Expats in Chiang Mai Thailand are beginning to come together to create support systems for the most vulnerable as the covid-19 virus escalates. A newly-minted Chiang Mai Search & Rescue is creating a social safety net where volunteers will help care and provide for those who may need it.
The Chiang Mai Search & Rescue is working with the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club and the Lanna Care Net, Honorary British Consul Ben Svasti told City News.
He said that Thai society has a strong social safety net and that foreign residents lack support. So above all it is important that expats come together to support our most vulnerable.
Robert King, who recently formed the Chiang Mai Search & Rescue organization is attempting to gather an army of volunteers. Those who can help out, while finding people who might need help.
“First and foremost this is a 100% volunteer organization. There are no fees, dues, acceptance of any monies, no tips and anyone attempting do so will be dismissed ASAP,” insisted King who is a former member of Calgary Search and Rescue (CALSARA) from Calgary, Canada.
Expats helping Expats – Chiang Mai Search & Rescue organization
He was a team leader, medic and tracker with about eight years in the service as a volunteer. King is currently a paramedic and works back in Canada. He has been going back and forth from Canada to Thailand for a few years.
“As we enter uncharted waters,” he continued, “I thought we could base this group on my old team back in Canada. The Canadian team has been very effective with the community. I think it could make a real difference in Chiang Mai. Northern Thailand has a lot of people who may need help such as isolated seniors.
Expats with compromised health etc…In the last 48 hours I have had about 20 offers to volunteer and the requests keep coming. I can scale this up very efficiently and quickly.”
“There is a lady who has offered to care for pets for those who are unable to,” he said. “We didn’t even think we needed this service, but it’s a great idea. There are also groups of expat bikers who have offered to deliver goods, medical supplies and food.
Two expat doctors have volunteered to help. Everyone can bring something to the table. And if you are sitting at home panicking or feeling vulnerable, just get in touch. We will try to help in anyway. Reach out so you know you are not alone.”
CityNews has just put King in touch with the other groups with similar aims and we hope that they can work together should the situation arise.
If you have something to contribute – it can be anything, your language skills, your cooking, anything at all – then please get in touch.