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Phuket’s Home for Life: Now assisting more than 200 women, children with HIV/Aids

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket’s Home for Life: Now assisting more than 200 women, children with HIV/Aids | The Thaiger

PHUKET: There aren’t many places to turn to in Thailand for the many thousands of destitute, HIV-positive women who have been cast out of their home communities due to ignorance, but the Life Home Project (LHP) on Phuket’s Sireh Island accepts such women from all over the nation, warmly welcoming them into their family.

Last month, the LHP took in four new cases, all from Songkhla province. The women joined the 17 other adults and 20 children, aged 3 to 16, already residing at the home.

Project director Daoroong “Joojee” Rodsomnam says: “Here they receive shelter, food, water, electricity, clothes and everything else they need, free of charge, as well as some vocational training.”

It’s an unprejudiced environment that lets the women and children have a better life, she says.

The LHP is a non-governmental organization set up as a charitable foundation under Thai law.

“Our project does not have a main sponsor. We just run on donations and apply for government funding. We don’t have a regular source of funding from month to month,” she notes.

But this is a special month for the LHP and the women it cares for. The St Patrick’s Ball, which was held in Phuket late last month, raised over 1 million baht (approx US$ 30,000) from ticket sales and an auction. On top of that, the Irish government donated an additional 300,000 baht.

“The people were very generous and it was a wonderful event. It means a lot to the women at the LHP and myself. We are very excited about what we can do and the people we can help with this money,” Joojee said.

The 300,000 baht donation from the Irish Government will go toward repairing and maintaining the five-year-old home and its problematic water supply system.

The remainder will help the LHP continue to provide for its residents, fund its scholarship program for 170 children with AIDS, and buy materials the women need to learn new vocations like sewing, painting and handicraft production.

“We will try to make this money last,” Joojee explains.

Although they do a good job alleviating the physical and social trauma that comes with HIV/Aids, the LHP is well aware that prevention and education are the best ways to mitigate the spread of the disease.

The reason the women end up at the home is all too often the same, she explains.

“When her family and community find out she has HIV, they don’t want to take care of her because they are afraid [of becoming infected themselves]. Often, [the infected person] also loses her job.

“We [try to] discuss the situation with the family and inform them about Aids. We tell them that they can have contact with the infected person without catching it themselves, and that it is not dangerous because HIV does not spread by touch.

“Someone who gets infected with HIV is still the same person. That’s what these families need to realize,” Joojee says.

The LHP also runs an Aids awareness program in schools throughout Phuket.

According to the Phuket Public Health Office, there were 7,162 registered HIV patients in Phuket as of last month. This represents an increase of 212 cases over the past seven months.

If you would like to help the LHP, telephone 076-614060 or email info@lifehomeproject.org.

— Alexandra Andersson

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Technology

Paris Airshow overshadowed by Boeing’s woes

The Thaiger

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Paris Airshow overshadowed by Boeing’s woes | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The new, single-aisle Airbus A321NeoXLR, extra-long-range version

Boeing suffered more setbacks whilst Airbus launched an update to their single-aisle line up. Day one at the Paris Airshow.

Boeing’s latest creation the 777X will have to wait for General Electric’s specially-constructed new jets to arrive following another delay in testing.

The long delay is a blow to Boeing, already struggling to cope with the crisis in its single-aisle 737 MAX jet program. It will likely postpone the new 777’s entry into service, planned for the middle of next year, and will hit both Boeing’s airline customers and the downstream supply chain.

GE Aviation say they’ve found unexpected wear in a component for the new GE9X engine it is making for Boeing’s latest version of the 777, the world’s largest twin-engined jet, forcing a delay of several months while it redesigns and tests the part.

Boeing commercial airplanes boss Kevin McAllister told Reuters it was premature to predict any delays to the 777X program. The planemaker says they’re still targeting a maiden flight this year and entry into service the next.

This year’s Paris Airshow, usually a slug-fest between the US and European plane manufacturers, is being over-shadowed this year by the problems the US Seattle-based company is facing, on many fronts.

Meanwhile, Airbus has used the show to launch a long-range version of its A321neo jet, which will allow airlines to carve out new routes with smaller planes.

