The Burma Children Medical Fund B.K. Kee Patient House has been tirelessly working to improve medical services for poor and disenfranchised people in this community. One of the challenges they faced was providing reliable transportation for patients to and from the hospital. Until recently, most transportation was done via songthaew, which is not always practical.
Last year, during the budget planning session of the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) Service Projects Committee, one of the "Big Dreams" was conceived: the acquisition of a car for patient transport. The Committee estimated that an adequate vehicle was expensive enough that we had to set a goal to purchase one within three to five years. However, the dream came true sooner than expected.
The Club purchased and donated a car for the B.K. Kee Patient House, making it easier for patients to get to and from the hospital. The Toyota Yaris, which belonged to Past President John Schorr previously, was well-known among Rotarians for its reliability and had hauled many people around. John decided to part with it in favour of a newer car and provided the older vehicle at a bargain price. John generously lowered his price by almost a thousand U.S. dollars.
I proposed to the CMIRC Board that the Club donate the funds from the Bob Carroll Memorial Fund to the Burma Children Medical Fund for the purpose of the car's purchase. (BCMF operates the B.K. Kee House.) On Friday, March 17, that is what happened! On Monday, March 20, we met Klao at the Department of Land Transportation to transfer the title deed. I was there to take pictures at what became an almost all-day affair. In the end, Klao had the keys and the title and drove me home on his way to the house!
We are hopeful that the donation of the car will be a great help to the B.K. Kee House, allowing them to improve the quality of care they provide and help them make a positive impact.
In other news, this month was quiet for patient visits due to scheduling conflicts and health concerns with my fellow Rotarians. We only had one regular-length visit. On Saturday, March 17, I brought snacks and supplies, played bingo and had fun.
Sadly, for me, this would be our last visit which would include our scholarship intern David. This month, David has completed all his classroom requirements, including his finals at the Chiang Mai University Faculty of Nursing! As part of our requirements for his scholarship, David served as an Intern helping with patient care and education while living at the B.K. Kee House. He has done an excellent job and acted as an interpreter during our visits. Watching his interactions with the patients and his rapport with them shows care, which is the hallmark of a good nurse. We will all miss David. His fellow student Diana will return in mid-April to take over the role.