Children’s Sight Project
The CMIRC Children’s Sight Project was formed in 2015 to provide comprehensive eye exams to children in Chiang Mai schools. Retired Australian optometrist Peter Bell champions this popular program, which enjoys the support of two Thai Rotary clubs also located in Chiang Mai: Thinthaingam and Chiang Mai North. The project’s aim is to screen children for problems, provide them with the correct spectacles, then follow-up with additional eye exams each year they’re in school.
Our first school visits were in Mae Taeng district, about an hour north of Chiang Mai proper, where the Thinthaingam Rotary Club had already established water purification projects. Through June of 2016, more than 600 students were examined, with 39 needing eye-glasses. Aside from the Mae Taeng schools, the CMIRC eye clinic has also visited the Chiang Mai Juvenile Observation and Detention Center and the Chiang Mai Big Brother program.
Club members enjoy these visits because of the opportunities they have to work with Thai students and teachers in rural schools and experience the “real” Thailand.  Members pre-screen the kids for distance-acuity, near-acuity, color-vision, and stereo-vision before Dr. Bell examines them. Thai Rotarians from our partner clubs play important roles helping with screening and acting as facilitators and especially as translators. The Children’s Sight Project has become one of CMIRC’s most popular programs.
We provide comprehensive optometrical  eye care and free spectacles to the Hill Tribes School Children in the Chiang Mai Province. This project collaborates with the Chiang Mai Rotary Club of Thin Thai Ngam and the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North on this project. This project will provide continued eye care on an annual basis to about 10 schools in the Mae Taeng district.   Facebook
Further info contact Peter Bell…… 
Introducing CMIRC
At the Rotary International convention in Seoul, I had the distinct honor of meeting many of you.   Your energy, compassion and wisdom are truly inspiring.   I hope to see you in Atlanta!  
  Steve, Sue, Maliwan, Jerry & Nick at the Power of Play Booth.
Of course, when you visit Chiang Mai Thailand, you are cordially invited to make Chiang Mai International Rotary Club your home away from home.  See our website.  
The CMIRC Bulletin will come to you approximately once a month.   We hope you are inspired by our projects.  We are a club of just over 20 members and as one of our charter members so eloquently puts it: “We are fighting above our weight”.  All of our projects have a dedicated champion have a dedicated champion and are positioned to protect children.  Editions of In this bulletin will provide information about CMIRC:  
  1. Children's Water Safety, Champion is Rotarian John Schorr, Ph.D - Featured in the August  
  2. Children's Eye Clinics; Champion is Rotarian Dr. Peter Bell - Featured in the July 
  3. Mae Tao Clinic, Champion is Rotarian Jerry Nelson
  4. One Word Play, Champion is Rotarian Jerry Nelson
  5. Babar, Champion is Rotarian Christian Bollier
  6. Winter Clothing Appeal, Champion is Past President Joe Evans.
Northern Thailand has more need than we can satisfy, but we can and will make a positive difference.  With your support we can do anything!      
Just two of the precious children we protect through our support of the Mae Tao Clinic
Abundant Blessings,
Jerry Nelson
CMIRC Foundations Chair
RI Convention Part 1 - Eradicate Polio Now
This is the first in a series of observations from the convention in Seoul.  Here I will concentrate on Polio Eradication.
The general session on the eradication of polio was truly inspiring.  Much detail is available on line, especially at and; I won’t attempt to duplicate it here.  That said,  I will pass on the sentiment:  WE MUST totally defeat this horrible disease and that will take more work and more money.  Every club is urged to do fundraising activities and make contributions to Polio Plus.

