Described as the worst monsoon season flooding in recent history, Thailand’s so-called “Great Flood” has left hundreds dead and millions without homes, inflicting psychological suffering among many evacuees.
Amazingly spared has been the capital of Bangkok, from where teams of Jewish volunteers venture out daily to distribute food and basic supplies to those in need.
Led by Chabad-Lubavitch of Bangkok co-director Rabbi Nehemiah Wilhelm, the groups consist of other local rabbis and Israeli backpackers.
“There are several places around Bangkok, small villages, main roads and farms that have a lot of flooding,” details Wilhelm.
“So we are going to small places and handing out food and basic things to help them survive.”
Though many have lost relatives and their homes, Wilhelm says that each visit seems to give victims a bit of hope.
“They are so excited when they see us,” relates the rabbi.
Flood waters are expected to take up to two weeks to recede.
“They are happy that we’re thinking of them and helping.”
While the rains have subdued, the flood waters are expected to take up to two weeks to recede.
Chabad of Thailand is no stranger to helping out during natural disasters. After the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami left thousands dead, the Chabad Tsunami Relief effort worked tirelessly to help Jewish and non-Jewish survivors in every way.
“We want to make the world a better place,” says Wilhelm, noting that the Israeli embassy will join the relief effort next week, “so we help everyone.”