Former Culture Minister Sonthaya Kunplome and Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome joined city council members at the Feb. 18 opening near Free Kick Football and Namchai Electronics.
Former Culture Minister Sonthaya Kunplome presides over the Soi 5 Thunwa Community’s garment center opening.
Founded in 2011 in honour of HM the King’s birthday, the Soi Thunwa 5 Community is listed as a medium-sized neighborhood with 643 residents. It received 40,000 baht from the Pattaya Social Development Department. Community officials spent 25,000 baht to purchase a herbal-water production machine and 15,000 baht to build a center for distributing the community’s batik fabric.
The fabric factory has not only increased jobs, but income for neighborhood residents who now don’t have to go elsewhere to look for jobs. It also benefits the unemployed elderly by offering jobs and income, which promotes emotional and mental well-being, officials said.
Community board member Aree Makusah explained that residents draw designs on the unbleached fabric before using hot candle wax to paint. Therefore, a single shirt takes a long time to make, he said. For dyed batik fabric ordered from Phuket, about two meters costs 500-700 baht and most of the customers are government officials, who would order in sets of 5-10 shirts.