This month is my first month as a returning CMIRC champion for the Burma Children Medical Fund B.K. Patient Kee House. Bill Pierce has done an awesome job in the past three years, and I hope I can live up to the standards he has set. The good news is that although I will have primary responsibility for our involvement, Bill will continue to support the House and Burma Children Medical Fund, the parent organization. He certainly has provided support during the month of July, showing me the ropes. Rotarian Nick Dale and Pink are also continuing to support us and now that in-person visits are allowed Rotarian Raphael Djemal visited on July 10.
We are visiting every two weeks and it is exciting to help make life a little bit easier for the residents of the house, patients from Burma or the border region in need of higher-level medical care and their caregivers.
The CMIRC mission is to improve child safety, health and education. In July, we focused on education at B.K.Kee House. The library room at the House seriously needed an upgrade. Nursing students and BEAM interns David and Dianna have done a great job with limited resources to help teach English language and many other skills to residents.
During our first visit on July 10, we were able to provide donated tools to help with educational goals. This included three Dell Latitude Notebook computers donated by the Mazars International Thailand. (More about their generous donation in my BEAM story.) We also provided a WiFi 6 router with cabling and an Android TV box from a CMIRC member along with cabling to connect to an upgraded cable connection. The Android TV will use the Google Play store and provide learning apps in multiple languages. Former BEAM Education Foundation student and current Nursing student David will add these new teaching tools to the work he has been doing to educate the residents.
For our regular activity Bill led us all through another thrilling pair of Bingo games where we practice numbers in both English and Karen. Whenever there is a Bingo everybody sings and the person with a new Bingo gets a treat. We also followed with a little English practice. David led everyone in a recycle song in English, then in Karen.
On our second visit July 24th, we brought another education tool by donating the unused CMIRC projector to the house. The projector can be used with the new computers and Android app along with the new whiteboard for education and educational purposes. At both visits we also brought laundry soap and sanitary supplies as part of our normal contribution.
We continued our activity this time with Mwe Kham’s musical ball passing game. The first time around the residents were given the option of performing a song, dance or learning a little English when they were ‘caught’ by the end of the music. Only one person chose English. Bill had pointed out two young ladies as being too shy to perform previously but they both did. For the second round everyone did something different and I was surprised that several chose English practice.
It was with a great deal of joy that we said goodbye to a pair of patients and one caregiver who are returning to their home. One of the patients who has recovered from horrible burns had been at the house for two and a half years. (He is pictured, above, with Bill Pierce.) When he arrived, he was almost immobile from his burns. He and his sister has been there the entire time so there was also some sadness in our goodbyes.
Any interested Rotarians who would like to join us for a visit, please contact me a couple of days beforehand. Visits are made every other Sunday morning, with the group meeting at a café near Nakornping Condo around 10:30 am. BCMF director Kanchana Thornton asks for all visitors to observe the following protocols. “BCMF is happy for CMIRC and relevant associates to resume BCMF B.K. Kee Patient House visits upon request. All visitors will have to follow the house COVID safety protocols. ATK before each visit and face masks at all times while at the house. Alcohol hand wash will be provided at the house.” Visitors must also submit a photo of the ATK test taken the morning of the visit to the Patient House. Please submit a photo the day of the visit to me via email, Line or text message. If you do not have an ATK test, I can provide one.