From the editor
We're sending the April Bulletin a few days early in the hope that some readers will be inspired to make a last-minute donation to the BEAM Community Service Internship Program before the March 31 deadline of the Global Giving Accelerator.  See the story below.
A tip for those viewing this Bulletin on small devices: the title of each article is a link to a page in our website where the article is presented in a format more friendly for viewing on mobile devices.  

President's Message - April 2018
April is Rotary’s month to recognize and celebrate Maternal and Child Health. At Chiang Mai International Rotary Club our signature focus is always Child Safety, Health and Education. So April is the month when we best align with Rotary International’s monthly theme.
The CMIRC Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention program is expanding. In collaboration with the 11 Tessaban (Municipal) schools in Chiang Mai we are planning to provide vision screening for those children very soon.
We have just finished a very successful fundraising campaign to support students at Mae Tao Clinic’s Child Development Center. Our next project with MTC will be to assist with birth registration. It’s hard to imagine, but there are thousands of children in Northern Thailand who have no birth certificate, no civil rights and no chance to compete for a better life! The challenges are too many to mention here and the issues are complicated to say the least. Our club is grateful to have an opportunity to support this good work. (See the article below). 
CMIRC supports the Burma Children’s Medical Fund (BCMF), especially the B.K.Kee Patient house here in Chiang Mai. The ultimate goal of BCMF is to identify illness and treat them early in new clinics in Myanmar, so that fewer patients have to come to Chiang Mai for treatment. Still there are many who must come and stay at the B.K.Kee Patient House in Chiang Mai. We support the patients and their parents as we can. We’ve funded a new toilet building with a sink, mirror and electric lights. Dangerous drainage ditches have just been covered with metal grates as well.   
As the result of William Churchill’s efforts to make contact with Chiang Mai University, Immediate Past President Shana Kongmun, myself as President and President Elect John Schorr had an excellent meeting with Ajarn Rome of the CMU International Relations Department and representatives from the CMU Student Affairs Department on Thursday 22 March. Possible ways in which CMIRC and CMU could work together in the future were discussed and we expect to receive a formal letter from CMU soon, which will indicate ways in which CMIRC can have a presence in the international community on campus.

Thank you from BEAM School 
We have received the happy news that BEAM has reached - and exceeded - its target to become part of the Global Giving network! Thank you to all the Rotarians and friends who so generously responded to our Special Bulletin with donations to make this ambitious goal a reality.  We look forward to resuming weekly activities with BEAM school and our new English Language Cultural Exchange Club when their new school year starts after the Songkran holiday break.
A Message from BEAM School:
Thank you for helping us reach our first milestone! We are overjoyed by the support we have received from friends, partners, and strangers around the world. As of March 23, we achieved our first goal of raising $5000 between 47 people. Through the Global Giving Accelerator, we will continue to accept donations up until March 30th.
We currently have 4 students participating in Community Service Internship Program (CSIP) for the Spring 2018 semester: Awn Khay (SYP & SEED Learning Center), Chen (SYP & SEED Learning Center), Thel Thel (MAP Foundation), and Peter (BEAM).

Student Highlight: Awn Khay

Awn Khay is a CSIP intern with Shan Youth Power (SYP) and SEED Learning Center. SYP was founded as a communications center in Chiang Mai in 2002 to support the needs of Shan youth. Awn Khay volunteers as a Shan and English teacher for migrant children.

“Through this experience, I hope to learn more about organizing, teaching, communication skills, and networking. I am expecting that I can provide community service by teaching basic English and Shan language to migrant children and communicating with them to have a better mindset for their future when they grow up.” -AK

Awn Khay currently works three days a week at the SEED Learning Center and within construction camps around Chiang Mai. He mainly teaches basic Shan to young migrant children.

