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AUSTRIAN PHUKET COMMUNITY CENTER OPENED ITS GATES ON 15 DECEMBER 2006 Austrian Business Community rebuilds Tsunami stricken area of Phuket
with almost 30 Mio Baht

PhotoMiteinander ©


19. June 2007

Memory of the humanitarian disaster arising from the devastation caused by the tsunami which struck Southeast Asia on 26th December 2004 is still fresh in many communities at the Coast of the Andaman Sea. The tragic event made over 1,5 million people lose their homes an be displaced. In Thailand, the tidal wave killed 5,305 people; however, estimates are double with up to 11,000 dead bodies.
The Austrian public - and especially the Austrian Business Community - reacted swiftly to aid the Thai people struck by this disaster. On behalf of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber of Commerce, the official representative of about 350.000 Austrian companies, Hilfswerk Austria, an Austrian NGO, became active in reconstruction projects in Thailand. For its flagship-project, the “Austrian-Thai Community Centre” in Koh Siray, Hilfswerk Austria was cooperating with the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO).
One of the main goals of this initiative was poverty reduction through support for disadvantaged people in Thailand. The project layout was thus designed to meet their basic needs, to improve the quality of their lives and to reinforce their own development capacities. Civil society strengthening and participatory development promotion in the partner country was intended to be the focus of support in this context. To achieve these goals, the Austrian-Thai Community Centre was designed to comprise the following elements:

  • A Kids Care Centre (Nursery)
  • A Basic Health Care Centre (linked to the Nursery)
  • A Handy Craft Centre
  • A Public Library and Training Centre
  • A Public Park

After a construction period of almost 2 years, the Austrian Phuket Community Center was finally inaugurated on 15 December 2006. The Opening Ceremony was presided by Mr Abhisit Vejjajiva, Chairman of the Democrat Party of Thailand and Austrian Ambassador HE Arno Riedel. Guests of honor were, among others, Ms Anchalee Vanich Tephabutra, CEO of PPAO, Mr Witchan Butpavanit, Governor of Phuket, Dr. Heidi Burhart, Head of Hilfswerk Austria, and Austrian Commercial Councellor Dr. Oskar Andesner.