What does Maternal and Child Health have to do with Rotary? For starters, it’s not just the Rotary International theme for April and one of our organization’s seven areas of focus, but I believe it underpins who we are as Rotarians and the work we do to help improve communities near and far. Lest we forget, the health and well-being of women and children is vital to creating a healthy world. While our club remains primarily focused on child safety, health, and education, please consider spending some time this month to think about ways we can help improve the lives of mothers too.
In March, the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club has continued to make some exciting progress in expanding our Children’s Water Safety & Drowning Prevention Program (CWSDPP) into provinces outside of Northern Thailand. What’s more, thanks to efforts by Fundraising Chair David Fagerlie, we secured enough funds from several generous donors to teach students who could not participate last year due to their school being closed because of Covid-19. We are incredibly thankful for these donations.
A change in leadership occurred in the Water & Sanitation Project. The new Project Champion is Past President John Schorr. Thankfully, as a professor emeritus of Stetson University, John has an extensive background and vast experience in grant writing and management. He takes on this new responsibility in addition to his other projects – the Children’s Water Safety & Drowning Prevention Program and the School Vision Screening Program (SVSP).
Rotarian Bill and Nicha Trempus continued to work on our CMIRC "Free Food For The Poor" Initiative. The power couple organized donations for vulnerable people in San Sai, Sankamphaeng, and Chiang Dao Districts of Chiang Mai Province, and Pa Sang District of Lamphun Province. In addition, they donated survival food packages to the Urban Light Foundation.
In other news, President-Elect Viki Thomason represented the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club at the District 3360 President-Elect Training Seminar (aka Pre-PETS). The March 5th meeting was held on ZOOM, where District Governor-Elect Supaluck Lohajoti of Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Thin Thai Ngam introduced the theme for Rotary Year 2022-2023, "Imagine Rotary."
On March 24, Payap University Rotaract Club President Tiger and Treasurer Jeff traveled to the Baan Na Du School in Phrae, Lampang Province, together with the current and past presidents of the Chiang Mai University Rotaract Club to deliver books and study materials donated to their “Small Books, Big Heart” collaboration project.
The Chiang Mai International School (CMIS) Interact Club donated 75 kg of rice, 900 packets of instant noodles, 100 bottles of oil, 100 bottles of fish sauce, 200 bars of soap, and 100 cans of fish to their food drive for people in need in Chiang Mai. The club cooperates with the National Honor Society (NHS) to run this program. In addition, the CMIS Interactors organized a samosas sale and distributed the proceeds to help people affected by the crisis in Ukraine.
Unfortunately, there is a slight setback regarding the application for the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club Foundation. Our foundation office, at the Royal Peninsula Hotel, once again has become a “Covid hospitel” (a hotel turned hospital) for three months. Therefore, an in-person inspection of the premises is not possible. Our club has proposed the idea of having the office virtually inspected by the relevant Thai government agencies as part of the application process, but since there has been no precedent for it, we await response.
The temporary closing of the Royal Peninsula Hotel also means that we have to temporarily conduct our meetings elsewhere. Until further notice, club meetings will take place at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel. This new hotel space is located directly next to the Kad Suan Kaew Mall. Please reach out to club leadership if you have any further questions about our temporary change in meeting space.