Posted by John Schorr
The month of August saw the  successful completion of survival swimming and water safety programs funded by CMIRC and Safe Child Thailand (SCT).
Ninety-eight fourth-graders at six Chiang Mai municipal schools received their certificates and Rotary International medals for successful completion of their 15-hours of lessons. The ceremony was attended by the deputy mayor of Chiang Mai, Khun Soontron Yamsiri and municipal school officials. The scene below shows the swim instructors to the left, CMIRC President John and the government officials in the center and CMIRC members to the right.
In Patong Beach, the program sponsored by the Safe Child Thailand Foundation and supported by the Rotary Club of Patong Beach held certificate ceremonies for ninety-five fourth grade students who successfully completed the program. The mayor of Patong Beach attended the ceremonies and the Phuket News English language newspaper provided prominent coverage. There is much enthusiasm for the continuation and expansion of the program under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Patong Beach.
Looking to the future in Chiang Mai, The Chiang Mai Municipality, CMIRC, Kru Payu Swim, and Bronco Kids Sport Club have all signed a Memorandum of Understanding, outlining the roles each organization will perform over the coming school year. This school year, we will be able to say that every graduate of the eleven Chiang Mai Municipal Schools will have had the opportunity to learn survival swimming.  We are working to ensure that this will always be the case in the future!
Finally, our partner, the Rotary Club of Lampang is preparing another round of pilot programs and, also, exploratory work is underway in both the rural community of Phrao and the Isaan province of Phetchabun to expand the Safe Child Thailand funded pilot programs there. We will soon be teaching survival swimming and water safety to as many as 600 students per year. Quite an accomplishment for a country where drowning is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 15!