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Thread: Volunteer Work

  1. #1
    Dylan Resnekov Unregistered

    Default Volunteer Work

    My name is Dylan Resnekov from Australia and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time when the tsunami hit. After many friends convinced me to stay in Ko Pangang an island south east in Thailand, for the full moon party I think I learnt the true meaning of being in the right place at the right time.

    While many of my friends were in the area and missing at the time, I felt it was my duty to go over and a) find them, as well as b) help out with what ever I could. Having stayed in Phi Phi for over 2-3 months last year, I was worried about how many friends both Thai and foriegn had been affected. My friends and I ran around the beach in Pangang asking people to donate blood at the mobile blood area near the pier, but we felt that wasn?t enough despite the incredible response.

    Within a few days of the tsunami my friend Steve Shaps from South Africa and I went over Krabi town with a letter in Thai explaining we wanted to help out with what ever we could. After struggling to communicate with the Red Cross coordinator, we finally met 4 foreigners that were in bright orange vests and invited us to join their team. We were unsure of what the task was, but we knew we were going to help out with as much as we could on Phi Phi Island.

    So the next day we took a navy ship over to Phi Phi with the reality of the situation only hitting us once we stepped foot on the battered pier. Bodies awaited us some wrapped, others well....in what ever they could find.

    We soon found out our teams task was to transport the bodies from a designated area onto the navy ship. As far as I know the last statistics we heard was that 1500 or so bodies came off Phi Phi.....6 foreigners and a few Thais.....tough work... but we did well.
    Besides moving the corpses which were so badly decayed , we also assisted search and rescue teams, went on long walks with food supplies piled on our backs which we took to the locals. We also collected cats to be put in cages which were taken up to bangkok where a shelter awaited them. We assisted clean up crews burning what ever we could get our hands on and acted as contacts for many foreigners who were missing friends family etc....

    We did anything and everything in our spare time as we knew there was always someone that could be helped.

    It was both mentally and physically exhausting and despite the lack of equipment and safety gear towards the end of our work, we kept each other together the entire time.

    Times were tough, many corpses were seen/carried, lack of sleep(1-3 hours a night) and very little food. This was mainly out of choice due to the fact that the temporary kitchen on Phi Phi island was....well by aussi standards and most international countries.... contaminated. On one side of the pier we had the bodies that weren?t exactly sealed, the other side the food supplies open.....we mainly lived off mentos and biscuits when we had a chance.
    We spent many hours a day performing various tasks (mainly moving the corpses) and I will always remember the feeling of being lonely as I stood in the middle of Phi Phi Island with no one in sight, thinking of all the good times I had when I lived there a few months before the tsunami, all the amazing people that worked at the cafe's, shops or hotels....the friends who I made I promised I would come back (which was meant to be on the 27th of December after the full moon party) .......I kept my promise.....

    It was a very depressing 1-2 weeks, our team was fabulous and I was lucky enough to find one of my good Thai friends alive and roaming around. We gave him some supplies we bought from the main land and am still in contact with him today. Some of my Aussi friends set up an account for him and paid for his dive master course and we all hope he will be able to support himself from now on.....miss u deeo, ur a champ.

    I still find it amazing how strong the Thai's are. Many of the Thai's I spoke to or tried comforting told me that they were sad, but life goes on and everything happens for a reason. Some nights I cried my self to sleep I kept telling my self over and over that this is just another life lesson......we should never take things for granted.

    The Tsunami victims barely got a chance to take their last breathe, let alone say goodbye. Let this be a lesson that we never know which day is going to be our last. So when you see an opportunity, take it, because tomorrow ppl may remember you for what you did today.

    We did some amazing things. Bonds were made never to be broken (stevo, miss u man......u kept me together....will always be thankful), mitzvot (good deeds) were done and huge responsibilities were put on our shoulders....for a 19 and 21 yr old anyways.
    We met many people from all different walks of life along the way and we tried our hardest to help those who were looking for loved ones.....I am so sorry we couldn?t help everyone.
    Many of the memories are ones I wish I could leave behind but it truly is amazing what one can do if they put their minds to it.
    I am currently in the process of posting up all my pictures I took.....for now, here are the ones on a site....they are mainly the ones with us in it.....The rest are all coming.
    I assure you the smiles were not of joy, but shock.....nothing was glamorous about what we did.....but an experience I will never forget and has changed me for life.

