HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

You come as a stranger, you go as a friend

Rock Shocks the Cold next weekend

Zontians continue to tirelessly help those less fortunate in Chiang Mai

Kad Suan Kaew look to next year

Everything’s coming up roses!

U Hmong municipality under the microscope

The Lanna collection of New Year cards to benefit local charities

Chiang Rai follows Royal edict and promotes healthy exercise

You come as a stranger, you go as a friend

The Chiang Mai Friendship Force Group welcomed the “ambassador of friendship” from the Central Coast of Australia, together with a huge group at a Kantoke dinner on Saturday, November 16.

(From left) Kanokwan Ukosit, standing next to her is the president of Chiang Mai Friendship Force Netr Suwankrughasn, next, seated in the front is the president of Central Australia Friendship Force Mrs. Yvonne, together with Mrs. Beverly and the beautiful Thai Lady in the front is the organizer of this group-exchange, Pong Niyomca, who is not only the coordinator of all northern Thailand Friendship Force Clubs, but also the director of the Human Resource Efficacy Development Center.

The motto of the Friendship Force International (FFI), which was founded by former US President Jimmy Carter is, “You come as a stranger, you go as a friend.” FFI enhances culture exchange, peace and friendship amongst members.

Chiang Mai’s Chapter is a very active one, and more than 100 people were counted at the dinner at Sibsongpanna Khantoke. The oldest member there was 88 years old.

The idea behind these group exchanges is not only for older people to travel, but so they can travel together and do not to have to stay in anonymous hotels, but with families of their own age groups, and learn more about the culture, host country and most of all friendship.

And as Jimmy Carter said many years ago, “If people would start to accept differences not as something frightening but be more inquiring and interested in each other, we would not have wars in the world.”

Lets hope that the Chiang Mai Club will get stronger and stronger!

Rock Shocks the Cold next weekend

Warm blankets for the needy

Thai Worldview Foundation in co-operation with Jeep Club Chiang Mai ’94 will organize a rock concert, “Rock Shocks the Cold” in Lan Ban Kheaw (Green House’s Ground) on Saturday, November 30. Pongtada Suriya, managing director of Thai Worldview Foundation, said the concert aims to collect clothes and blankets to donate to the poor.

The concert will play all the standards and favorites from groups and artists such as Santana, the Eagles, Credence Clearwater Revival, the Beatles, Badfinger, Mountain, Rainbow, the Hollies, John Cougar Mellencamp, the James Gang, Steppenwolf, Steely Dan, Jefferson Starship and the Bee Gees.

Local artists drawn from the Chiang Mai Musicians Club will provide the entertainment and there will be a gathering from the big bike enthusiasts to join in this charity activity.

Other support for this concert comes from Weera Panitch Co, Pom Klung Co, Road Side Restaurant and Jatupong Printing House.

To give support and donate contact the Thai Worldview Foundation 053-408 285, Jeep Club Chiang Mai ’94 053-872 757, Weera Panitch 053-852 345, or Chiang Mai Musicians Club 01-7643551.

Zontians continue to tirelessly help those less fortunate in Chiang Mai

“The Grandma Cares Project”

Marion Vogt

There are more than 1,246 Zonta Clubs all over the world in 69 countries and geographic areas. Our very own Zonta Club of Chiang Mai was chartered in October 1997 from a couple of dedicated residents, and is still becoming stronger and stronger.

Chiangmai Mail’s Marion Vogt meets with the driving forces behind the ‘Grandma Cares’ projects, Somboon Suprasert and Dr. Carolina San Miguel-Pratummanee.

Zonta is a club for women from all over the world who do not necessarily have to agree on everything but join efforts and have the vision of the big picture to advance the status of women worldwide.

The charter president in Chiang Mai was Somboon Suprasert, who brought the “Grandma Cares Project” to life.

Today, we will give you a brief description what this is all about. In a later issue, we will tell you more about Somboon, who is the founder and coordinator of a group of women who help HIV/AIDS sufferers and their families with the Sanpatong Home Based Care Project, which was established in 1992 in Chiang Mai Province, and has been ongoing ever since.

This long-term project provides education, moral support, medication and counseling services in a holistic approach on the biological, psychological and social levels.

It encourages villagers to help each other care for ‘their’ families, thereby shifting the responsibility back to the community and relieving pressure from the overused hospital infrastructure.

The biological side helps with the treatment of the body; the psychological side deals with the attitude, acceptance and stress while the social side of this program improves the living conditions by teaching patients how to participate in their community.

It is a bold, new approach, involving home care and educating family members as well as volunteers and village leaders.

Vital parts of this home-care training are the grandparents who raise the grandchildren after their own children have succumbed from AIDS, usually leaving the family seriously indebted.

As of today the Grandma project has more than 1000 trained volunteers in its team who visit the homes of over 800 families to train them about home care.

With a waiting list of over 3500 families, money is never enough despite the wonderful help from the Red Cross, the Thai Rotary Clubs, private sector companies and of course Zonta Clubs all over Thailand.

To raise additional funds and at the same time give occupational therapy to the patients, the team has established a shop at Sanpatong Hospital to sell products made by HIV/AIDS patients and their families.

