At the end of June Billabong Golf Bar had their 2nd Charity Golf Day to raise funds for children in need. The day went well and allowed them to look around the Pattaya area for suitable areas to make a donation. Scattered around Nongprue, and many other parts of Thailand, are a number of poor families that have a child with special needs; i.e., Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities.
When this occurs, adjustments have to be made for having a child with special needs can be a joyous, rewarding but challenging experience for there are additional financial concerns that must be taken into consideration for poor families. The children need more attention and, so often, one of the parents may have to stay at home thereby reducing the ceiling as far as income is concerned. 24 hour care is so often required and when helping these children you are also helping the carers to, hopefully, make their lives just that little bit easier.
To help with this situation Watcharagon has formed a local cottage industry in Nernplabwan which is part of the Association for Persons With Intellectual Disability of Thailand, based in Bangkok. They have rented a small shop where the mothers of children with disabilities can get together to make items to sell, like cleaning fluids for every part of the house, mosquito solvents, weaving mats and blankets.
The mothers meet at the shop with their child, can talk to others parents with similar problems and have a release from their everyday family duties.
The plan is to expand the business to the point where they make sufficient funds for each family to receive a small income for their efforts and recently they have been able to go to the local market to sell their wares.
There are 15 families involved in this venture and were limited for space due to the obvious financial constraints but when representatives from the Billabong Golf Bar said hello, the possibility of enlarging the premises became a reality, and this would allow more families to be involved.
The end result is that the size of the premises has doubled and plans are being put in place for a small expansion of their manufacturing capabilities and to increase the number of families that can be involved.