My personal favorite is “Rotarian Flavors of the World Cookbook – A Collection of 400 recipes from over 100 countries.  The books are only $15.00 USD.  $5.00 USD goes to Polio Plus.  There are many great uses beyond adding it to your own collection of kitchen expertise or individual gifts.  What about Club events, Weekly Program Speaker Gifts or District Events?    
Because they placed useful basic information about Rotary in the book, it is a perfect gift for a prospective member.
To order please call +1 847-302-6310 or email
Mae Tao Clinic Grand Opening 28 May 2016
After more than three years of hard work, reduced donations causing budget changes, floods and a fire, the new campus of Mae Tao Clinic was officially opened on 28 May 2016.  Congratulations to all who made this possible! Enjoy the moment and then it’s back to work serving the people along the Thailand / Burma border. Dr. Cynthia you are definitely my hero!
Rtn Bob Carroll, Rtn Tom Johnson, Rtn Cindy Johnson, Dr. Cynthia Maung, President Elect Shana Kongmun, Rtn John Schorr
I'm so grateful to the great Rotarians  who step up and help support the Mae Tao Clinic.  Our current fundraising project is to support the Child Protection Training Program which has a budget of 159,700 THB.  Currently our shortfall is just under 25,000 THB.  On Tuesday I'll be asking members to contribute.  Your generousity and kindness will make this a success for the Child Protection Department at Mae Tao, and for the club.  
Abundant Blessings!
Jerry Nelson
Mae Tao Clinic Champion
Mae Tao Summary
At its humble beginning back in the 1980’s The Mae Tao Clinic was a very simple, one room building with only a rice cooker to sterilize instruments.  Today Mae Tao Clinic provides health care to over 150,000 displaced people per year. 
Did you know that the Mae Tao clinic provides free medical service to Burmese immigrants and displaced persons along the Thai / Myanmar border in Tak province?  They see between 300 and 400 patients a day, six days a week!  Many travel great distances to be seen at the Mae Tao Clinic, where they can receive quality medical care in a safe environment.  
Did you know that many big donors have re-directed their giving to within Myanmar, leaving Dr. Cynthia Maung and her team with horrendous funding shortfalls?    While there has been some progress in Burma, many citizens are still ostracized by the government.  They continue to come to Mae Tao Clinic because other options are not yet available.  The most optimistic predictions indicate that the Mae Tao Clinic will be an absolute necessity for at least the next five years.  Most feel the clinic will be needed for at least the next 10 years. 
Mae Tao Clinic has expanded its scope of service to three main areas:   Health Services, Training and Child Protection   Please refer to  The things they are accomplishing is truly amazing!
From the CMIRC’s inception, we have continually tried to support the Mae Tao Clinic  We realize that as a small club we can’t possibly do all that’s needed.  That said, there is much we have done, are doing and will do in the future.  We actively seek other Rotary Clubs to help Mae Tao Clinic.  Mae Tao Clinic touches on all six areas of Focus.
Peace and Conflict/Resolution:   Their work with indigenous hill tribe and other ethnic minorities makes a difference in conflict resolution within Myanmar and along the border in Thailand.  The medical training and health programs inside Burma also help to reduce tensions.  Mae Tao Clinic’s birth registration program allows babies the opportunity to flourish by giving them the beginnings of opportunities to be educated and work in Thailand, Myanmar.
Disease Prevention and Treatment:  This is Mae Tao Clinic’s original and still primary area of focus.  They have programs for the prevention and treatment of denge fever, malaria and much more. 
Water and Sanitation:   As their community based training and treatment expands Mae Tao Clinic must deal with water and sanitation issues in poor villages and schools on both sides of the Thai / Burma border.
Maternal and Child Health:  This is one of the largest areas of focus for the Mae Tao Clinic.  The new born babies at Mae Tao Clinic have a much lower morbidity rate than babies born in Burma.
Basic Education and Literacy:   Mae Tao Clinic focuses on the child.  Their Child Development Center can take as many as 1,000 migrant children.
