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Wednesday 01 February 2012

Baby Nam in Thailand: 3 months on
Baby Nam in Thailand: 3 months on
Baby Nam in the arms of UK-based ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member and Operations Assistant Rebecca Ridgeway in Thailand.

A Thai mother gave birth to a baby on board an evacuation boat last October, during what were described as the worse floods to hit Thailand in 50 years. Baby Nam spent the first month of her life living in a ShelterBox tent with her family before moving back to their house in Rangsit once the floodwaters receded. A ShelterBox Operations team carrying out a monitoring and evaluation program met with baby Nam, her mother and 60-year old grandmother to see what life has been like since US-based Response Team volunteer Scott Robinson first met them three months before at the evacuation center. 

UK-based ShelterBox’s Operations Coordinator Dr. Alison Ashlin, Operations Assistant Rebecca Ridgeway and Scott spoke to Ladda Bangkeaw, Nam’s mother, in their home in Rangsit. 

"I gave birth to Nam on the evacuation boat as my home had flooded leaving me with no electricity and nowhere to sit and lay down," said Ladda. "It was a relief to reach the evacuation center, but for Nam’s first five days of her life we lived in an overcrowded hallway there. Then I met Scott who gave us a ShelterBox tent to live in giving us not just privacy, but dignity too. The tent was very comfortable and I was able to recover from the birth and look after Nam."

Three-month old baby Nam with her mother Ladda Bangkeaw.

"Coming home was a shock, the house was a mess and most of our possessions had been ruined by the floods. However, I was so happy that we had survived and ShelterBox had helped us do this. We are now slowly rebuilding our lives."

"Although this family has very little, Nam is a healthy, happy baby," said Alison. "Her birth weight was just under three kilograms and three months on she now weighs four kilograms. Ladda said she was very happy to see Scott and the rest of us. She asked how we had managed to find her and explained that she thought we had forgotten about her. She was so happy she said she could cry. It was a very emotional moment for her and us."

SRT members Scott Robinson (US), Rebecca Ridgeway (UK) with Ladda, Nam and her 60-year old Grandmother Samang Trekumpan at their home in Rangsit.

The ShelterBox Operations team have now completed the evaluation program in Thailand that was carried out to improve ShelterBox’s speed of delivery and overall response to disasters. They collected feedback from beneficiaries, spoke to in-country partners and assessed the conditions of the tents in the flood-hit areas. 

To read ShelterBox’s original story of Ladda giving birth to baby Nam please click here.
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