President's Message for April 2020
There is no other way to start this message. The disease and the efforts to slow its progress have dominated life here in Thailand for the past month. All signs point to continued restrictions on travel, meetings, and everyday life for the foreseeable future. The socioeconomic impact on our community is disastrous.
So far, we know that strict restrictions will be in place for April, even Songkran (the Thai New Year) celebrations have been canceled. As a result, CMIRC has canceled all face-to-face business and social meetings of the club, Board, and committees until further notice.
The motto of Rotary International is “Service Above Self,” so we are responding in this time of great need. Rotary District 3360, District Governor Kamolsak and CMIRC are working together to directly help affected communities. District 3360 has donated an oxygenator machine to every club in the district and the District Governor has donated a therapeutic air mattress to prevent bedsores and skin ulcers.
CMIRC PE Clarence and his wife Rtn. Aree did research on where to donate the equipment allocated to CMIRC and it was decided that the special COVID-19 Response Center at Sankhampaeng Hospital was the place with the greatest need. CMIRC has also planned a Club Assembly for members and invited guests on Tuesday, April 14 to discuss and plan how our club can be of continued service to the children of northern Thailand focusing on their safety, health, and education. We will hear a report from our Service Projects Committee which meets on April 7 and then open the discussion. I am sure we will find ways to use our talents and resources to improve lives during this pandemic. The Club Assembly is for CMIRC Members, visiting Rotarians and invited guests, but if you are not a member and have ideas about how we can help children and their families get through this crisis, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way, the meetings referred to above will all be conducted using Zoom. CMIRC has subscribed to the Zoom Pro package, so we are now able to conduct meetings using this excellent internet conferencing application. We will be using this tool for our Board, committee, projects, and possibly member meetings until the social distancing restrictions are lifted. Go to www.zoom.us to learn more.
More COVID-19 Bad News
As I wrote in the March Bulletin, Avis Rideout, the founder of Agape Home/Nikki’s Place for children who are victims of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been selected as one of the three finalists for the Rotary District 3450 The One 2020 International Humanitarian Award. The individual chosen as the International Humanitarian of the Year will receive US$ 100,000, 2nd and 3rd place receive US$ 50,000. We have now learned that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this prize will not be awarded this year. The winner from the 2020 finalists will be selected, and the award presented in May/June of 2021. While we are very happy our nominee has been selected as a finalist and will be awarded at least US$50,000, we are very disappointed that many of the Agape Home/Nikki’s Place children’s needs may have to be deferred for another year.
Some Good News
Our club prides itself on its increasing number of members and on the high quality and service orientation of our members. At our meeting on March 3, we inducted new CMIRC Rtn. Kim White. Kim grew up in India and is a teacher by profession. Since 2000, he has run his own international service organization for college students wanting to experience, first-hand, life in low-income countries. He and his students have built schools, libraries, and facilities for people with handicaps in Nepal, Sri Lanka (after the tsunami), Cambodia, Vietnam, Egypt, Belize, and Thailand (Karen and Lisu Communities). Kim is now founding his own foundation: Road to a Better Life. Welcome, Kim! CMIRC was informed at the District 3360 Annual Conference in Lampang that our club was one of 17 District 3360 clubs that had already met the requirements for a Rotary International Citation. We were also publicly informed at the Plenary Session that our club was one of two clubs in the district that had already recruited ten or more new members in Rotary Year 2019-2020.
Dear Bulletin readers, if you are excited about supporting meaningful service in a part of the world and at a time when children still have many unmet basic needs, contact me and I will tell you how you can join us and/or support us in our efforts to improve Child Safety, Health, and Education in Northern Thailand: email@example.com.