Carnivale Thailand
What if you could have a great evening at a good price and at the same time support Chiang Mai International Rotary Club’s worthy children’s projects?  Well you can! 
EVENT:   Carnivale Thailand 2017.
When:    Friday 25 February 2017 6:30 p.m
Where:   Old Chiang Mai 185/3 Wualai Road, Chaing Mai
Tickets are only 1,000 THB in advance and 1,200 THB at the door.  Contact
Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a raffle with some incredible prizes including a round trip flight for two on Bangkok Air from Chiang Mai to Mandalay and a night stay in a Deluxe Room (for 2 persons) including full access to the Executive Lounge with daily breakfast and the Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok.
Rotary: Making a Difference
The Rotary Presidential Theme for 2017-2018 is ROTARY:  Making a Difference.  
Here is RI President Elect Ian H.S. Risley's summary.

Some years ago, a new acquaintance asked me what should have been a simple question: “What is Rotary?” I opened my mouth to reply and then stopped short with the realization that I simply did not know where to begin. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what Rotary was. The problem was that Rotary was — and is — too large and complex to easily define. We are a member-based organization, a club-based organization, and a service based organization; we are local, regional, and international; we are community members,business people and professionals, working and retired, active in nearly every country in the world. Every one of our 1.2 million members has a unique set of goals, experiences, and priorities; every one of us has a unique understanding of Rotary.


To me, Rotary is defined not by who we are, but by what we do — by the potential that Rotary gives us, and the ways we realize that potential in meaningful and lasting service. Rotary has been around for a long time: 112 years. In some ways, we’ve changed tremendously, as we’ve grown, matured, and adapted to the changing needs of our members and communities. In our fundamentals, however, we remain the same: an organization of people with the desire — and through Rotary, the ability — to make a difference in our communities, and the world.


We answer the question “What is Rotary?” with our actions, by making a difference through our service.


As an organization, we recognize how important it is that the world understand what Rotary is, and what we do. At the same time, we know that it is more important than ever to allow our clubs to define Rotary service for themselves. As Rotarians, we have more flexibility than ever to decide how we want our clubs to meet, work, and grow. We’re focused more than ever on making sure that Rotary reflects the people it serves, with more women and a more diverse membership. And we’re working hard to ensure that Rotary remains the world’s pre-eminent volunteer service organization, by emphasizing long-term planning, sustainable service, and continuity in leadership on every level. In 2017-18, we will answer the question “What is Rotary?” with the theme Rotary: Making a Difference. However each of us chooses to serve, we do it because we know our service makes a difference in the lives of others. Whether we are building a new playground or a new school, improving medical care or sanitation, training conflict mediators or midwives, we know that the work we do will change people’s lives — in ways large and small — for the better. Whatever motivation each of us had for joining Rotary, it is the satisfaction we find in Rotary that causes us to remain, the satisfaction of knowing that week by week, year by year, we are part of Rotary: Making a Difference.


Ian H.S. Riseley

President, Rotary International, 2017-18

Children's Sight Project February 2017
Children’s Sight Project
โครงการ สายตา เด็ก
Kroong gaan saai dtaa dek
Rotary Clubs in District 3360 participating include:

Chiang Mai International Rotary Club

Rotary Club of Chiang Mai Thin Thai Ngam

Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North

The CMIRC’s Children’s Sight Project provides comprehensive eye exams and free spectacles to the poor Hill Tribes (Lahu (มูเฃอ), Lisu (ลีฃอ), & Akha(อาฃ่า) School Children within the Chiang Mai Province. All eye exams are performed by an Optometrist and screening done by trained Rotary Club members.
Rotarians Jack ( Chiang Mai North), Karl, Jeanie, Raelene and P. Shana ( CMIRC) screening at the Ban Lan Pan School
The Children’s Sight project team members have been very busy over the past 12 months’, examining nearly 2,000 children (since Oct 2015) at the schools in the Chiang Mai province, with an emphasis on the schools located in the Mae Taeng
District, to the north of Chiang Mai City. Most visits are 1 day clinics, where it is possible to examine about 75-90 children in a single day clinic. We aim to return the spectacles to the children within 2 weeks’. The CSP is fortunate to have very generous sponsors in kind, that provide the prescription spectacle lenses free of charge- thank you Hoya Lens (Thailand), quality frames donated by We Do Asia (Playn Eyecare) from Bangkok- the children sure love the large black frames.
The Children’s Sight Project aims to add new schools (and to add a further 2 Chiang Mai based Rotary Clubs) during 2017, which will take the total number of schools that we will provide comprehensive eye care to 20 The plan is to review
every school on an annual basis after initially examining every child in the schools. 

