August 2021
As you'll see from the length of this month's bulletin, everything has pretty much been in suspension during the month of July as Thailand battles the rising Covid
Delta variant with too-few vaccines and quarantine policies that are too confusing. Several CMIRC members returned to their home countries primarily for vaccination while those who remained attempted to stay safe and keep up with the news to see which was the latest website where they were suppose to register to receive their vaccine.  To our knowledge, all club members have remained Covid-free but the people we serve continue to suffer.  
As always, our news is easier to read if you click on the title of a story where you'll be taken to the webpage version.
Meanwhile, your editor will return to trying to enroll her husband and friends in the most recent "all encompassing" vaccination registration website for foreigners in Thailand.  

President's Message for August 2021
Let’s tackle the bad news first. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take lives while vaccines continue to remain out of reach for most people. Thailand is reporting that only 5.2% of its population has been fully vaccinated. Due to the increasing number of infections here in Chiang Mai, our local government is re-implementing measures to keep us safe. What does this mean to our club and the people who rely on our help? I like to think it means we have to continue thinking about steps we can take to serve our community when and where it’s possible, responsible, and safe to do so.
The two new public safety restrictions being re-implemented most relevant to our club are the closure of public swimming pools and schools that don’t have the resources to teach their students online – which includes the eleven municipal schools where we run our annual School Vision Screening Project. While the launch of this year’s SVSP is a few months away, the closure of public swimming pools means we’ve had to temporarily suspend our Children’s Water Safety & Drowning Prevention Program (CWSDPP). To date, this program has taught 15+ hours of lifesaving emergency swimming skills to over 2000 local children. Drowning remains the leading cause of death for Thai children.
Despite increasing restrictions, we’ve stayed busy this past month by supporting the Work Kitchen Project  and helping sponsor food programs throughout Chiang Mai. Moving forward, we’re currently exploring the possibility of getting involved with Northgate Jazz Co-op’s free food initiative. This program aims to provide both cooked meals and staples to anyone who walks in, especially mothers, fathers, and children. While our club’s mission continues to be to improve Child Safety, Health, and Education here in Northern Thailand, we also continue to recognize food security as being tied to all three.
In addition, we also received an appeal for funding from our long-time project partner, the Mae Tao Clinic. Due to their geographic location and because they are a border clinic (meaning they treat patients living in both Thailand and Burma), they are reporting new challenges caused both by the pandemic here in Thailand and the political instability in Myanmar. Recently, the Thai government designated MTC (a privately funded facility) as the field hospital for COVID-19 patients in the area. This mandatory re-designation meant they had to suspend their regular essential medical services. Unfortunately, this has led to many donors redirecting resources to organizations inside Myanmar and has left the clinic with budget shortfalls. Thanks in no small part to our friends in the community who brought this to our attention, the generosity of our Club Members, and our quick-to-act Board Members, we’ve already donated at least 80,000 baht, with more on the way. If you wish to donate, please contact
Also, during the month of July, we attended the 2021 Virtual District 3360 Conference and District Recognition Awards Ceremony on July 25, 2021. The club was represented by Charter President Roger Lindley, President-Elect Viki Thomason, and me. In addition to awards, our club received several honorable mentions including recognition for our ongoing support to the Koung Jor Refugee Camp’s Nursery School Lunch Program (screenshot from the meeting, below). We received awards for the Rotary Presidential Citation 2020-2021, Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY), and 100% Club Foundation Giving.
In regard to club business, Senior Leadership spent the month continuing to work with the club’s attorney in forming the upcoming Chiang Mai International Rotary Club Foundation. The officers for the foundation will be Roger Lindley as Chairman, Bill Trempus as Vice Chairman, Bill Pierce as Secretary, and Nancy Lindley as Treasurer. I’ve heard it said that starting a foundation is a sign of a maturing club, and it’s your work, as club members and friends, that us helped get to this point. Without you, there is no Chiang Mai International Rotary Club or Foundation.
An Appeal on Behalf of Hard-Hit Mae Tao Clinic
Support of Mao Tao Clinic, (MTC) in Mae Sot, Tak Province next to the border with Myanmar/Burma, was one of the first projects of Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC).  This Community-based Organization serves a population of approximately 200,000 people who shelter along both sides of the border, providing primary health care and other social services to this marginalized population.
