Last weekend I drove down to the Khlong Toey neighbourhood in Bangkok, more known to Bangkokians as the slum. Most people you meet think that Khlong Toey is not “really” a slum in the sense of “slum”… if you look a slums around the world, like in India or the Philippines, this one is pretty “clean” but it doesn’t mean that people aren’t living in difficult situations though.
Mia Palmqvist, a woman I met a few years ago, at the time she lived in Sweden but she regularly travelled to Thailand, to work and be involved in charity work with different Orphanages both in Bangkok and Up-country.
Since a little over a year she wanted to come live in Thailand, to build her catering business “Mammas Kök” and change horizon. A brave decision when you leave “temporarily” your family in Sweden. Her very supportive partner and her son, have encouraged her enormously in this new venture. Mia & Marcus (who are not a couple!, but more like sister & brother), Marcus by the way, works regularly with the Swedish Embassy here in Bangkok, are lovely and very involved people when it comes to the poverty in which these children are living, in these neighbourhoods. They also run together, separately from Mammas kök, a charity named: Back to the Roots Thailand.
Anyway back to that afternoon last weekend, long tables were put out in the small alley and there were plenty of coloured papers, ribbons, colour pencils, glue, scotch tape and paper plates to make all these wonderful Easter decorations. The children were quite shy at first, nobody wanted to approach the table to start their “arts & craft” but once the first child got some courage all the others followed and then the tables were filled with joyous children being very concentrated on their art…
Ewa-Britt and Susanne, two Swedish ladies I know here in Bangkok through the organisation, SWEA Bangkok, Swedish Women’s Educational Association, were there as well helping out, they were really good at the “artsy” stuff, I’m less of an artist in this specific field, so I took the pictures, which is usually “my job” at these occasions…
Mia had as usual made some lovely food, chicken and bacon buns, my favourite was of course the “chocolate balls” just love them! They had also prepared Easter eggs, flown in from Sweden, with candy + some small gifts and with a really nice donation from Swedish company, Tetra Pak Thailand, the children also got milk, soya drinks and juices as well.
SWEA had a donation as well to Mammas kök, specially for this event. As a member of SWEA myself, I find it extremely important, beneficial and satisfying to donate and work with charity which thrive to help the one’s in need the most in the society and I think with this event Mia & Marcus spread warmth, care and joy through Swedish culture and traditions.