Flood damaged autistic school comes to the attention of PSC & TFi

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Members of the executive committee of the Pattaya Sports Club (PSC) and Paul Strachan from the Thai Farang Initiative (TFi) paid a visit to the Autistic Thai Foundation School on Sukhumvit Soi 46 October 28 to survey the damage caused by the recent floods.

The downstairs room of 2 townhouses form the classrooms for the school and take care of the specific teaching requirements for the 12-15 autistic children who attend there.

Noi from Pattaya Sports Club points to how high the water level was.

Tropical storm Vamco brought a massive deluge of rain to Pattaya in mid-September and because of the low lying nature of the school and other houses on Soi 46, within just 20 minutes the flood water was nearly 2 meters high.

There was no time to save their belongings, saving the lives of the children was far more important, thus as the flood waters receded all the school’s equipment was unusable, including their cherished computer.

For the inspection, PSC President Peter Malhotra was accompanied by Noi Emmerson who oversees all the club’s charity work, and club secretary George Bennison.

Just a few of the items that are now useless because of the flooding.

They, along with Paul Strachan, surveyed the school and talked to Autistic Thai Foundation Vice President Supang Somrith, who explained that this was the second time the school had been flooded, but that this time it was much worse than before.

This soi like many in Pattaya has had its natural drainage cut off by excessive building. Therefore the water simply didn’t have anywhere to go and the solitary drain for the soi was completely inadequate.

Even after the water had gone, Supang had to gain access to her property above by climbing up the fencing and onto the roof.

(L to R) George, Supang, Noi, Paul and Peter outside the Autistic School.

The overall consensus from the visit led the PSC members and Paul to believe that the 2 downstairs rooms had to be gutted, cleaned and repainted, and that sturdy racking was need so that items could be stored above waist level, protecting them should this happen again.

This is a big job and will require some heavy manpower. However, the team felt that with their connections in the community this could be achieved.

Paul is now working with the TFi team to purchase a new computer for the school and a proposal is being put to the rest of the executive committee of the Pattaya Sports Club to pay for the cleaning materials, paint, and racking.  Emails are being sent to local entrepreneurs for assistance regarding manpower.

If you would like to assist in any way, you can contact Supang by phone on 087 025 3020.