How it all started ...
By Sunita Kulisra
In March 1992 two ladies were together at the Lakeside Villa 1 swimming pool. They came up with a great idea of forming a social club in the Bangna-Trat area. The idea was to get together not only socially, but also to do some activities together to make the best use of the time, as the traffic was particularly bad in those days. We hoped to get enough people together, who had different talents and loads of time to spare. They could do things together without having to go into Bangkok, an experience which inevitably involved several hours of pain and anguish sitting in traffic due to the fact that the expressway and elevated highway did not exist then.
So forms were distributed during evening walks or when seeing new faces at Bangkok Patana School (I received my form during one of these evening walks!). When the day for the first meeting arrived, to everyone’s surprise almost 30 ladies showed up. The response was tremendous, thus SILC was officially born. A president (now Chairman) and a vice president were elected and members were assigned to different committees.
The first few months were hectic. The active members were running around in different directions to get as much information as possible about the Samut Prakarn area. Several activities were organized by different members with various talents. These included aerobics, a book club, and tennis to name but a few. The atmosphere created by the club was warm and welcoming, like a family. After all the club meetings and activities were set, the club members turned their attention to aiding underprivileged children and adults. Since I had lived in Thailand for many years and had already been part of a group (ISG) doing social welfare work, I was able to provide a lot of information about welfare homes. In the meantime, I had started giving Indian Cooking classes to some very interested members. This provided an opportunity for our first fundraising event - ‘An Indian Evening’.
I provided traditional and new Indian clothing for a fashion show. It was a great evening and we were able to collect 15,500 THB, however, we had still not decided how we were going to spend it. Then one of our members found out about the Chanjaprook Foundation. This was a foundation run by a Dr.Cleopan who took babies that had been born inside the prison to the foundation where they could be cared for whilst their mothers served their sentences. We decided that this was where our money should go so, a few members, myself included, went to present the money to Dr.Cleopan. After that, the community team went to many different places.
Over the years the SILC Community has continued to do wonderful work in and outside the Bangna area. Looking back now, the club has come a long and successful way with many new members and ideas. We members and many Thai children have certainly benefitted from that first bright idea to create SILC!