    The site with some of the pics are:

    http://photos.yahoo.com/chatich_1

    They are under the Phi Phi album; the others are just travel pics...irrelevant....before the tsunami.

    The government suggests that Australians should try avoid tsunami affected areas such as Koh Lak, Phuket etc. However having friends that are in the current area, I can tell you that there is so much beauty one will miss out on if you do avoid these areas. Not only do the locals need the support as their seasonal income slowly depletes at a rapid rate, but the areas them selves have so much to offer. I encourage people to continue with any plans to visit these areas and support the Thai economy at a time in need.

    Thanks to my family, friends and most of all Rachel and Stevo who were with me in Phi Phi, for being so supportive since I have been back in Sydney. Very few people understand what we went through and how hard we pushed ourselves knowing we were putting our health and other things at risk. I also would like to say how amazed I was seeing everyone put in their fair share and being so thoughtful, to strangers they barely knew anything about.

    Life is very different now and most mornings I wake up as if the volunteer work I performed was yesterday.

    Every meal I eat tastes so that much better, every person I see I try smile and make an impact on and every night that passes, I remember those who perished knowing that in some way or another, they gave to those around them ...whether it be inspiration, a future or even happiness.

    Every one has it inside them to help, it doesn?t have to be on a scale such as what I went through, by simply helping a friend in need, a stranger nearby or even an organization, we can all make the world a better place.

    I remember explaining to a young foreigner who asked me why I would go towards danger or a place which was deemed a health hazard, so I told her this,,,, "The world is a very difficult place to change by your self, but if we all do a little bit, then we are one step closer"

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. Already 2 months on and the memories are still so fresh. At night when I close my eyes I still smell the contaminated air, remember the site of the bodies, the feeling of being lonely while going on hikes (search and retrieve/Missions) on the almost lunar landscape and the quite moments after a long days work knowing we would have to wake up at 6 the next morning to do the same thing.
    That is why I am posting this up in hope that others will realize there were people, average people doing everything they could to find survivors and help families in need.
    For further information, queries or simply just a chat regarding the tsunami feel free to email me at dee057@hotmail.com

    Already some survivors have contacted me and I am touched by their stories of courage and strength...it is nice to know I can relate to others even if it is by mail.
    For those who passed, RIP.......for those who were affected, I still pray every night for you.

    Regards

    Dylan

  2. #2
    Thailand Lovers Unregistered

    Default So proud of you!!

    It was such an amazing story. Thank you for sharing with us. I think you should be proud of yourself for your great help during Tsunami. I was not there. But I helped out to donate some money to Thai Red Cross.

  3. #3
    Unregistered Unregistered

    Default Volunteer Work

    Hi there,

    That is a wonderful story.

    I was wondering if you knew of any volunteer projects in thailand or anywhere int he world that need help.

    I have recently started a charity. The main objective being to create an internet portal which would match people looking to volunteer with projects around the world in need of help.

    Whilst travelling I met a high percentage of people who had looked into the possibilities of volunteering, but found that they needed to pay to help others. As a result many people did not end up volunteering. This charity will provide you all the information you need to give a helping hand in the world FOR FREE and will be 100% non-profit..

    TO START THIS I NEED YOUR HELP......PLEEEEEZZZZZ

    If you know of any volunteer projects in your home town or abroad I would be very grateful if you could e mail me the details....This is what I need ideally...

    1. Name & Place of Project.
    2. Purpose of Project.
    3. Website address if known.
    4. Tel No. & e mail of Project.
    5. Contact's name and position.
    6. Volunteer's name and email.

    If you are the volunteer and would like to share your experience, photos, and recommendations, please do so.

    Feel free to forward this email to as many people as you can.

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELPING HAND.

    Roya Elghanian

  4. #4
    Unregistered Unregistered

    Default Volunteer Projects

    HI there its Roya again.

    I am not a registered user on this site,

    So if you have any information or foward what i sent you to anyone please can you reply to roya@worldwidehelpers.org

    Thank you

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