Both Thailand and Burma are currently experiencing severe epidemics of COVID-19, driven especially by new variants including the highly transmissible delta variant. Tak Province of Thailand, bordering Burma, is currently seeing relatively high numbers of cases daily. The current wave of COVID-19 in Mae Sot began in late June. On June 27th, large outbreaks were detected at several factories in the area. On June 27th alone, 77 cases were logged, followed by 455 the following day, resulting in sudden, severe strains on the health system to identify, isolate and treat infected individuals.
Cases have continued to increase since then on a daily basis. On Thursday, July 29 th, there were 163 new cases diagnosed in Tak, with over 150 of those in Mae Sot, home to the clinic, and nearby districts of Phop Phra, Mae Ramat, and Tha Song Yang. There are currently over 2,200 individuals in treatment in Tak Province for COVID-19, in hospitals, field hospitals, or other isolation facilities, amongst a total of 4,289 cases reported in the province since April 1st, 2021.
In order to quickly respond to the crisis, on June 28th, the Mae Tao Clinic became an official field hospital for the Mae Sot public health system, providing care for between 60-70 infected individuals deemed low risk for developing complications or severe disease. While MTC staff members are responsible for providing daily care, they work in partnership with medical staff of the Mae Sot Hospital and other Thai public health entities, closely monitoring patients for evidence of clinical deterioration and facilitating timely referrals if necessary. Since the beginning of the current wave in Mae Sot, the Mae Tao Clinic has served approximately 325 patients with COVID-19 who were referred from Mae Sot Hospital, are staff from MTC and partner organizations or are residents of the surrounding communities.
On July 9 th, our first staff member was found to be infected with COVID-19. This prompted the clinic, working in conjunction with local health partners, to pursue aggressive contact tracing and screen all members of the staff, along with household contacts, nearby community members, and others with possible exposure. As a precaution, starting on July 15th, most clinical services at the clinic were suspended indefinitely in order to protect the health and safety of our staff members, their families, and all the communities we serve. This pause was also to allow us to efficiently focus our efforts on identifying and taking care of infected members of the extended MTC family and the community."
Note:  The MTC document has a table showing testing of 734 people of the listed groups, with 25% (182) positive.  The hardest hit were "household contacts" presumably of staff, patients and the community with 46% positive.
"During this time, all clinical services remain closed. Please refer to the Facebook pages of the Mae Tao Clinic (in English and Burmese), which will frequently be updated to incorporate the most up-to-date information as it becomes available, particularly during this current unpredictable situation. The MTC is currently also unable to provide testing and vaccinations for COVID-19, which are currently all handled through the Thai health system. If you think you have been exposed and would like testing, please contact the Mae Sot Hospital call center Tel. 065-461-1120 ........"
The document goes on to list the types of items needed for those who wish to donate goods, bank accounts, and who to contact for additional information.  
To provide perspective, in general, in Thailand once someone tests positive for Covid, even if they do not have symptoms, they are required to quarantine in a "field hospital" set up to manage patients who have low to medium symptoms.  This is to prevent them from returning to their homes, usually crowded multi-generational households where they can infect the elderly.  This explains why the "household contact" category had such a high infection rate; presumably it has a high proportion of older people.
However, the Thai government does not routinely provide much support such as food, toiletries, bedding, etc to field hospitals, especially those serving minorities, migrants and aliens.  Thus Mae Tao Clinic very much needs our assistance at this time.
Recently, the Board of CMIRC voted to contribute 50,000 baht from the General Fund of the club to MTC and members have contributed 32,000.  Thus, 82,000 has already been sent to MTC.  Another 40,000 baht is promised from members and will be transferred as soon as it arrives.  We hope that you, the members, friends and supporters of CMIRC can also help. 
If you'd like to donate through CMIRC please find our banking details at the bottom of this page on our website.  Your donation will be sent to MTC as soon as it arrives.  Please send an email to when you donate so I can look for your deposit.  If you are overseas and wish to donate using a credit card and/or receive a tax deduction, please consult MTC's donation page.  
July at the B.K.Kee Patient House

Due to the outbreak of Covid cases we are still just making supply deliveries every other Sunday to the Burma Children Medical Fund B.K. Kee Patient House. On one of our recent visits, it was relayed to us that the patients really miss the regular activities we normally do, especially bingo for prizes.

