Low-income households in Bangkok and Thai farmers and fishermen – especially those who rely on daily wages – whose livelihood and source of income were severely disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand needed to be supported with sustenance and life essentials in order to sustain themselves.
There were two target groups. The first target group was vulnerable communities in low-income neighborhoods who, as part of the larger informal economy, felt the direct economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The second target group was Thai farmers and fishermen whose produces have accumulated – and oversupplied – given the fact that Thai’s tourism-reliant economy does not have the capacity to absorb the goods produced.
The solution was to directly deliver care packages, which contained sustenance and life essentials, that not only helped provide the vulnerable communities with life essentials and support their livelihood for more than one week but also helped struggling local producers in Thailand by sourcing products directly from farmers and fishing communities as part of care package assemble. Hence, a double-the-deed effort with one project and a national campaign.
The hub's key intention was to run a digital campaign that would result in optimal reach in engaging participants to join in the initiative, as well as shed light on this critical issue of vulnerable communities who are unable to support themselves. The Bangkok Hub organically reached out to and partnered with 19 socially-conscious influencers and celebrities in Thailand to launch this campaign to gather donations. On the CoLIFE Project website (https://www.globalshapersbangkok.org/colife), participants could join in the effort by donating a care package (which costs 300 Thai Baht (ca. USD 10)) that directly provided sustenance to one family for one week, supported Thai farmers, and joined a raffle to win ‘once in a lifetime experience’ with the donor’s chosen celebrity/influencer.
Short & Long-Term Goals/Results:
Within 7 weeks, the CoLIFE team collected almost 2 million Thai Baht (USD 67,000) and distributed 3,883 care packages to over 3,883 families, consequently providing 116,490 meals and impacting the lives of 15,532 people. To multiply the effect, the CoLIFE team assembled these care packages using locally-sourced agricultural products from Thai farmers and fisherman (purchased over 800 kilograms of fish and over 14 tons of rice) whose livelihood has also been disrupted as domestic demand decreased and international tourism demand plummeted to virtually zero as Thai borders closed in early 2020. The project was hatched as a quick response to help support affected victims.
CoLIFE raised 1,925,463 THB (67,000 USD) in value, which resulted in 3,883 care packages distributed to 15,532 people in vulnerable communities. In total, the project provided 116,490 meals. 22 Shapers took part in the project (with an additional 50 volunteers who joined). In addition, the project also helped to support struggling local producers by sourcing directly from fishermen and farmers to include their products in the care packages. 2,288 fishes were bought directly from fishing communities and 14 tons of rice were purchased directly from farmers.
The project was a great success. What started with cold calling potential partners and sponsors, ended with 26 influencers, 6 partners, and 4 large corporate sponsors including Beiersdorf, Charoen Pokphand Group, Laemthong and Siribuncha.