Famed AIDS activist and monk Alongkot Dikkapanyo led alms-giving ceremonies to raise funds for the relocation of an AIDS hospice evicted from its Pattaya neighborhood by intolerant neighbors.
Luang Phu Alongkot, as he is known, is the abbot of Phra Baht Nam Phu Temple in Lopburi, which has been caring for AIDS patients since 1992 and filled the gap between government and private sectors in allowing HIV patients to die with dignity.
He has now brought his considerable reputation to bear for the Glory Hut Foundation, which landed in headlines worldwide in 2012 when residents of Pattaya’s Lang Nern Community voted overwhelmingly to force the non-governmental charity organization to move elsewhere and take its 35 HIV patients with it.
Months of negotiations by Nongprue Sub-district failed to dissuade the locals, who were lambasted in the press and social media for being “prejudiced” and “narrow-minded”.
Alongkot led monks in receiving donations during ceremonies at Nongprue Health Park on Dec. 1 and 2. The first day he also led an alms procession from Mike Shopping Mall to Wat Chaimongkol Market, the Grand Hall Market and Big C South Pattaya.
In addition to receiving alms, Alongkot also preached Dec. 1 on a roadside near Thepprasit Market.
Everyone who contributed to the cause got more than just satisfaction of helping the cause. Those who gave 1,000 baht or more received Phra Baht Nam Phu 25th anniversary coins. Donors of 500 baht received a smaller coin while 300-baht donors received a t-shirt.
The goal was to help Nongprue to collect the last 500,000 baht of the 2.4-million-baht budget to fully build-out Glory Hut’s new home on two rai of land in the Nong Maikaew Community. The sub-district paid for one rai and the NGO for the other.
Nongprue Mayor said on Nov. 28 that the facility is now 90 percent complete with only interior decoration needing finished.
The main home can accommodate 30 patients in sections segregated by sex. A second two-story building will house the cafeteria, kitchen and staff accommodations.