Swedish Red Cross Staff Available on Kata, Phuket

A meeting place is open on Kata beach, Phuket, from 14 October 2005 onwards, and run by the Swedish Red Cross. The purpose is to offer a meeting point for Swedes returning to Thailand but also for those on the island that were affected by the tsunami.
       “We have better capacity now to run such a centre, when there are few Swedes left to identify, and as the tourist season starts for real in November. Up until then there have not been many Swedes coming and when more of them are we want to be available if they want to ask questions about the work or just talk,” says Swedish Red Cross representative Susanna Söderström on Kata beach.
       Up until September around 1300 Swedish relatives and victims had been in contact with the organisation while visiting Thailand.
       Hundreds of Swedes are expected to visit Thailand for the memorial services during November and the first anniversary of the tsunami disaster.
       It is the first time the Swedish Red Cross has embarked on an involvement of this kind outside Sweden, but it was justified in this case due to the catastrophe’s extent and the high number of Swedish victims, according to Ms Söderström.
       In this unique bilateral foreign involvement they also collaborate with the Thai Red Cross.
       “When they understood that we gave human support also on location in Thailand with Swedes, they became very interested, as they don’t have this kind of activity in their repertoire. We are commencing a collaboration with Chulalongkorn University to support Thais and implement this within the Thai Red Cross,” says Ms Söderström adding that the Swedish country section is very proud to offer support not only to Swedes here and in Sweden but to also be able to give something back to the Thai population by supporting their national Red Cross.

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