Posted by Jerry Nelson
Several times a year, I take fellow Rotarians and other interested people to tour the Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot to see the wonderful things happening in what began as a humble clinic that has evolved into a umbrella social services organization for migrants, refugees and other displaced Burmese people. CMIRC has been proud to support several projects of MTC since the earliest days of the club.
Our recent visit on 17 May was one of the best tours to date. The day before, several club members traveled from Chiang Mai: CP Roger, Honorary Member Stasha and me. We were joined by Rotarian Dr. Raj Mani from the RC of Aireborough, Leeds, UK and his son, Dr. Ravi Mani. My friend and supporter, Bob Morris drove from Korat to be with us. Another friend Dr. Rahul Snarula from Mae Sot joined us for much of the day. Many thanks to all the interested people who joined in the day.
If you haven't made the trip to Mae Sot yet to see the fine work of MTC, I hope you can come in the future. Here is a report of our day:
We started with breakfast and coffee at the Borderline Café. Good food, great coffee and even better fellowship set the tone for the rest of the day!
The next order of business was a tour of the new campus of the Mae Tao Clinic to view patient registration and then onto the several wards and departments of the Mae Tao Clinic. My favorite has always been the newborn ward. Five to fifteen babies are born at the clinic each day.
Then, Dr. Raj made a presentation to the medical staff on challenges and prevention of lower extremity wounds. We made connections and it looks like one of the benefits of this day will be publication of an article by Mae Tao Clinic medical adviser Dr. Arkar.
From the new campus, we went to the Child Development Center (CDC) where staff was busy preparing for the school opening on 31 May. We toured the campus and everyone was impressed by the school. When I visit I always take away success stories, meet great youngsters and leave re-energized. CDC can accommodate up to a thousand students. Attendance last year was between 850 and 890 and it’s anticipated that this year will be very similar. We met with Mr. Sunil Martin who teaches economics and history, and Naw Gold Rain, the inspirational pre-GED teacher, as well as Saw Myo Nyunt the vice-principal. The day before Gold Rain had injured her ankle, but she insisted showing us around the campus.  
After a tasty lunch at place known only as the “Vegetarian Restaurant”, we headed for the old campus, the home of Mae Tao Clinic for many years. When I first started going to the Mae Tao Clinic I could literally feel the place; it was like a million souls were trying to tell me their story. The first thing I noticed after the new campus opened was the place felt sterile. I must say that two years later, the new clinic is staring to have that feeling and appears to be alive as well.
What was once the newborn ward at the old clinic is now housing. Other wards and offices have been turned into offices for supporting organizations, training rooms, meeting rooms and housing. The prosthesis lab is the only part of the old Mae Tao Clinic that hasn't yet moved to the new campus. The highlight of the old campus tour was a brief meeting with Dr Cynthia, the founder of the MTC. 
Also, we attended a meeting at the office of the Committee for the Protection and Promotion of Child Rights (CPPCR), one of the community based organizations now at the old campus. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss fundraising opportunities for Birth Registration efforts. I wish I could take this entire team to every fund raising meeting; their collective input was amazing. Just watching Rotarians collaborating is worth the price of the ticket! Also, we made connections with the good people from Safe Child Thailand.
After a long day of learning and sharing we might have been ready for a rest, but no! That evening the whole crew visited the Rotary Club of Mae Sot, Muang. Our fellow Rotarians in Mae Sot are most gracious hosts. The day was great, the people fantastic and the connections were amazing.  I hope you can join in an future tour.