Originally from Shan state, Myanmar, Awn Khay is now studying for his Bachelor of Social Science at Chiang Mai University. Before beginning his higher education at CMU, Awn Khay attended BEAM’s GED program from 2014-2016. He successfully passed the GED (General Education Development high school certificate exam) in 2016. He speaks Shan, Burmese, Thai, and English. In addition to his studies and service internship, he also works as a data processor and sculpture artist.
Thank you for supporting students like Awn Khay! We are so proud of his progress and look forward to seeing his growth and development throughout his internship. To read more about CSIP visit:

Children's Water Safety Program is Expanding
With the help of the Safe Child Thailand Foundation, CMIRC continues to move forward with plans to use the Rotary Club network to expand its Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program to other cities in Thailand. The Rotary Club of Lampang has just graduated its second group of students who have completed their swim course based on the Chiang Mai curriculum. This brings the total number of students who have had survival swimming instruction in Lampang to 60.  (A class in Lampang is pictured at right.)
In Phuket, the Rotary Club of Patong Beach is ready to launch its Water Safety and Drowning Prevention classes in June for over 90, 4th-grade students. They too will be using the model Royal Life Saving Society curriculum adapted for Thailand developed here in Chiang Mai. The Safe Child Thailand Foundation sponsors the instructor training and pilot project expenses for these new courses, with the agreement that the Rotary Clubs will continue to offer these programs in the future.
Finally, the CMIRC-Kru Payu Swim team (John, Pomme, Wanida, Kru Garn) made a presentation on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 to the Rotary Club Chiang Mai North. The hope is for Chiang Mai North Rotarians to use their contacts in the Temple Schools surrounding Chiang Mai to help us expand the program in our province.

Update from Mae Tao Clinic
The GED Fundraiser for MTC's Child Development Center Students was a Great Success!
We raised 70,000 THB! ($2,187.50*) Many thanks to all who contributed. Because of your incredible generosity we will be able to fund 7 GED tests this year and assist with the coming year! I totally believe in transparency, so here is what came in and what went out:
Crowd Funding (Individuals chose anonymity)
$400 USD @ 32THB *
Chiang Mai International Rotary Club
Rotary Club of Bangkok South
GED Test for Students at MTC/CDC
from current PRE-GED Class at CDC
GED Test for Students at BEAM
Former CDC students now at BEAM
Partial Scholarship for PRE-GED student
Students pay regular tuition of 200 per month.  Scholarship covers pre-GED fee.
Full Scholarship for PRE-GED student
Students on full scholarship
GED Study Books for PRE-GED Class
Depends on exchange rate GED Tests
(* For ease of explanation and budgeting I chose to calculate the costs using the Rotary March 2018 exchange rate of 32 THB per 1 USD. In the end the exact costs will vary. The difference in actual and official rates will be added or subtracted to the GED Study Books for PRE-GED line.  The total of 70,000 THB will remain firm.)
Birth Registration is our Next Project.  On 15 March, Rotarian Joel Lupro and I met with MTC staff and then with Dr. Cynthia Maung. Of course, funding concerns is still a huge concern. There are many facets where Mae Tao Clinic needs help, but we have decided to stay on course to support the birth registration efforts.
So, what’s the big deal with birth registration? In Western Thailand’s Tak province there are some 300,000 refugees/migrants.  More than 6,000 babies are born to migrant and refugee parents there every year, including 2,500 births at Mae Tao Clinic alone. Some 1,500 are born at Shoklu Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) and another 1,500 at local hospitals. These statistics do not include the many babies who are born at home in villages on both sides of the border. Thai law requires that babies be registered within 15 days of birth. Those who are not registered are stateless!
Mae Tao Clinic’s Child Protection Department manages the birth registration office at Mae Tao Clinic, ensuring that each baby is afforded a Thai birth certificate. However, there are many born elsewhere who are having difficulty being registered.   
Birth registration and documentation are fundamental rights to which all children are entitled and MTC has worked collaboratively with the Thai government to ensure that all children born at MTC have access to the registration process.
MTC birth registration numbers have steadily increased over the years since the initial inception of the program in 2008; during 2017, 94% babies born at MTC received official birth registration documentation.  Birth registration ensures that children who grow up in Thailand can gain access to health and education services. Children who have a recognized identity have reduced risk of human trafficking, child labor and exploitation.
MTC's birth registration service provides administration duties, translation and interpretation services and technical support for families to register the birth of their child at Mae Tao Clinic. Children born outside of the clinic can also be referred to receive documentation from the Committee for the Protection and Promotion of Child Rights (CPPCR), if they are presented within 15 days of birth. CPPCR also keeps a Child Record for all children under 15 years of ago who do not possess any form of documentation. This network is critical for those children who are most vulnerable and may have been displaced, abandoned or orphaned during decades of unrest inside Myanmar. This helps to protect children with no family or kin from trafficking, child labor, early marriage and other very serious forms of child abuse. This process is also important for these children's futures and ensures that the potential for reunification of some these families remains a possibility.
In the near future, MTC will collaborate with CPPCR to conduct meetings with the Myanmar government to advocate for the rights of Burmese children holding Thai Birth Registration to access Burmese citizenship.

