Posted by Roger Lindley
Basic education and literacy is one of Rotary’s six areas of focus. We know that basic education and literacy are essential for reducing poverty, improving health, encouraging community and economic development, and promoting peace.
 
Consider these facts:
  • If all women completed primary education, there would be 66% fewer maternal deaths.
  • A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five.
  • If all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty, which would be equivalent to a 12% cut in world poverty.
 
The world is making good progress in this area. According to a 2014 United Nations Millennium Development Goals progress report, literacy rates among adults and youths are on the rise and the gender gap in literacy is narrowing. But pressing global needs remain: 58 million children worldwide are out of school. Even after four years of primary schooling, as many as 250 million children cannot read and write. 781 million adults are illiterate.
 
As our club members know, our club has chosen to focus on the area of children’s safety, health and education. What are some of the things our club is doing to improve education and literacy?
 
Our fundraising efforts last Rotary Year supported Mae Tao Clinic’s Child Development Center, especially their program to provide Graduate Education Diplomas (GED) to qualified students studying both in Mae Sot and Chiang Mai. Both of the students we funded in Chiang Mai passed their GED exams. Having a GED permits stateless persons the ability to obtain a higher education here in Thailand and overseas.
 
Our Rotary Club used the income from the 2nd Quarter 2017-2018 Raffle to sponsor board and school supplies for one year at the Warm Heart Foundation (25,000 Baht) for a Lahu teenager, Saa (pictured at right). More about Saa at: https://warmheartworldwide.org/sponsor-update-saa/
 
Our club has engaged in improving English language skills at both BEAM Foundation and at the BCMF B.K. Kee Patient House here in Chiang Mai.
 
Our club’s English Cultural Language Club will engage with the local municipal schools’ students and teachers in improving English language skills by learning about each others cultures in a non-classroom environment.
 
There are almost unlimited challenges out there for improving literacy and education within the community. As a club we are limited by our resources of both people and finances.  Please consider supporting us either by joining CMIRC if you're not already a member, donating clothing or household items for our upcoming sales tables at the November 17th Citylife Garden Fair and Winter Clothing Appeal and, of course, financial donations are always welcome. We can handle international financial donations easily.
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