Drowning Prevention Program is Progressing Swimmingly
We have already completed five of our planned twelve CMIRC survival swim and water safety classes at our Bronco Kids Sport Club pools! One hundred 4th-graders from the Wat Sri Ping Muang, Wat Chiang Yuen, the Wat Sridonchai and the Wat Pa Phaeng Municipal Schools and another 35 4th-graders from the Wat Suan Dok School have completed ten swim and water safety lessons (90 minutes each). We are grateful to the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai-Wattana and the Safe Child Thailand Foundation for their help with our new program at the Wat Suan Dok School.
In addition to our programs in Chiang Mai, we are working with the Warm Heart Foundation to conduct programs in Phrao with the support of a grant from the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN). In the photo, above, I'm at far right and Ian Bushell of BCTFN is at far left with our swim instructors in Phrao.
Our great Phrao-based swim instructor team has already taught 113 children survival swimming and water safety skills at five schools (Ban Khun Jae, Tha Magieng, Ban Mae Pung, Ban Pa Toom, and Choomchon Sahagorn). We will train at least sixty more 4th-graders at two additional schools in Phrao this year. Our swim instructor program director Kru Payu will be visiting Phrao next month to conduct advanced training for our five Phrao-based swim instructors. Our team just keeps on improving and advancing their skills!
The news from our Banya Migrant Learning Centre program in Phuket remains the same this month; it is is still uncertain. Thanks to a very generous donation by Rotarian Bob Ashley, and our partnership with the Rotary Club of Patong Beach and their swim instructor team led by Kru Gob, we remain ready to train their 4th-graders.
Unfortunately, the Thai authorities have not yet permitted the reopening of the migrant learning centres. We are hoping that we can start our program at the Banya MLC soon, but it looks increasingly like we will have to wait until the new year.
Finally, due to Covid-19 our CMIRC fundraising efforts have been greatly reduced. This will challenge our ability to continue our Chiang Mai – based component of CMIRC’s Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program. We have applied for an Australian Embassy Direct Assistance Grant to fund our 2021 program in Chiang Mai. We received a grant from them in 2018 to start our Phrao Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program, now fully funded by a grant from the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy. Let’s all hope that the Australian Embassy Direct Assistance Grant can help us fully fund our Chiang Mai program and get through this very difficult time!
We are also supported by the Thai Thaim Foundation of Park Rapids, Minnesota, USA and Rotarian Bob Ashley and of course all the generous donors to the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club.
We started this program in 2015 and we are still going strong and serving more children every year thanks to our wonderful sponsors and CMIRC volunteers!