What You May Have Missed in March
In March we welcomed our newest member, Dr. Narong Tongsuk.
On March the 3rd we had our annual Charity Golf Ball Drop at the Thailand International Balloon Festival, held this year at the Cowboy Army Riding Club in Mae Rim. There was great turnout by club members and friends in helping with ticket sales and preparing for the drop. Due to circumstances beyond our control the “Drop” had to be modified into a “Draw”. We raised approximately 160,000 Baht to support our club’s service projects.  
On March the 13th there was a pre-induction meeting at My Secret Café in Town for Dr. Narong Tongsuk (D.Th.).
On March 6 we had a regular club meeting at Hong Kong Lucky restaurant where U.S. Consul General Jennifer Harhigh spoke about the new short-term exhibit in Bangkok, "Great and Good Friends", celebrating 200 years of friendship between Thailand and the U.S.
On March 13 the Service Projects and Fundraising Committee met to review project status and evaluate the Charity Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser.
On March 17 and 18, the District 3360 District Assembly was held at the Empress Hotel here in Chiang Mai. Four Hundred people registered for the event. Nine Rotarians from CMIRC attended the assembly.
On March 20, the CMIRC had a regular meeting at Hong Kong Lucky Restaurant with the program presented by Victoria Vorreiter on the topic "Hmong Threads of Life, Traditional Hmong Textiles of the Golden Triangle". Our newest member, Dr. Narong Tongsuk, was inducted into our club.  
On March 27 there was a scheduled CMIRC Board Meeting. Highlights included approval of donation of the 4th quarter Raffle income to BEAM school, with advance payment of 15,000 baht immediately in order to take advantage of the Global Giving program deadline of March 31. Also, the Board approved a Special Recognition Dinner for June 7 ahead of the Yale University Whim 'n Rhythm concert to honor non-CMIRC members who help make our projects a success.
And every Thursday morning Rotarians visit with the children and families at the B.K. Kee Patient House.

Incoming Presidents Trained in Khon Kaen
President-Elect John Schorr and President Jerry Nelson attended the Rotary Multi-District President Elect Training Session (PETS) in Khon Kaen. Almost all Thai clubs from the four Thai Rotary Districts (3330, 3340, 3350, and our district 3360) were present. In addition, clubs from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar were represented by their presidents-elect. It was a great opportunity to network with club, district, and Rotary International leaders. The plenary speeches and workshops covered essential information for new presidents: recruiting new members, strategic planning, fundraising, building strong clubs, My Rotary, and Rotary Central. The highlight was a speech by 92-year old past Rotary International President Bhichai Rattakul (pictured at left with our President Jerry) focusing on this year’s Rotary theme of “Be the Inspiration.” Everyone in the room was truly inspired by Khun Bhichai’s continued commitment to Rotary and service above self!

Of course, no Rotary meeting is complete without some fun! The banquet included dancing and what must be a first for any conference: a 400-person human wave similar to what you see in a sport’s stadium going from the front of the ballroom to the back 5 times. CLICK HERE to see the video on YouTube.

Both Jerry and John agree the conference was well worth the 9-hour drive each way and they, amazingly, did not run out of things to talk about on the long trips!  Next year, the Multi-PETS will be March 1 - 3 in Hat Yai!
All the  Rotary "PETS" doing The Wave in Khon Kaen.

