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Posted by Jerry Nelson
March carries one of my favorite Rotary Themes - Literacy.   What a perfect fit for a club whose signature focus is CHILD SAFETY, HEALTH and EDUCATION!  Throughout history, rulers who have given their subjects freedom have promoted literacy and rulers who have suppressed freedoms have not.   Ignorant masses are much easier to subdue than those who are taught to think for themselves! 
Did you know that on March 1, 1961, Kennedy signed an Executive Order that officially started the Peace Corps?  Since then literacy has been one of the Peace Corps primary objectives.
CMIRC has an ever-increasing involvement in literacy projects which requires more and more active members.  Increased membership gives us the capability and courage to take on new projects.  As we converse with potential members it becomes easier to discuss meaningful ways we are involved with the community.  In Chiang Mai International Rotary Club, service is a privilege of membership.
In February, we started our English Language Cultural Exchange Club, giving our members an opportunity to work with students from BEAM Education Foundation.   We anticipate that the club will be expanded to include the 11 government (Tessaban) schools in Chiang Mai city.   This is a wonderful opportunity for both the community and our members.
On March 15th we will conclude our current fundraising project in support of the Mae Tao Clinic’s Child Development Center.  Please refer to the article below.  Naw Gold Rain, the pre-GED teacher at CDC, just gave me an update. Every time we speak she is excited to report on the increased capabilities of her students.  Like their counterparts at BEAM Education Foundation, CDC students are taught critical thinking.  These young people will make a difference in their society and we are both proud and grateful to play a small part.
Often CMRIC is involved indirectly in several ways that make it easier for children to learn.  For example, children with vision problems need help; we are soon starting a Children’s Vision Screening Program in the 11 Tessaban schools in Chiang Mai.
It is very cold in the hills of Northern Thailand and children without proper clothing often become ill and miss out on part of their education.  CMIRC’s children’s winter clothing appeal attempts to alleviate some of these shortages.   
Of course, these actions require more active members which brings us full circle.  If you are in Chiang Mai and want to become involved in our good work, please contact us.