Since modern medicine is very expensive and most of the patients cannot afford such treatment, this project puts emphasis on the use of herbal medicine as an alternative. This is then backed up with spiritual and social support to help prepare patients for their death, help the families to handle the repercussions of that and to deal with the legalities. For example if both parents die, it needs to be assured that children are the beneficiaries of their estate.

The “Grandma Cares Project” emphasizes positive thinking, love, respect, cooperation, service above self, and self-management, with the aim of encouraging and supporting higher moral standards, and so reducing risk behavior. Life skill and spiritual training will facilitate this.

If you or your company is interested in becoming a part of this project, which is by now a case study for clubs all over the world, you can get in touch with the Zonta Club Chiang Mai or ask for more information by fax: 0 5332 1969.

Chiangmai Mail will keep you posted about upcoming events of these tireless Ladies of Chiang Mai.

Kad Suan Kaew look to next year

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Chiang Mai Shopping Complex, Kad Suan Kaew executives had their annual supplication to the God Brahma looking for blessing for wealth and prosperity. The ceremony occurs on November 8 each year, where Kad Suan Kaew Co, with the their associate business firms, gather and pay respect to Brahma. They also gave offerings, such as food, desserts and fruits, and staged a Thai Lanna dance show from Chiang Mai College of Dramatic Arts.

Pol. Lt. Suchai Kengkarnka, the managing director, said next year he has projects to rebuild and refurbish empty areas of the shopping complex, which will cost more than 190 million baht.

The major projects are rebuilding the theatre to support dramatic arts, setting up an IT Zone (Kad Dot Com), a Kids’ Channel Zone and Food and Entertainment areas.

Kad Suan Kaew has 2 theatres with the larger one, the Kad Theatre, seating nearly 1,500 and the mini theatre nearly 500. Kad Dot Com is the latest project in the contract with IT City, the investor in Pantip Plaza in Bangkok, and they will open an Information and Technology Zone covering 5,000 square meters.

The Kids’ Channel Zone will be on the 2nd floor with 2,000 square meters available for a playground. The open air area in the ground floor will be turned into a food and entertainment area. All projects are planned to be finished next year.

Everything’s coming up roses!

The Chiang Mai Rose Festival 2002 coming next month

The rose growers in Chiang Mai will hold the Chiang Mai Rose Festival 2002 December 20-22 at the Kum Tieng plant markets. Kriengkrai Kanongdechachart, the director of Chiang Mai Provincial Agriculture and Cooperative Office said that the rose growers hold the Chiang Mai Rose Festival every year. This year the festival will be open from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., and the event is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand Northern Office Region 1, Agriculture Department, Chiang Mai Provincial Agriculture and Cooperative Office, and the Kum Tieng Pattana Company.

The activities in the festival includes contests for the best roses, an exhibition of roses, and rose planting demonstrations, demonstrations on how to make dried roses using microwave, flower arranging contests, rose drawing contests, a rose clinic, and the display of the roses from the Phu-Ping Royal Palace.

U Hmong municipality under the microscope

Nuttanee Thaveephol

Community organization research workshops will be arranged in Lamphun November 25-26 this year, arranged by the Faculty of Social Science, Chiang Mai University. The aim is to encourage the creation of community networks and learning centers by community participation.

The participants are 20 people and leaders in Tambon U Hmong from 11 villages and some of the government officers from the Rural Development Center and the local municipality. There will also be a local research expert from Wiang Chiang Rung Sub-district, Chiang Rai.

This program is a part of Asst. Prof. Montri Kanpummal’s action research supported by the Faculty of Social Science called, “A Study of the Empowerment of Community Organizations and Development a Model of Community Organization Network: A Case Study of Communities in U Hmong Municipality, Muang District, Lamphun”.

Additional information may be obtained at 053 943 567 or 09 580 5221.

The Lanna collection of New Year cards to benefit local charities

The Northern Printing Business Club (NPBC), formed by a group of printers and publishers in the region has produced New Year cards, with the profits to go to charity.

Boonyarit Tulapunpong, the public relations officer for the NPBC said the cards consisted of a Lanna culture collection, Chiang Mai City and the historical sites of Chiang Mai. The illustrations were done by Suwin Watcharasatien and designed by the Within Design company.

There are 3 different collections, and the cards are printed both in Thai and English. There is also a special service included to print the name and address on the cards.

For further information contact Chiang Mai Scanner, tel. 053-208 667-8, Chang Puek Printing, tel. 053 404 030, 053-221 810, Bunchai Printing, tel. 053-211 833, 053-419 056, Prachkorn Business, tel. 053-274 803 or Bunsiri Printing, tel. 053-801 123, 053 278 283.

Chiang Rai follows Royal edict and promotes healthy exercise

Chiang Rai’s exercise for health celebration will be held on the national health days, November 27-29.

Chiang Rai Provincial Governor Narin Panichkit said the government had already declared 2002-2003 to be the year of health, so Chiang Rai had arranged a celebration for health following the Royal edict.

On November 27, over 1,000 bicycles will ride around the King Rama 5 monument at 6.30 a.m. At the same time there will be healthy exercise activities including aerobics, T’ai Chi and Yoga. At 2 p.m. there will be a mass bike rally to the grand opening of the Lanna Plaza, Muang Chiang Rai, which will be at 3 p.m.

Activities scheduled for the 3 days; November 27-29 at Lanna Plaza, include 9 types of exercise, an exhibition of paintings by famous artists, and stalls with healthy foods.