By Jerry Nelson
Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) has been chosen by One World Play Project to distribute their almost indestructible footballs (soccer) to poor schools, orphanages and other groups. This is actually a "value added" project in conjunction with our Children's Water Safety, Children's Sight, Mae Tao Clinic, Child Protection and Burma Children's Medical Fund Projects.
As we serve our other projects, we distribute the footballs for use by the children. We try to allocate around 1 football per 30 children. Major funding for this protect by Chevrolet. In fact all of the balls we have distributed thus far have been “Chevrolet Balls”. The rules are simple:
Organization head must agree that the balls remain on campus for the children's use.
Balls are NEVER to be sold.
We offer these balls to other Rotary Clubs in district 3360 and to other organizations such as Toys for Thailand. We require an abbreviated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which requires a report of when and where balls were distributed with supporting photographs. Since we first became involved with One World Play Project we have distributed some 75 balls to various schools throughout Northern Thailand. We recently sent 22 balls to the Burma Children's Medical Fund for distribution to 11 extremely poor vilages inside Myanmay. As of this writing we only have 6 in stock and 2 of them are promised. Hopefully we will be given more balls in the near future. To further appreciate these marvelous balls please see www.oneworldplayproject.com.
In each case the children have balls that can be used on playgrounds and in streets without having to worry about puncture. Each child is equally important and deserves the opportunity to play. Some of the locations to which we have distributed balls include:
The Burma Children’s Medical Fund Patient House in Chiang Mai provides lodging for children who have medical issues so serious that treatment is beyond the capability of the Mae Tao Clinic or the Mae Sot Hospital. These children are transported to Chiang Mai where they are administered to by the Suan Dok, Chiang Mai University, hospital. The children stay at the house while they are in Chiang Mai.
One of the children in the photo above is undergoing chemo-therapy, one suffering from crippling burns and one has a badly damaged hip.
Our Children’s Sight Program provides examinations, spectacles and referrals to children from poor rural schools. By providing balls to these schools we add value to the Children’s Sight Program. The children are always delighted and the staff is always most appreciative of our additional support.
Photo by Benjie F. Cogswell at one of our Children's Sight Project schools
Children at Pajee Wang Dang Vitaya School waiting to go and play
Our Children’s Water Safety (Drown Proofing) program teaches children water survival skills. We also provide OWPP balls to the schools whose children participate. The children are very happy to have balls that are durable and the staff sees the positive affect we are making on the lives of the children they serve.
Balls being presented at a Water Safety Program Graduation.
Several balls have been distributed to the migrant learning centers along the Thai / Myanmar border. These schools are desperately poor; they are not eligible for any government funding and survive from year to year on contributions.
Agape School in Mae Sot
Occasionally our members will take OWPP balls to areas we do not normally serve. Such is the case with PP Joe Evans who supports poor schools in the North East.
Kham To Kla School
The Future: Our hope is to be able to facilitate the giving of OWPP balls to as many poor schools as possible. We would do this mostly through our network of other Rotary Clubs.