THALANG: Some 85 people attended the first meeting of the Thailand Tsunami Recovery Group (TTRG) at Blue Canyon Golf Club, and three sub-groups were set up to help coordinate various aspects of the volunteer relief operation.
Mark Weingard, who convened the meeting, explained that the TTRG would not be a charity itself, would not raise funds, and would not direct relief. Its aim, instead, would be to act as a central point for relief groups, allowing them to share resources and information, help one another and avoid duplication.
Mr Weingard is the founder of the Annika Linden Foundation, set up following the 2002 Bali bombing, in which his fiancée died. The foundation provides long-term aid to a number of organizations in Bali and, recently, Thailand.
An indication of the scale of the task facing relief groups was given by MR Supinda Chakraband of the Child Line charity, who said that so far her group has located 9,200 adults and 3,500 children living in temporary camps in Phuket, Phang Nga and Ranong provinces.
She added that more groups of displaced people were still being discovered.
The three groups established at the meeting were health and trauma; children education and training; and infrastructure, which will include housing, job creation and emergency response.
These groups will hold further meetings in the coming weeks. The infrastructure group will meet next Wednesday (January 26) at Laguna Beach Resort, while the children, education and training group will meet the following day in the secondary school library at Dulwich International College. The health and trauma group will convene on February 3 at Blue Canyon. All meetings will begin at 5 pm.
For further information contact Moo Baulch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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