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Great News for Water Safety in December

Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) - Kru Payu Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program (CWSDPP)

On Monday between the holidays, CMIRC CWSDPP received some very good news. As I had mentioned in an earlier CMIRC Bulletin, recently we had again applied for an Australian Embassy Direct Aid Program Grant for our CWSDPP, but the initial information we received indicated we would not be funded. Then on Monday, December 28 we received this:

“Dear Dr Schorr:

Thank you for applying the Australian Embassy’s Direct Aid Program (DAP).

We are pleased to inform you that your project proposal Chiang Mai Municipal Schools Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program has been approved for funding at THB220,000. ….

Congratulations on a successful proposal and we look forward to working with you.

Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year

Yours sincerely, DAP Committee”

Thank you Australian Embassy DAP!!

Some readers may remember that two years ago, the Australian Aid Program provided the initial funding for our Phrao CWSDPP in cooperation with the Warm Heart Foundation, which has now been continued through the generosity of the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN).

More good news this month, we have received a substantial commitment from local philanthropist, Richard Murray, to fund two of our schools in 2021. So, taken together, with the Thai Thaim Foundation’s continued commitment, Safe Child Thailand’s fund balance for program expansion, Rtn Bob Ashley’s commitment to the BanYa Migrant Learning Centre Program, and, hopefully, BCTFN’s continued commitment to the Phrao-Warm Heart program; CMIRC should be able to continue all of its CWSDPPs and perhaps expand in 2021. What a difference a month makes!

Now back to what we are doing in the water! December saw two classes of 4th-graders from the Wat Tassadoi School start their 10-lesson program at Bronco Kids Sports Club indoor heated pool (pictured, right). One class is on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule and the other is on a Wednesday/Friday schedule. They will finish on January 19 and 22 respectively. CMIRC members will attend the final classes to recognize the childrens' accomplishments. Please let me know if you’d like to join us on one or both of these days.

In Phrao, working with our Warm Heart Foundation partners, we finished our survival swim and water safety instruction for this school year. This year, thanks to the funding from BCTFN, we expanded to seven schools. In addition our lead instructor, Kru Payu was able to provide two days of advanced training for our swim instructor team in Phrao. He was very impressed with their skills and dedication.

In Phuket we continue to be in touch with our partners at the Rotary Club of Patong Beach. We recently learned that they have been able to expand their program to include additional schools as well. This program was founded with assistance of the Safe Child Foundation Grant we received in 2017 and it is an excellent example of the multiplier effect made possible by the Rotary network. We are still seeking other clubs where we can share our survival swim for children experience. Drowning remains the leading cause of death for children aged 1-14 in Thailand.

Finally, a brief description of what our courses entail: we provide 15 hours of instruction (5 hours water safety instruction, poolside, and 10 hours survival swim instruction in the pool), our target group is 4th-graders in municipal schools where most of the children are poor. We provide all equipment, instructional costs, and the pool for over 400 children each year. The average cost per child is approximately 700 Baht (US$23). We welcome donations and new Rotary partners to help us continue into our 6th year and beyond with this life saving program.

If you wish to help, please contact Project Champion John Schorr at for more information.


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