Single-mum with two kids fights for survival after being laid-off amid Covid-19 crisis


There are about 1.4 million single-parent families in Thailand and most of them have inadequate monthly income, according to recent studies. Napapach Payakkham’s family is one of them. 

“I could not make ends meet, and now, even worse, I have lost my job,” Napapach, 49, says. She has just been laid off from her job at Thailand’s giant Central Department Store. 

It was laid off as the company said it wants to restructure its operations to lessen the impact of the Covid-19 spinoff. Central and other department stores have been ordered by the authorities to shutdown temporarily, as part of the Thai government’s efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Due to the pandemic and lockdown limits on the, large numbers of people have lost their jobs and about 28 million have registered for the government’s cash handout scheme which offers Bt5,000 a month for three months to 14 million people affected by the virus crisis. Napapach is not eligible for the cash handout, but she gets compensation from the company. 

Her former husband, a Nigerian national, left her after she gave birth to her daughter. She has one daughter, aged 7, who lives with her and experiments in a Bangkok school. “I really worry about her future as now she studies in a dual-language programme at Sainamtip School in Bangkok, but after I lost job I might not be able to afford the school tuition fee,” she says. 

Over the years, as she lost one job before getting another and being laid off later, she had to send her nephew, an eight-year-old, to stay with her elderly parents in Phitsanulok province three years ago, while she sent money to her parents for raising him. Her nephew calls her mom. Let’s take a look at the video clip as she tells her story. Anyone who wants to contribute to supporting her family can send money to her bank account: Kasikornbank 7192332847.