When we had to stop making our usual visits, we were scheduled to have a birthday party for all the patients and caregivers with birthdays in the first four months of the year. (A party for each trimester) Nick and I decided that as a way to lift their spirits, a party was long overdue, so we are planning one for the last Sunday in August. By the time this update is posted in our monthly bulletin, we will have sent out a request for presents. The project’s budget will pay for the cake, decorations, and food. Unfortunately, we will still be unable to stay and celebrate the event, but employee Klao will take some photos that we’ll share on Line as well as in next month’s update. Thank you in advance to those who will be purchasing birthday gifts for the patients and caregivers.

During our most recent visit, employee Klao announced the event; everyone is definitely looking forward to it.

In the photos accompanying this article you can see that the patients are making the most of their time at the house. They continue to work on their sewing skills, tend to the garden and engage in leisure activities.

At this time as previously mentioned we are no longer making regular visits to the house, only supply drops. As soon as the situation improves, and we are instructed when visits may resume, I’ll be sure to let members know. Many thanks to CMIRC members Raphael and Nick for their generous donations of snack items!!

The Water Safety Program on Hold

Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC)-Kru Payu  Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program (CWSDPP) 

Unfortunately, due to the resurgence of Covid-19 in Thailand, municipal schools were closed for most of the month of July. Since our Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program is school based in Chiang Mai and in Phrao, we have had to suspend our programs until schools reopen. We look forward to being back in our swimming pools with the 4th-graders in August or September.

We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize the generous support of our partners, sponsors and donors, so here is a list of these generous organizations!!

CMIRC Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Team and Sponsors:

The Thai Thaim Foundation

The School Vision Screening Project Delayed

Unfortunately, due to the resurgence of Covid-19 in Thailand, we will have to delay our screenings until schools reopen and a sufficient number of our CMIRC volunteer screeners have been vaccinated. We look forward to screening all 3rd and 5th graders at the eleven municipal schools and the Wat Suan Dok School this fall (we hope in November), in partnership with Optician Khun One at Chom Jun Optic, the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Wattana, and, if pediatric ophthalmological surgery is needed, the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North.

We’d like to take this opportunity to recognize the generous support of our partners, sponsors and donors, so here is a list of these generous organizations, beginning with the Rotary Club of Spokane 21 whose generous donation of $2,500 this year will fund about 80% of our program !! THANK YOU ROTARY CLUB of SPOKANE 21!!!

The total program budget for next year is estimated at about $3,000 US dollars, so we are still about $500 dollars short. If you wish to learn how you can help, please contact Project Champion John Schorr at or tel.: 66 (0)8 5030 2143, US Skype # 386 490-8100

Our 2021-2022 School Vision Screening Donor Team:


The Thai Thaim Foundation, Park Rapids, MN  

Eyewear Designs, Bethpage, NY

Thoughts from the Charter President

The Child Protection Policy

On occasion, I have offered my thoughts on certain concerns. I don't do this a regular basis nor do I plan to do so on a repetitive basis. In this case, I think it is appropriate to share my present thoughts on the topic of CMIRC and child protection as associated with our projects and interactions with children and the vulnerable.

As you are aware,our club has a published child protection policy which all members are required to review and sign. This policy has been accepted by partners who are requested to review our policy before committing to engage with our club in support of our projects. To date, there have been no incidents within our club or projects involving inappropriate situations with children or vulnerable persons.

So, what has changed? Basically, awareness levels, sensitivity levels and situations where club members and volunteers are coming into closer contact with children in our service projects and Interact Club activities.

