LONG-DISTANCE friendship has not dwindled between Warwick Rotary Club and people in Thailand during the pandemic.
The local charity established Warwick’s annual Thai Festival to raise money following the tsunami which devastated the country in 2005. Ever since, the annual event has sought to raise money for poor communities and raise awareness of Thai customs and tradition – and for the last three years the festival has been organised by Magic of Thailand whose team are from the country.
But since 2020’s festival fell prey to pandemic restrictions, the rotarians and Magic of Thailand have been supporting their friends and family overseas in other ways.
Like many, the country was subject to strict lockdown from the beginning of April with businesses closing, and unemployment rife.
Magic of Thailand’s Jackie Winitkun described the struggle of more impoverished communities, including her home town Sukothai where she sent donations of food and raised more than £3,000 to support the vulnerable.
Rotarians donated £250 for food parcels which were distributed by Jackie’s mother and others in the country.
Jackie said Thailand suffered just over 50 deaths from the virus which she puts down to the population rapidly adopting face masks and maintaining social distancing.
A rotary spokeswoman said: “Lessons could be learned from the Thai approach to the virus and we asked for our appreciation to be conveyed to the team in Thailand.
“Ties of friendship have been strengthened and we look forward to the Thai festival returning next May.”