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House Raiser - Help lift Jo out of the water
฿9,600 raised
10% of ฿95k goal
6 contributors
101 Days running
Jo is a tuk tuk driver in Chiang Mai. He lives in a shanty community by a canal. When it rains heavily the canal floods his house. An NGO has donated plans to raise his house above the flood level. The cost is 150,000 baht. We've raised 56,690 already.
My name is Paul Sugars and I've lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand for 19 years. My friend Jo is a 57 year old tuk tuk driver. His family live in a shanty community by a canal that runs though the park at the side of the road that goes to the airport. In the rainy season Jo's house floods almost every time it rains heavily. It can be 10 or more times per month.The city authorities open the sluice gates to let water out of the moat after a few minutes of heavy rain. In the old days the city used to dredge the canal and his house didn't flood. Now it floods when they open the gates, sometimes by inches, sometimes by a foot, sometimes by 3 feet. Other people live by the canal but their houses are higher or have been raised already. Jo doesn't have the money to raise his house. 
 
I've known Jo for several years. He rescued a dog that I lost while walking in the park. Jo and his wife take care of other stray cats and dogs in their home. Jo rents a tuk tuk at 160 baht a day plus fuel. Many days he doesn't even make as much as the rent and fuel so is permanently in debt to the tuk tuk hire company. I have hopes of helping Jo to earn more income. I wrote to Grab Taxi and asked if they had any plans to add tuk tuks to their app. They wrote back and said that they would do that. I will help Jo to apply to Grab when available for tuk tuks.
 
Right now, though, the family is having the hardest of times. The constant flooding means Jo is always having to race home to lift the family's things above water and so he's loosing time, energy and money. The family skip meals. Jo's daughter sometimes goes to school with less the the recommended school lunch money. Jo's wife is not in the best of health having recently injured herself helping to lift heavy furniture above the flood waters. Jo was happier when I first met him but these days he cries a lot. He's on the edge of complete failure. 
 
After posting Jo's plight on facebook many of my friends responded with all sorts of ideas and offers of help. One big help was that I was put in contact with an architect from The Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI), a Thai NGO http://www.codi.or.th/housing/, and we visited Jo's house together to see what could be done. The architect viewed the house, measured up, and within 2 weeks produced a complete set of plans for rebuilding the house above the flood level. The plans can be seen in the video below (or maybe above). He also provided a detailed costing for the rebuilding, also below, which totalled just over 150,000 Baht ($4,500), and said it would be possible to finish the renovation within 1 month.
 
When with the architect I asked Jo if he would be willing to move to another area if alternative housing somewhere could be found. He said yes. The architect said that his organization has housing in various places but the cost of the move/purchase would be at least 200,000 Baht ($6,000), so renovating Jo's existing house is the cheaper option.
 
After receiving the plans and the estimate, friends from all around, including local musicians and artists, helped me to organise a fund-raising concert at Thapae East on 26th August 2017, 'The Concert for Jo'. We raised almost 29,190 Baht at the event and another 27,500 Baht was sent via paypal and bank transfers. So we have 56,690 Baht, but we need at least 151,000 Baht to complete the house renovations. We need to raise another 95,000 Baht. The response so far has been so great that although we still have more than half the money to raise, I feel like we are well over half way to raising the house.
 
If you can, please help to raise the remaining money we need to lift a family out of an endless cycle of flooding and hard times.
 
And thank you for helping me help a friend.
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