Social Services:
Diana Jongjintanakarn

Diana set up the Facebook Page, Rao Tong Rod (We Must Survive), with three friends to help Covid-19 patients. Now We must survive has more than 1,000 volunteers.

Achievement

  • Diana was awarded "The Dedicated Person for Society" by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security in 2021.
  • Diana received the Pid Thong Lang Phra award from the Crime Journalist Association of Thailand in 2021.

Work Experience

  • TV host for Teen Talk (1994)
  • TV host for Iron Chef Thailand and The Next Iron Chef since 2018
  • Trilingual MC (Thai, English and Chinese) at events

Education

Master of Fine Arts (Motion Pictures and Television), Academy of Art University (USA)



A leader is born

Last July, a viral video showed the celebrated MC Diana Jongjintanakarn trying to hold back her tears while talking on the phone with an elderly Covid-19 patient who had low blood oxygen levels. When Diana told the patient to breathe in and out slowly, she became emotional. She then handed the phone to her friend because she could not hold back her tears. The elderly patient later passed away.

The elderly patient was one of the numerous cases that Diana encountered as a Covid-19 volunteer.

Diana, better known as Di, is well known for being a trilingual MC (Thai, English and Chinese) for decades. Since April 25, 2021, Diana has had a new role after she set up the Facebook Page, Rao Tong Rod (We Must Survive), with three friends to help Covid-19 patients.

In an interview on the TV programme Khui Sab Show on Channel One (31). Diana revealed that she witnessed the death of many patients on audio or video calls.

“I cried a lot and I had to wipe away my tears when I was on the phone with patients. I had to encourage them. I could not show weakness because they needed my help,” Diana said.

Diana helped her first Covid-19 patient when her best friend, lukthung singer, Nongpanee “Jah” Mahadthai, told her that a patient was asking for help through Nongpanee’s Instagram. They both coordinated with contacts and were able to help the patient get admitted into a hospital. After that, more people contacted them for help, so Diana decided to set up the Facebook page We Must Survive.

From only four volunteers on April 25, 2021, We Must Survive now has more than 1,000 volunteers. They help patients find hospitals or hospitel beds, provide home oxygen concentrators and deliver medication and food to home isolation patients. Diana worked with volunteers to establish four community isolation venues in Bangkok.

The generous MC took on night shifts from 9pm to 7am to respond to messages that were sent to the We Must Survive page. Diana spent millions of baht of her own money to support We Must Survive. She and volunteers even purchased ambulances, so patients would not have to wait for long periods of time. Many people wanted to donate cash to We Must Survive, but Diana refused. On the TV programme, Tomyum Amarin on Amarin TV, Diana said that cash donation may cause drama.

“A lot of cash donation can possibly lead to drama. We do not accept cash, but we post on our Facebook from time to time what items we need, such as PPE suits, rapid antigen test kits and/or diapers,” she said.

Most people admire Diana’s dedication, but some people still question her goodwill. One of the questions that she often hears the public speculate is ‘will she become a politician?’ When Diana was interviewed on the online programme, Standard Now, on the Standard YouTube Channel, she firmly insisted that she will never become a politician.

“I do not think I can work in a government system. When I encounter problems, I want to immediately solve them. I cannot wait and go through so many complicated processes. People are dying. They cannot wait,” Diana said.

Despite having a hard time as a volunteer, Diana told Standard Now that she has never thought about quitting the volunteer position and told Tomyum Amarin that the people’s gratitude and appreciation was her reward.

“I cried every day at the beginning of We Must Survive since people expressed their thanks to us after the task was accomplished. I felt that their ‘thank you’ was my reward. That makes me feel my life is not a waste of time because I have helped people,” concluded Diana.


“ I felt that their ‘thank you’ was my reward. That makes me feel my life is not a waste of time because I have helped people. ”