Department of Fashion Design and Textile Arts in the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts (RMUTT) has continuously been organizing community service projects including a project on “Bridging the gap of faith: Weaving and Dressing shoulder pieces for 9 Buddha statues in Temples, Ayuddhaya province. Moreover, community service on tie-dye workshop, community service for helping the elderly at Ban Rangsit village and at Ban Bangmuang Municipality, Bang Yai district, Nonthaburi province were done.
Recently, “Hand-made Tie Dye Cap made from the heart for cancer patient” project joined their hands with Rajamagala University of Technology Thanyaburi’s radio station FM 89.5 to help provide cancer patients at Maha Vajiralongkorn Thanyaburi Hospital, Bueng Sanan Subdistrict, Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani Province and impoverished cancer patients with tie dye cap in order to avoid hot and uncomfortable of wearing a wig.
Sujit Kaenpim, Head of the project and Lecturer at the Department of Fashion Design and Textile Arts described that 200 tie dye caps were produced by 4th year students in the Department of Painting who applied for a course on Dyeing and Design for Fashion Designing. The students had integrated their classroom knowledge with real practice to help service and benefit communities as well as to raise community awareness and to promote ‘learning by doing’ concept. Additionally these students had their chances to discuss their issues and contributing their handmade tie dye caps to the Director of Maha Vajiralongkorn Thanyaburi Hospital and other 7 Cancer Research Institutions in Thailand.
Cancer is considered to be the number one cause of death in Thailand. In one year, there were more than 100,000 people suffered from cancer and the number is still increasing. This “Hand-made Tie Dye Cap is one of the ways to help take care of cancer patients who are suffering from this tragic disease especially when they have to do the Chemo and all the hair falls off. The cap really comforts them and also build up their confidence.
Besides, there were still other factors affecting their lifestyles including discomfort of wearing wig and cleaning wig. Regarding to the cap, it is considered to be very easy to clean and yet very comfortable to wear when going outside.
Medical Doctor Arkom Chaiyaveerawattana, Director of Maha Vajiralongkorn Thanyaburi Hospital revealed that this project was just getting started, the hospital and RMUTT have given their collaboration to help comfort the patients with better life quality. Concerning art and musical therapy, the university has opened its courses on Thai traditional medicine that could be integrated with current medical practice. With the help from the hospital, these students could take their parts in raising the patient’s quality of life.
One of the patients who used to have intestinal cancer 5 years ago revealed that she had just found that she got her breast cancer and went for chemotherapy for 2 months. Because of the therapy, most of her hair fell off so she needed to wear her black wool hat all the time because it seemed polite and yet very comfortable when compared to wearing wig. She also mentioned that it was quite hard for her to select the right wig for herself. She believed that the tie dye cap was much more loveable with its handmade work that can be worn outside. She would like to say thank you to those students and teachers who had been organizing this community service project that support and provide help to the needy ones. Ms. Srithida Hongdum or ‘Catch’, a 4th year student from the Department of Painting told her story that she used to volunteer to help teach community of Ban Bangmuang Municipality, Bang Yai district, Nonthaburi to make tie dye cloth. She also expressed herself that she and her friends were making different colors and unique patterns of tie dye caps for the cancer patients. She hoped that making the tie dye caps would somehow comfort patients and certainly agreed that the project was very beneficial in terms of comforting the patients and creating them mind’s values.
Also to Ms. Kolunya Cha-oon or ‘Dew’, a 4th year students who was in the Department of Western Paintings described herself that she had always been donating her cloths to the ‘HALF WAY HOME FOR WOMEN’ Foundation in Pathum Thani. For her, it was great to see herself using her artistic skills to benefit the society especially when she saw sick patients who were waiting for help. She really believed that the project was worthwhile and hope she could do it again. Besides activities on giving caps to the patients, the musical therapy was also performed by students from the Education Program in Western Music and Vocal Education in the Department of Thai Dramatic Arts.