I conducted a survey of club members on what they viewed as reasonable, related to several areas including: expanding the pre-induction meeting process to include focused questions on interactions with children; use of references in membership approval and use of criminal records checks for participation in club activities. Approximately one third of club members responded. In general, there appears support for expanding PIM to include focused questions on child interaction and the use of references. When responding about criminal records checks, there appears to be some concerns about personal actions many years ago and/or the security of this type of information. The majority opinion was, if done, the member/non-members (including volunteers) should bear the costs of a criminal records check. There has been a suggestion, to minimize privacy concerns, of using an outside firm to conduct these checks with either a report of “no concern” or “concern” based on the check.

Typically districts within Rotary provide child protection guidelines, usually focused on RI youth activities such as Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE), where there is an extended period of close personal contact between student and host families. In countries, such as Australia, where laws exist regarding organizations coming into contact with children, there are District policies which address the country’s laws and requirements for clubs in the district.

As far as Thailand clubs and districts are concerned, it appears the district guidelines fall in line with RI’s youth protection as focused on Rotary global youth initiatives. For club level activities, there are no guidelines per se. Based on discussions with Past District Governors (PDG’s) in D3350 and D3360, it appears that criminal records checks for club level project activities are not something that occurs at club level here in Thailand. Discussions with clubs also indicate criminal records checks are not standard for club projects here in Thailand.

Several members, including myself, have been approached by project recipient participants (often not minors, but now young adults) about individual financial support. This request is based upon their exposure to me as a Rotarian. I have asked myself: is this appropriate for me to do? My answer is "no". Why? Because this potentially creates a situation of the requestor being obligated to me personally. This may create a “quid pro quo” situation whether real or imagined. In reference to this I suggest members conduct a Google search on the topics of “sugar daddy", "sugar momma", "sugar baby”. I would encourage those receiving these requests to take them to the CMIRC Board for discussion.

Non-Rotary NGO’s who cycle in volunteers on a regular basis do require national police records check reports as a condition of being a volunteer with the organization. In addition, they have requirements/guidelines on interaction between adults and children participating in their programs.

So, what am I thinking? Expand PIMs to include child protection questions and personal reference checks. Continue to request criminal records check report if concerns arise in the PIM. The club should have in place generic guidelines and an education program that club members and project champions review and follow for project participation.

One very basic point in the guidelines is that any person participating in a CMIRC child-related project must do everything possible NOT to be in a situation, in person or electronically, where they will be alone with a child or vulnerable person. If an individual project requires this, then the project champion should request all participants to present a criminal records check report to the project champion for review before they can participate in the project. The champion will return the report to the individual with no copies of report being made.

These are just my personal thoughts at this point in time. We need to keep in mind we all have a responsibility to those we are helping. We have a responsibility to each other. We have a responsibility to our club. We have a responsibility to our district and to Rotary International.

What You May Have Missed in July 2021
CMIRC members were not able to have their regular every other Sunday morning visits to the patients and their families at Burma Children Medical Fund B.K. Kee Patient House here in Chiang Mai where members socialize, play games, bring food and engage in craft projects with the patients and their families during May because the Patient House was closed to visitors during the upsurge in Covid-19 cases in Chiang Mai.
The first and third Fridays of the month Chiang Mai Expats Club breakfasts, where we promote CMIRC and swap "Change for Children" owl banks, were cancelled due for May to the upsurge in the Covid-19 cases in Chiang Mai.

Saturday, July 3, District 3360 Installation Ceremony of Club Presidents and Boards of Directors for Rotary Year 2021- 2022 at the Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel.

Tuesday, July 6, first regular club meeting of the month was held on ZOOM. President Dylan (left) shared his life story and vision for CMIRC in RY 2021-2022.

Friday, July 9, at 9 PM we had our 9@9 ZOOM meeting to stay in touch with our club members wherever they may be in the world.

Tuesday, July 20, a regular club meeting was held on ZOOM. The program was presented by Dave McComas, president of the Chiang Mai Expats Club, on the topic “Leadership and the Chiang Mai Expats Club Work with Children”. (Pictured, right, is food donated by CEC for out-of-work local people.)

