Imagine a mother not having enough water to wash her baby. This was the case in Huai Wad in 2005. At a village meeting, a mother gently took the water bottle of a researcher and used half the contents to wash her baby.
This simple act was reported in the researcher’s blog, who did not realise it at the time that it would lead to a solution to village’s water problems. A reader of the blog contacted the researcher to ask how they could help and before long, the “Dai Dai Dai” project team was formed in 2008 to work with the village to improve the community’s water supply. The team was made up of Thai and Australian members.
Work was undertaken in Huai Wad in 2009 and 2010 with a large sediment tank, sand filtration tanks and other storage tanks being constructed in the village. At the completion of the Huai Wad project, a review was undertaken by the team members on what had been achieved and what lessons had been learnt. A number of other villages had been identified as having similar water problems so it was decided by the team to form The Sustainable Community Foundation to continue working on water projects and other activities that would ensure the sustainability of disadvantaged villages in Northern Thailand.
The lack of access to adequate water supplies and clean drinking water is a problem experienced by many villages. It is more common among Internally Displaced People who are generally from the ethnic Hill Tribes of South East Asia. Many of these people are stateless and as a result their villages receive minimal support, for essential infrastructure such as water supply, from the government.
Many families in these communities survive on $5 per day or less and have to work hard to earn this amount. They do not have the financial resources to fund the development of a community water system that would benefit everyone. However, given the opportunity they happily contribute within their means and provide the labour needed to construct and maintain a village water system.
One most rewarding aspects for volunteers involved in these projects is the opportunity to work alongside the villagers and learn from their “local wisdom.”
If you are interested in helping the disadvantaged villages that the foundation will be working with in the future, then go to the Donate Now page and read how you can make a difference.