht in tourist receipts, a drastic drop from around 3 trillion baht in 2019.
Although Thailand’s Ministry of Finance has forecasted the country’s economy to grow by 4.5% this year, the projection has recently been slashed to 2.8% after a resurgence of fresh COVID cases and new government stimulus measures.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s economy has seen its first full-year slump in more than 2 decades, dropping by 2.07% in 2020. The country also has the highest COVID caseload and death toll in the whole of Southeast Asia. On the island of Bali where experts estimate 80% of the economy directly or indirectly relies on tourism, the provincial manpower agency has stated that at least 75,000 workers have either been laid off or forced to take unpaid leave as a result of the pandemic. During a meeting with Indonesia’s governors last year, President Joko Widodo has stated that the biggest economic contraction in Indonesia was recorded in Bali, with a negative growth of 10.98%.
The Indonesian government is seeking to bring a 5% economic growth in 2021 and hopes that its vaccination program that kicked off in January will help boost economic recovery.
While we can only wait until things take a turn for the better, we can do our part in our own little way to reach out and help save humanity. Here is a list of active charities and non-government organizations in Thailand and Bali where you can lend a hand in making a difference in the lives of those devastated by COVID-19 in these beautiful destinations that they call home.
The Mirror Foundation
As unemployment rates rise due to the ongoing pandemic, The Mirror Foundation has created a new employment program to assist jobless citizens, providing job opportunities for the homeless, unemployed, and the elderly. Selected individuals are to receive THB400 daily for a required five hours of rendered work.
You can help generate new jobs with your financial donations to go to their funds to pay laborers.
Learn more about the organization here.
COVID Thailand Aid
The highly-successful charity organization raised as much as THB3.5 million in donations last year, which helped reach 37 provinces and send aid to 88,400 Thais. They are now aiming to hit THB2 million in their second tranche to continue their mission of helping the underprivileged and providing emergency assistance to medical frontliners. COVID Thailand Aid also uses its fund to help empower children in rural areas affected by natural calamities, such as floods.
Find out more on how you can help. You can also donate non-monetary items such as dry food, general medicine, and hygiene products.
National Blood Center – Thai Red Cross Society
Blood bags are vital supplies that the healthcare industry can never go without. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic hampering blood donations and lowering reserves even further, The National Blood Center is now seeking help from the public to donate blood while observing social distancing and other new normal protocols.
You can reach out to them and find out where you can donate through their website.
Samut Sakhon Hospital
Help medical frontliners protect themselves better with ample protective gear and medical devices. Samut Sakhon Hospital needs donors who can support them by sending food, water, masks, sanitizers, and other essential goods to sustain them during the pandemic.
You can find out more on how you can reach out and donate here.
Crisis Kitchen Bali
Located in the beautiful Tropicana Cafe in Umalas, this local initiative has helped keep locals fed during these difficult times thanks to their grocery care packs and nourishing meals. Their GoFundMe page has raised near USD80,000 in donations and has allowed the group to feed a thousand families.
The Ubud-based non-profit has helped the marginalized sector in Indonesia while devising different poverty alleviation solutions. They were able to launch a public education campaign and a sanitizing kit production and distribution drive in their own way.
Kopernik has also supported medical frontliners supplying them with essential items, such as gowns, head and shoe covers, face shields, face masks, and sanitizers.
Check out their website to find out more on how you can support their cause during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Access to clean water is essential nowadays, and Social Impakt has been vocal in addressing Bali’s problem areas. Their aim is to provide an affordable and earth-friendly alternative water filtration through the Navaza water filter.
The plastic-reducing water filtration technology aims to help COVID-19-stricken rural communities in dire need of potable water supplies–something that is an expensive necessity in Bali as tap water is undrinkable.
You can learn more of their initiative and further cause here.
The tour company is now mobilizing their agency with the “One Million Meal Coupon Movement,” a three-month-long initiative that aims to provide one million coupons enough to feed 16,000 people or 5,500 people per month. This project offers each person 60 coupons per month with a coupon equating to one meal in a local warung.
Yayasan Team Action Amed
Established in 2017 to provide assistance for the evacuees of the Mt. Agung eruption that year, Yayasan Team Action Amed has since continued to raise funds and gather donations to sponsor different causes and support programs throughout the pandemic.
Currently, the organization allocates donations to fund crisis and community care for various vulnerable individuals and families. One-time donations, for example, are used to fund for baby formula or medical transport for patients in need of hostipal attention. Alternatively, ongoing regular donations allow the organization to ensure consistent support, such a sending a child to school or feeding a family of 4.
Learn more about Yayasan Team Action Amed and their continued efforts by visiting their website.