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Kids are Back in the Water!

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

Sponsored By CMIRC, The Swiss Lanna Society, The Safe Child Thailand Foundation, the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy, and the Thai Thaim Foundation/Rotary Club of Park Rapids, Minnesota, USA

Our Chiang Mai International Rotary Club Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program kids and our great swim teachers are back in the pools here in Chiang Mai as well as in Phrao! We will complete 15-hours of swim instruction for all eleven Chiang Mai Municipal School 4th-graders by March of next year. Once again, this year we will teach about 350 kids!

CMIRC, with the help of an individual Rotarian, is developing a new program at the BanYa Literacy Centre in Phuket. We are planning to begin the program in January.

We will be completing the Swiss Lanna Society-funded portion of our classes at the Bronco Kids Sport Club early in December and we are already planning a certificate ceremony for about 140, 4th-grade program graduates. The date for the ceremony has been set for January 30; time and location details will be shared in next month’s bulletin. These events are always fun, and the Swiss have some special presents for their sponsored kids, so this ceremony should be even more fun.

The British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN) Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program in Phrao is under way and local BCTFN representative, Ian Bushell and I visited Phrao in November (photo, below). With the help of the BCTFN funding, we will teach 140, 4th-graders in the municipal elementary school and for the first time this year we will also be able to teach the children who reside at the Warm Heart Foundation, our local partner.

We are in the initial planning stages to use the remaining Safe Child Thailand funds for a demonstration project in Nonthaburi where the Thai Ministry of Public Health is located. The Ministry has been very involved in drowning prevention and we want to work with them to develop a prototype program for adoption in municipal schools nationwide. It’s a big dream but we have already had positive feedback from the Ministry, and we here at the CMIRC CWSDPP have a great deal of experience to share.

We submitted another proposal for support of our programs to the Australian Direct Aid Program; this year we requested nearly 500,000 baht for three new programs. Unfortunately, we learned that our new program proposal has not been funded. We thank the Australian Aid Program for their wonderful support this year, and we will try again next year!


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