The local Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC) has long been active in its work to help northern Thailand’s children, mainly working in on matters of health and education with a focus on safety. Their main social contribution over the past four years have been their efforts to train Thai children to swim, drowning being the leading cause of death amongst children under 15 years old in Thailand.. Over the years the club has organised numerous summer courses and competitions, teaching hundreds of children to swim safely.
Everything changed when the pandemic hit, and seeing that there were other more urgent priorities the club’s 25 members began to fund raise.
“Just think of the number of people who have lost their jobs in the tourism sector,” said past president John Schorr of the thousands of people and their dependents who have lost their livelihoods over the past few months, with little possibility of returning to their jobs for the foreseeable future. “We are just a small club. There are a total of 17 rotary clubs in Chiang Mai and 67 across the north of Thailand and I don’t know what other clubs are doing, but for us, this was very important.”
The club has been working alongside Bharatbhushan Kwatra Foundation and The Road to a Better Life Foundation, contributing 400,000 baht for food relief in the Chiang Mai area.
To effectively reach out, the club chose to partner with local businesses and organisations which were involved in the community. These included: Philanthropy Connections, Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN), Bronco Kids Sport Club, Kru Payu Swim, Chiang Mai Expats Club, Why Not Restaurant and Lucky 7 Restaurant.
The funds went to: Why Not Restaurant which produced over 700 meals
Kitchen-7 Restaurant which produced about 500 meals
Bronco Kids-Kru Payu – Bharatbhushan Kwatra Foundation which produced 2,800 food packages
Wat Pa Phaeng – CMIRC sponsored 50 Pantry Packs of staples to poor families
At Wat Gate Karam School – Road to a Better Life Foundation provided 100 food boxes to poor families
Through Philanthropy Connections Foundation and the Shan Women’s Action Network – CMIRC funded 150,000 baht in food for the poor and unemployed families who were forced to return home to their villages in Fang and Wiang Hang Districts.
“Chiang Mai International Rotary Club strives to do a small part in addressing local problems and supporting the community with a range of projects focused on children from drowning prevention to child health screening,” added current club president Clarence Shuttlesworth.
“But while you may think things are getting better,” warned Schorr, “it is still very critical to so many. We have now run out of donated funds, but we are committed to continue to do what we can and welcome any help.”
To join the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club or to donate towards their efforts please contact them through their website https://cmirotary.org/