Together with his Thai friends, Emiel advised where our support would be needed most, both from short- and long-term perspective. In the first days, the team concentrated on the provisioning of basic supplies to the community that has gathered around Krabi’s mosque. Although the distribution of goods by government and others – as, for instance, the Chief Minister of Perlis of Malaysia last week- is coming up to speed, it remains of importance to assist the people with practical, daily things and a helping hand, where needed.

Registration is key at this moment. The local officials work hard to get this extensive task done. We try to assist them where possible. In particular we try to detail the situation of the families that are suddenly faced with the care of the orphan children, after their parents tragically died in the tsuanmi. The consequences of the disaster are hardest felt by these families. We are actively seeking contact with other organisations to provide concrete facts and details and underline the urgency. We ask for cooperation in finding structural solutions.

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But more is to be done for all children. Many of them lost family and friends while running away from the upcoming water. Emotional stories we hear; many children have trouble finding their sleep at night. Emiel writes:

“Currently, they have identified 9 children that dit not survive. It is still unclear how many children are missing since there was no school on this day after Christmas, and Phi Phi habitants did leave the islands and scattered throughout the country. Those children that have been traced are currently staying at schools in their temporary place of stay. These schools are located across the country. For these children the situation is extremely difficult since they are following regular classes and no psychological support is provided. It is important that such support is available..”

Last week a team of teachers and education representatives, headed by school supervisor Suk Dii, visited the Phi Phi island to review the situation at the local school. All five teachers -three Thai, one British and one Canadian- survived. 177 children attended the institution.

New teaching materials, facilities and stock are required. Tomorrow we will receive a detailed overview of items necessary to ensure that school is rebuilt and lessons restart as soon as possible.

With your support, and with local strength, we aim to achieve this ambition. And, by doing so, provide a place to learn, laugh and play back to the children of Phi Phi.

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