Baan San Paa Sak School - Children receiving their spectacles from Rotarians Peter (CMIRC) and AG Hope (Thin Thai Ngam)
Rotarian Peter-Optometrist and Champion of the CSP examining staff at the Chiang Mai Observation and Protection Centre
Further info is available from the Facebook and You Tube sites listed below

email: Peter Bell
Mae Tao Clinic June 2017

Mae Tao Clinic has organized its scope of service to three main areas:   Health Services, Training and Child Protection.  Learn more at their website at  What they accomplishing is truly amazing!  Things we are doing to help include:   


G.E.D. Scholarships 


CMIRC is the host club for Global Grant 1755757 (G.E.D. Scholarships for Burmese Migrant Students in Thailand).  The grant is currently in draft at the Rotary Grant Center.   The Rotary Club of Kamloops West, British Columbia is the International Club.      Here is a summary:

Project:   Mae Tao Clinic provides GED Scholarships for Burmese Migrant Students
Beneficiaries:    Children from the migrant community around the Mae Tao Clinic, specifically Mae Sot, Tak, Thailand.
History:  In the past a student would have to temporarily re-locate to Chiang Mai or Bangkok in order to avail themselves to curriculum which would prepare them to take the GED.
Current Situation:  Mae Tao Clinic has a Child Development Center which can school up to 1,000 students at a time.  Currently there are 846 enrolled.   They will host the GED training. 
The  Thabyay Foundation recently recently opened a GED testing center in Mae Sot.  They would do the GED testing. There are some 13,000 migrant students in the Mae Sot area.  From this population the students would be chosen. 
Project Scope:
1 qualified GED Instructor.  Likely we will have to recruit from USA or elsewhere
25 students per year for 3 years.


We need your participation in the form of cash contributions, and District Designated Funds. If you can help, please send an email to, or just contact me Jerry Nelson at   Please remember that your pledge will be included in the budget calculation.   Once we have the commitments we will submit the grant for approval.  


Other ways to help the Mae Tao Clinic:


1.  When in Thailand please accompany us on a visit and tour.  Here you will see for yourself the incredible organization known as Mae Tao Clinic (See paragraph Introducing Members and Guests below). 

2.  Make a donation to Mae Tao Clinic through Chiang Mai International Rotary Club.   Contact for specifics.    Currently Mae Tao Clinic has funding shortages in the areas listed here.  

Activity implementation costs:

Referral costs for emergency obstetrics: 164 cases in 2016, costing 15,859 THB on average per woman (US$453)
Referral costs for advanced neonatal care: 84 cases in 2016, costing 11,949 THB on average per baby (US$ 342)
Stipends for health workers, starting from THB 4,000 per month (US$ 115) with an average of THB 6,000 per month (US$ 172)
Estimated water and electricity shortfall: 760,000 THB for 2017
The Supply donations wish list is quite long.  I'm happy to send it to anyone who asks.  Just contact me at  Your contribution are badly needed and most welcome!!
3.  Volunteer.   There are several opportunities to volunteer at Mae Tao Clinic.   Typically the need medical staff, teachers and administrative people.  The time required varies depending on the position.   Pleas see for details

Introducing Members and Guests: Because the Mae Tao Clinic is located in Mae Sot, some 360 kilometers from Chiang Mai, it is not practical to have daily contact.  However, several trips have been organized for the purpose of introducing our members and friends to The Mae Tao Clinic.  The more people who are aware the more support we can garner.  One fine example is Rotarian Neal Herman of the Estes Sunrise Rotary Club; they have made significant contributions to our Mae Tao Clinic projects and we are exploring future opportunities.  The orientation trips will continue; the next opportunity will be in the July time frame.  Please contact Jerry Nelson ( if you are  interested.


 A recent tour group learns about the prosthetic




Stop the Burning - It's Killing Us!