Women in Rotary
Until 1989, the Constitution and Bylaws of Rotary International stated that Rotary club membership was for males only. In 1978 the Rotary Club of Duarte, California, invited three women to become members. They were registered with Rotary International membership using only their first and middle initials and last names. There was no gender reporting at the time because only men could join Rotary. During a club celebration event it became evident to members of other Rotary clubs that the club had female members. The RI board withdrew the charter of that club for violation of the RI Constitution.
The club brought suit against RI claiming a violation of a state civil rights law which prevents discrimination of any form in business establishments or public accommodations. The appeals court and the California Supreme Court supported the Duarte club's position that Rotary could not remove the club’s charter merely for inducting women into the club. The United States Supreme Court upheld the California court indicating that Rotary clubs do have a “business purpose” and are in some ways public-type organizations. This action in 1987 allowed women to become Rotarians in any jurisdiction having similar “public accommodation” statutes.
The RI constitutional change was made at the 1989 Council on Legislation, with a vote to eliminate the “male only” provision for all of Rotary.
Increasing the number of women members remains a major challenge in Rotary. Unveiling his theme for the Rotary year 2017–18 as Rotary: Making a Difference, incoming RI President Elect Ian Riseley made a strong statement for including more women and younger members in Rotary. “When we look at the challenges which we have to address in the coming years, two of them stand out to me; one is the gender imbalance in our membership and the other is the average age of Rotarians.”
It was “20 years since our Council on Legislation voted to admit women members in our Rotary clubs. And yet the percentage of women is just a little above 20 per cent, up from 13 per cent 10 years ago.”
At our recent D3360 District Assembly the women membership status showed: For Rotary International overall the number of women members is 22% and for D3360 the women members account for 37.8% of the total members.

Local Clubs with a Global Perspective
As an international organization, Rotary offers each member unique opportunities and responsibilities. Although each Rotarian has first responsibility to uphold the obligations of citizenship of his or her own country, membership in Rotary enables Rotarians to take a somewhat different view of international affairs. In the early 1950s a Rotary philosophy was adopted to describe how a Rotarian may think on a global basis. Here is what it said:
“A world-minded Rotarian:
  • looks beyond national patriotism and considers himself as sharing responsibility for the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace;
  • resists any tendency to act in terms of national or racial superiority;
  • seeks and develops common grounds for agreement with peoples of other lands;
  • defends the rule of law and order to preserve the liberty of the individual so that he may enjoy freedom of thought, speech and assembly, and freedom from persecution, aggression, want and fear;
  • supports action directed toward improving standards of living for all peoples, realizing that poverty anywhere endangers prosperity everywhere;
  • upholds the principles of justice for mankind;
  • strives always to promote peace between nations and prepares to make personal sacrifices for that ideal;
  • urges and practices a spirit of understanding of every other man’s beliefs as a step toward international goodwill, recognizing that there are certain basic moral and spiritual standards which will ensure a richer, fuller life.”

Save the Dates
Here are just a few of the important dates for Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC). These are opportunities for visitors to meet us and and for us to meet Rotarians from around the world.
03 April – Regular CMIRC meeting, 7 pm Hong Kong Lucky Restaurant, with program by Colin Jarvis on communicating with non-English speaking Thais.
17 April no CMIRC meeting because of the Songkran holiday.  Stay safe!
01 May – Regular CMIRC Meeting, 7 pm Hong Kong Lucky Restaurant with program by Christa Crawford, PhD on fighting human trafficking.
15 May – Club assembly – CMIRC Members only
19 – 20 May, Rotary District Training Assembly, Phitsanulok
07 June – CMIRC Recognition Dinner 5:00 p.m. at River Market restaurant.  By invitation only
07 June – Whim 'n Rhythm concert 7:00 p.m. at River Market restaurant.  Charity fundraising concert to benefit CMIRC's Children's projects.
23 – 27 June 2018 – Rotary International Convention, Toronto, Canada  (
2  October – District Governor’s Official Visit
1 – 3 March 2019,  Multi-PETS, Hat Yai
1 – 5 June 2019, Rotary International Convention, Hamburg Germany (