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Posted by John Schorr on Sep 01, 2019
Chiang Mai International Rotary Club (CMIRC)-Kru Payu and Safe Child Thailand Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program 
 
Sponsored By CMIRC, The Swiss Lanna Society, The Safe Child Thailand Foundation, Australian Direct Aid Program, and the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy

August has been a busy month for the CMIRC Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program.  School is in session, so we have programs going in Chiang Mai, Phrao, Phuket, and soon Phetchabun. 
 
Australian Direct Aid Program Grant
The Australian Embassy Staff visited Chiang Mai on August 9 and 10, so they were able to join CMIRC Rotarians John Schorr and Roger Lindley at the certificate ceremony on August 9th in Phrao for the 128 4th-grade children from the Ban Chaeng Khu Ruang Municipal School (
ร.ร.บ้านแจ่งกู่เรือง) who completed the survival swimming and water safety course this year.  The 2019 Phrao program was funded by the Australian Direct Aid Grant Program.
  
Alexander Wills, Second Secretary (Political-Economic) of the Australian Embassy Bangkok and his colleague, Teerasak Siripant were joined by Ron Elliott the Australian Honorary Consul here in Chiang Mai (pictured right with PP John) at the ceremony and Alex gave a very nice speech in Thai.  The school administration, teachers, and students all showed great appreciation to the Australian visitors, CMIRC, and our local partner the Warm Heart Foundation, represented by Evelind Schechter and her aide, Nian.

Before the ceremony (below), the school principal explained to us why the program was so important to the children and staff at the school.  In 2018, two 4th grade girls from the school drowned in a small pond, so they all felt very grateful that our program could help reduce the future drowning risk for children in Phrao. 
 
 
The final swim course for this Australian Direct Aid Grant will be at the BanYa Migrant Learning Centre in Phuket in September.   
 
We are already preparing to submit another grant request to the 2019-2020 Australian Direct Aid Program in September.  This grant will focus on a children’s water safety and drowning prevention course in Lamphun and on a Thai regional swim training center to be located in Phuket.  More about this next month.
                         
Phetchabun  
Having completed two courses successfully, we are now in the process of arranging for another swim program in Phetchabun with the funds remaining in the generous grant we received in August of last year from the Safe Child Thailand Foundation.
 
Patong Beach
The Rotary Club of Patong Beach (RCoPB) Larry Amsden Swim Safe Programme, under the leadership of program chair Johan Storck, is continuing the program with the Ban Sai Nam Yen School this year. Kru Gob has agreed to do the evaluation/assessment this year, so the Rotary Club of Patong Beach’s Larry Amsden Swim Safe Programme is now totally self-sufficient and the first example of a sustainable swim programme emerging from the Safe Child Foundation Grant we received two years ago.  They have plans to grow and involve other Rotary Clubs in Phuket as well.

Enrollment is now set for the swim teacher training program to be conducted September 12 to 16 when Eve Fraser and her trainer-volunteers from the Oz Swim Aquatics/Global Swim Aquatics will provide Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association international certification-level courses for our Larry Amsden Swim Safe Programme team in Patong Beach. Lead teacher Gob and Rotary Club of Patong Beach Past President Karen are also actively involved in the planning.  The program will be conducted at the J.D. Pool facility in Phuket owned by the Past President of the Rotary Club of Andaman.  

We are currently using the funds donated by the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN) to conduct swim programs for the 4th-graders at the Ban Chaeng Khu Ruang School (ร.ร.บ้านแจ่งกู่เรือง) in August. The goal is to again teach all 140 4th graders there from August to November.  In Phrao we organize the survival swimming and water safety courses with our partner organization, the Warm Heart Foundation.  
 
We have invited representatives of the BCTFN to visit the lessons and we will organize a trip once we have learned of their availability.
 
This year’s Phrao Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program schedule is: 
1. August 19 to 30.
2. September 2 to 13
3. September 16 to 27
4. October 21 to November 1
5. November 4 to 15

Chiang Mai, CMIRC-Sponsored Program
Courses for the 2019-2020 Rotary Year continue, we have already taught nearly 100 4th-graders in three of the eleven municipal schools we sponsor.  All eleven will be completed before the school break in March.  This year we have much-needed, significant help from the Swiss Lanna Society, Chiang Mai (see below)!

Swiss Lanna Society Chiang Mai
Last, but not least, we learned that the Swiss Lanna Society donation of the proceeds from the tombola raffle at their Swiss National Day Event on August 1st to our Children’s Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Program in Chiang Mai amounted to 100,000 Baht!!  As a result, they will be able to sponsor five of our eleven Chiang Mai municipal schools during the 2019-2020 school year.   We plan to actively involve Swiss Lanna Society members (their board is pictured) in swim course visits and, of course at our certificate ceremony.
Sponsors