Rotary International President Elect Ian H.S. Riseley recently made an appeal to Rotarians around the world to be guardians of our environment.   Here is Thailand we know well the costs of environmental betrayal through ignorance and more recently corporate greed, especially when it comes to crop management.  As Rotarians, our purpose is to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.  Sure we can plant a few trees, but frankly that’s not enough. What if we can save children’s lives my cleaning up the air they must breathe?   It will be difficult, it will be frustrating and it will be expensive, but we can do it!  We must do it or we will perish; not today, but in less time than our politicians apparently believe.
This is a photo of all that remained after a fire destroyed the boys’s dorm at the Mae Tao Clinic.   The fire was started by a farmer burning crop waste.  Bad management, bad wind and presto 70 plus migrant boys have no place to sleep.    Many of the boys lost all they owned, including their documentation which permits them to be in Thailand!   The only good news was that because they were in school, no one was killed!
What you can do about the smoke
Michael Shafer, Warm Heart Foundation, A.Phrao Chiang Mai
Three months of the year, Chiang Mai is uninhabitable. The annual “burning season” blankets the Thai North with a deadly fog that kills thousands, puts tens of thousands in the hospital and costs Thailand billions of dollars in healthcare and lost revenue.
The problem is not hard to understand. There is a lot of stuff to burn and between January and March most of burns producing lots of smoke. The question is: How to stop the burning? The answer is to change people’s thinking, which requires that we start by asking: Why do people burn?
People burn forests to make it easier to find precious wild mushrooms for global markets. Forest fires account for a lot of our annual smoke. But a big part of our smoke comes from farmers burning crop waste in their fields because burning is easier than chopping it down or digging it up.
How much smoke are we talking about?
Suppose we just look at corn and rice. Together they produce 11,056,000 metric tons of waste annually just in North Thailand. Government estimates that between 50% and 90% is burned. If we take the 50% figure, 5,528,000 tons of waste is burned annually. Burning one ton of waste produces 6.26 kg (13.8 lbs.) of smoke. Burning 5,528,000 tons produces 34,605,280 kg (76,131,616 lbs.).
What’s this, you ask? One kilogram of smoke is the equivalent of the smoke of 71,429 cigarettes. 34,605,208 kg of smoke is equivalent to 2,471,820,545,120 cigarettes.
What to do?
Convince farmers that there is a better way – and there is. If farmers convert their crop waste into any form of soil amendment and use it to restore their soil, their labor will be rewarded. This can be accomplished in three ways. Farmers can:
  • Mulch their crop waste – chop it into fine bits and sprinkle it across their fields;   

  • Compost their crop waste – mix it with other organic materials (manure, kitchen garbage) and allow it to decompose before adding it to their soil; and

  • Biochar their crop waste – turn it into “super charcoal” which they can combine with mulch, compost or manure and add to their soil.

The Warm Heart Environmental Project develops new, inexpensive biochar technology and fertilizers for poor farmers.


Mulching is a traditional practice largely abandoned here because of the need to produce crops in fields every year. A recent innovation by the Lampang Rotary Club, the engine powered chopper, now makes it possible for farmers to mulch crop waste rapidly to protect the soil from the sun and leave the previous crop’s waste ready to be incorporated into the soil when the field is prepared for planting.  The Rotary Club of Lampang is partnered with with Rajamangala University
Testing of the shredder at Lampang
Aided by the development of a simple technique for enhancing compost quality at MaeJo University, many farmers are today experimenting with transforming crop waste into compost.
With equipment designs and training from the Warm Heart Foundation, still other farmers are converting their crop waste to biochar and returning it to their soil, often mixed with enhanced compost or manure.  Warm heart is working with Chiang Mai University.
All three approaches offer great advantages to small farmers, but they will also just begin to solve the region’s smoke problem. These approaches provide the only means available to change the behavior of the large number of small farmers whose smoke contributes to the annual smoke crisis. Such small-scale solutions must, however, be complemented by government efforts to regulate the mushroom market to reduce incentives for forest burning and by large-scale solutions to huge smoke sources as the two sub-districts in Mae Chaem District, which grow so much corn that they burn 95,000 tons of waste annually.
What you can do right now:
More farmers want the Rotary Shredder than the Lampang Club can afford to produce. The Rotary Club of Lampang has begun a Rotary Global Grant (Crop Residue Shredding, 1744360) To purchase a Rotary Shredder for a farmer or to contribute toward the purchase of one contact Rotarian Tony Harris at
Stop the Smoke! is an online crowdfunding campaign to remove smoke from our skies by paying farmers to produce biochar, each ton of which effectively eliminates 31.3 kg of smoke. Donate directly to 100% of your donation goes to the purchase of biochar from farmers.
Save the Dates!
Exciting events are coming up in Rotary, more details when time allows:
March 25-26, 2017 Pre-District Conference Mai Sai.
May 12-14, 2017 Joint 6 district Conference with John Germ RI President  Impact Arena, Bangkok.
June 10 - 14, 2017 Rotary International Convention, Atlanta Georgia, U.S.A.  Register at   
July 1, 2017 - Installation of Chiang Mai Area Rotary Presidents, Grand View Hotel.   Times and Details to follow
October 3, 2017 - District Governor's Official Visit to CMIRC
                    Chiang Mai Internatioanal Rotary Club (CMIRC) Meetings April - June 2017