The Airbus chief salesman Christian Scherer says the new single-aisle A321 variant will be able to economically fly “from north-eastern Asia into south Asia, from the Middle East to Bali or from Japan deep into Australia, and so on”.

The new A321 variant is a direct competitor to the troubled Boeing 737 make-over, the MAX 8 & 9 series, which has become embroiled in controversy since the crash of two of the new planes, in October last year and March this year. The model remains grounded around the world as airlines moot cancellations of orders and court cases are being mounted by families of the dead passengers from the two disasters.

Sources at the Paris Airshow says Airbus was trying to assemble close to 200 orders or conversions to the new A321 model as it chases deals with carriers including American Airlines, JetBlue, Cebu Air and Frontier Airlines owner Indigo Partners.

Paris Airshow overshadowed by Boeing's woes | News by The Thaiger

The new Boeing 777X model is facing further delays with an announcement that GE have to do further testing of the jet’s new engines.

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Bangkok

Chinese move their purchase power away from Bangkok condo market

The Thaiger

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Chinese move their purchase power away from Bangkok condo market | The Thaiger

Chinese condo buyers are veering their purchase power away from the Bangkok property market citing the strong Thai currency, overpricing and a supply glut.

  • 2015 – 5.8 Yuan to the Thai Baht
  • 2019 – 4.4 Yuan to the Thai Baht

Chinese move their purchase power away from Bangkok condo market | News by The Thaiger

The rise of the baht and the weakening of the Chinese Yuan over the past four years, have culminated in a 25% softening in Chinese investment power in the Thai property market (chart from xe.com)

Property consultants say that Chinese buyers are now containing their investment risk by buying into the lower-end 2-6 million baht condo market instead of the 5-10 million baht condos they were previously purchasing.

At the same time the annual returns for Bangkok condominiums is reported to have dropped from 6-7% five years ago to only 3-4% in some locations in the current market.

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Simon Lee, President of property brokerage Angel Real Estate Consultancy, says overall sales volume of Bangkok condos bought by Chinese buyers will shrink by half in 2019.

He also notes that the current Thai government crackdown on investors renting out condos on daily or weekly leases, has scared a lot of new investment into the sector away  as the ‘law’ appears to be applied in a haphazard manner.

The Chinese investors are also expressing disappointment when they buy into a development at one cost, only to find that locals pick up the balance of the stock at a lower price as the developers clears the stock.

Bangkok’s soaring land prices, which should see the value of condos rise, is being balanced out with the sheer glut of stock available, pushing down values. Rental returns are also being pushed down by the volume of stock available to the rental market.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Here’s another report about signs of weakness emerging in the Bangkok condo market from The Thaiger.

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Business

‘Fast and Furious 9’ to be partly filmed in southern Thailand, including Phuket

The Thaiger

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‘Fast and Furious 9’ to be partly filmed in southern Thailand, including Phuket | The Thaiger

The latest sequel of the ‘Fast and Furious’ movie franchise will partly be filmed in Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi and Surat Thani next month.

Yesterday Piya Petonji, the film’s production manager, met with Krabi Governor M.L. Kitibadee Prawit at the Krabi City Hall before the cast arrives and filming begins.

The filming will be from July 1-27 in locations around Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi and Surat Thani. It is estimated the production will bring a 340 million baht benefit to Thailand and the local film industry.

'Fast and Furious 9' to be partly filmed in southern Thailand, including Phuket | News by The Thaiger

The Krabi Governor says this is a good opportunity for Thailand to present its beautiful nature, culture and history to the world through the film. There has been no announcement of when filming may be taking place around Phuket’s roads.

The Thaiger recommends the plot of the film as a race between a visa-run passenger van and a Chinese Tour Bus to the Malaysian border, with a feature muay thai face-off on Maya Bay beach between Vin Diesel and Leonardo DiCaprio (though the 45 year old might have to get some training in before returning to ‘The Beach’).

Here’s our Top Ten movies made around Phuket and Thailand.

'Fast and Furious 9' to be partly filmed in southern Thailand, including Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Leonardo in Phuket last year during a quick break

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