Sunday, July 25, the ZOOM District 3360 Virtual District Conference and District Recognition Awards. The club was recognized with award of the RI Presidential Citation, Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) Banner, the 100% Foundation Giving Banner and for our efforts in promoting children’s safety, health and education in Northern Thailand.

Tuesday, July 27, the CMIRC Board Meeting on ZOOM.

Save the Dates, August and Beyond

The needed protection measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused the cancellation of many events. Others are being conducted online and others have been postponed. Below is a list of events and their status, as we currently understand them. Please remember the situation is extremely fluid and things change daily. Some of our scheduled speakers may be willing to participate in online meetings. The latest news for CMIRC events is at:

Here are just a few of the important dates for members of Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC). These are opportunities to meet some of us and to meet other Rotarians from around the world!

Every other Sunday visits by club members to Burma Children Medical Fund's  (BCMF) B. K. Kee Patient House to socialize, play games, do crafts with the patients and their families has been put on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Interested for the future? Contact Rotarian Bill Pierce.

3 August 2021 CMIRC Club Meeting Meeting, 7 pm., with social time at 6:30 pm via ZOOM. The program will be presented by Past President Dr. Busabong Jamroendarasame (pictured, right, with CP Roger) on the topic: “Rotary Foundation Grants and Dedicated District Funds”.  Access to the meeting is meeting ID and password controlled. If interested in attending this meeting please contact

9 August 2021 CMIRC "9 at 9" 9 pm Thai time.  A ZOOM social meeting for members in and out of Thailand.  Contact

17 August 2021 CMIRC Club Meeting Meeting, 7 pm., with social time at 6:30 pm via ZOOM.  Guest Speaker is: Dr Kusuma Venzky-Stalling, on the topic of "Applying theatre to bridge people, especially to empower children in remote places".  Access to the meeting is meeting ID and password controlled. If interested in attending this meeting please contact 

17 August 2021 Roger Lindley's Birthday

21 & 22 August 2021 District 3360 Training Assembly for Club Officers 7 - 9 p.m. via Zoom  Contact

24 August 2021 CMIRC Board Meeting via Zoom 1:00 - 3:00 pm  Contact

28 August 2021 District 3360 District Training Assembly for Club officers "Special English language session" via Zoom  7 - 8:30 pm  Contact

4 – 8 June 2022 - Rotary International Convention, Houston, Texas, USA

Thank You to Our Sponsors
 Rotary is not free; we give our hearts, we give our time and to some extent we give our money. Most of our heart, most of our time and most of our money goes to support our children’s projects. Yet we have operational expenses, for example, our website with its powerful tools such as this bulletin. We ask that you consider our sponsors for your needs.
The Lila Thai Massage Ex-Inmate Employment and Skill Development Center was established in 2014 by "Naowarat Thanasrisutharat" to help and support women being released from prison. The ladies receive a massage training course from certified massage instructors (ex-inmates who work for Lila Thai Massage); these programs are endorsed by and meet the requirements of the Chiang Mai Public Health Department. This project reduces the women conviction rates in Chiang Mai and helps to solve the societal problems that perpetuate the situation, bringing about our long-cherished dream for a better community. The quality of massage at Lila Thai Massage is consistently superb.
Royal Peninsula Hotel is an excellent international standard hotel located in the heart of Chiang Mai. They have 150 guest rooms with all amenities including free wi-fi. There is ample onsite, covered parking. The outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi are available to guests. There is both an indoor restaurant, featuring Thai cuisine and outdoor beer garden next to the swimming pool. The Royal Peninsula Hotel has two conference and banquet rooms, well decorated, with good acoustics. The staff at Royal Peninsula are very accommodating. The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club meets at the Royal Peninsula at 7:00 PM on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, with many members and guests gathering about an hour before the meeting in the hotel's restaurant for fellowship and an optional meal, ordering from the restaurant's menu of reasonably-priced Thai food.
Our sponsors donate money that supports our operational expenses, freeing funds for the projects we love. Please give them your support. 
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