Economic and Community Development:  Mae Tao trains medics to work in Myanmar.  This project touches lives of people who otherwise might not have any opportunity to make meaningful contributions to their society.  The Mae Tao Clinic Training Program alone touches all six areas of focus.  
What follows below are a few paragraphs describing CMIRC’s involvement with the Mae Tao Clinic
Chiang Mai International Rotary Club:
Introduce 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 example is an American Couple Tom and Alene Tunny who are working with their local Lions club to provide support of Mae Tao Clinic’s Eye Clinic.  Another fine example is Rotarian Neal Herman of the Estes Sunrise Rotary Club.  The orientation trips will continue.
   CMIRC Members and Guests Visit The Clinic
New Campus Waste Water Management System.  CMIRC raised 186,000 baht to help fund the waste water management system for the Mae Tao Clinic’s new campus.   The money was transferred to them on 24 February 2016
Mae Tao Clinic’s Burma Flood Relief Project  Horrendous flooding occurred in many parts of Burma in 2015.  CMIRC donated 26,400 baht to Mae Tao for their flood relief project.  We knew the money would go to help the flood victims.
Boys Dorm:  On the 28th of February, 2015 in Mae Sot Thailand a sugar cane farmer burned a field. It was a windy day and the result was the loss of 2 buildings that were home to 62 boys and 2 teachers from Mae Tao Clinic’s Child Development Center. An emergency fundraising effort spearheaded by a member of Chiang Mai International Rotary Club raised 134,300 baht which was donated to Mae Tao Clinic on 10 March. 
  The boys lost everything that was in the dorm, papers, study papers, clothing, everything! 
Child Recreation Center:  As a follow on to the fund raiser for the Boy’s Dorm another 10,000 baht was collected and transferred to Mae Tao Clinic.  Largely because of a an emergency grant The Rotary One, Hong Kong the new Boy’s Dorm was fully funded.   Therefore, we were able to earmark this 10,000 baht for the Child Recreation Center at the new clinic. Money was transferred on 19 May 2015.
Dr Cynthia’s talk in Chiang Mai:  On 27 January 2015, CMIRC hosted a public meeting at the Le Meredian, Chiang Mai where Dr. Cynthia Maung, founder of the Mae Tao clinic was our honored guest speaker.  The event was attended by well over a hundred people and raised 104,600 baht
Surgical Equipment:  In September 2014, CMIRC teamed with the Chiang Mai Expat club to provide some 60,000 baht worth of badly needed surgical equipment to the Mae Tao clinic.  The club recently received a second list of needed equipment; we are looking at ways to provide these items.
A Compassionate Connection:  A gentleman by the name of Bill Feetham passed away in Chiang Mai.  His widow Fran Decoster contacted Roger Lindley, our Charter President.  She had several pieces of expensive hospital equipment including a hospital bed, a machine that generates oxygen, an aspirator and much more.  She wanted to donate this equipment to the Mae Tao Clinic. 
A couple of days later, on Friday 21 March 2014, Rotarian Joe Evans and I picked up the equipment and the next morning we delivered it to Mae Tao clinic where it was put to good use.  This was an opportunity to be of service by provided by a compassionate connection.  CMIRC was able to facilitate community needs and strengthen the bond between Mae Tao Clinic and CMIRC, Bill Feetham has a bit of his legacy at work helping the people who need the equipment. 
Going Forward:
Child Protection Training Program;   As of this writing we are in the process of doing a fund raising project to fund the Mae Tao Clinic Child Protection Training Initiative.   The goal is 159,700 THB.   With your help we can make it happen.  There are three easy ways to donate:
  1. If in Chiang Mai, just hand Jerry Nelson a check or cash.  Contact me at or +66 89-556-4293 for more for details.
  2. Make a electronic transfer to the Bank Account we have set up for this purpose:

BANK:   BANK OF BANGKOK,  Kad Suan Kaew  branch


ROUTING NO:  026-008-691 (For USA)


ACCOUNT NUMBER:  531-0-82675-4

(Please send me an email so I can thank you and keep the books strait)


Last Updated:  4 June 2016
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.