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Kids' Corner

Supported by funds from HM the Queen, Mae Soi youth group has become successful with OMEGA-3 eggs

A half century of international learning for life

Kids' Corner

Marvin has been invited to lots of birthday parties lately, so he went to the library to see if he could find out when some famous people were born. Here is what he found:
Jim Carrey January 17th 1962
Michael Jordan February 17th 1963
Andre Agassi April 29th 1970
Arnold Schwarzeneger July 30th 1947
Magic Johnson August 14th 1959
Bill Clinton August 19th 1946
Brittany Spears December 30th 1981
Tiger Woods December 30th 1975

When is your birthday? You could send Marvin a letter telling him what date you were born and maybe even a photo of yourself. You can send your letters to:
Kids’ Corner

Chiangmai Mail
156-158 Im-boon Housing Estate

Muangsamut Road
T. Changmoi, A. Muang,
Chiang Mai 50300
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 053 234 145


1) What goes up and down but never moves?
2) What kind of lion never roars?
3) What kind of puzzle makes you angry?
4) What did the little light bulb say to its mother?


1) Stairs
2) A dandelion
3) A crossword puzzle
4) I wuv you watts and watts.
This week we have a picture from Saidtha who is in Year 4.

Bye from Marg and Marvin

Supported by funds from HM the Queen, Mae Soi youth group has become successful with OMEGA-3 eggs

Metinee Chaikuna

A chicken farming project for youths set up in Mae Soi, Chorm Thong District, Chiang Mai has already had a storied history, and it is only 4 years old.

The project receives Royal support, has had a Royal visitor, has expanded exponentially, it successfully produces experimental eggs, and has diversified into farming a special type of prolific pig.

Back in March 1999, the project got underway with a rather small group of 30 youths from 10 villages who, supported by a 100,000 baht grant from Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, began raising chickens. The group has now expanded to 580 members.

The Mae Soi Youth Group’s chicken farm, supported by Chiang Mai Provincial Livestock Office, where the OMEGA-3 eggs are being produced. The project has proven quite successful and is now even expanding.

Mae Soi Youth Group’s president, Weerasak Sukkam said that in 1992, Mae Soi suffered a high unemployment rate. Students who graduated or finished school could not get work, so most returned home to help their parents cultivate longan orchards. However, since longan orchards do not need much looking after, the youths were left with too much free time.

Some of these youths began to fall in with the wrong crowd, and began spending their free time using drugs, which of course became a problem. Worried about the moral decay of their offspring, people in the district decided to set up an alternative way to generate income. They settled on the idea of chicken farming, and asked for a budget from Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. HM the Queen graciously consented to granting a budget of 100,000 baht to run the project.

This was just what they needed, and thanks to HM the Queen’s financial support, the project has become a success.

In 2002, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn graciously came to see the youth group’s chicken farm. The Crown Prince was impressed, and in 2003, the Crown Prince followed up the project’s progress and granted another budget to raise 500 chickens. Afterward, the Crown Prince’s secretary sent a letter to assign the Livestock Department to look after the project.

The Chiang Mai Provincial Livestock Office then gave advice to the youths, instructing them to diversify into different types of livestock than general farms so that the youths could have their own market. They suggested the youth group make OMEGA-3 eggs, which are different from normal eggs, as they have more DHA and EPA than normal eggs.

Each OMEGA-3 egg has the same benefits as 250 mg of whale oil, which is about equal to a whale oil capsule sold in drugstores, but with the added benefit of the eggs costing much less than the capsules. Each egg costs only 2 baht, which is cheap compared to the supplementary food capsules sold in drugstores, but more expensive than normal eggs. These special eggs provide around 4,000 baht income per month for the youths who work on the farm.

“Two members take turns watching over the farm every day, and each member would get 80 baht per day for that. For me, I get around 4,500-5,000 baht per month. It depends on how many days I come to watch over the farm. The income we get from selling eggs also pays for the electricity bill and administration of the farm, which we manage ourselves,” the president of the youth group said.

Apart from farming OMEGA-3 eggs, the youth group also raises Mueisan pigs they get from the livestock office. The Mueisan pig is a species of pig that the Chinese government granted to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The special feature of this pig is that it produces many piglets. However, the pigs are quite smelly, so a veterinarian from the Provincial Livestock Office began experimenting, and bred the Mueisan pigs with Durox pigs, so the pigs would not smell so bad, yet would still produce many piglets.

“Now we only focus on half-breed Mueisan pig farming and OMEGA-3 eggs, and this has proven to be successful. We have alternative income and have a worthwhile way to spend time. Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has changed our lives very much. In the past the youths here faced a lot of problems with drugs. But now 99% of the youths no longer deal with drugs,” Weerasak said.

The project has also received a lot of support from both state and private sectors, and now even needs to expand as, due to its success, more members are joining the project.

A half century of international learning for life

CMIS celebrates fifty years in Chiang Mai

Geoff Thompson

On the first day of June in 1954, the small school that was to become Chiang Mai International School (CMIS) opened its doors to the children of foreign missionaries stationed in northern Thailand. At the time Chiang Mai was a city of less than 50,000 inhabitants, and Thailand’s total population was almost a third (22 million) of what it is today.

A special 50th Anniversary ‘logo’ is being used throughout the celebration year Aug 2003 - June 2004, on school stationary, souvenirs etc. It incorporates the CMIS school badge and its Latin motto chosen by the school’s founders “Ora et Labora” which translates as By Work and By Prayer.

The coronation of HRH King Bhumibol had taken place in Bangkok just 4 years earlier. In the wider world, 1954 had seen a dramatic defeat for the French army at Dien Bien Phu, and West Germany upset Hungary 3-2 in the World Cup football final. In America Dr. Jonas Salk began inoculating children against Polio, and the Revised Standard Version of the Holy Bible headed the US non-fiction best seller list.

The Early Days

In Chiang Mai, the little ‘international’ school began operating in an old bungalow that had once been home to Dr. Daniel McGilvery, founder of the American Presbyterian Mission in Chiang Mai. Today it is the site of the First Thai Church. There were 8 pupils attending what was first called Chiangmai Children’s Center.

Where are they now? The Grade 8 graduating Class of ’63 look so proud and neatly turned out, with graduating certificates in hand. In those early days students went on to high school at ISB in Bangkok, or to a Christian-run school in India, many furthered their education at home in Chiang Mai by correspondence course, while still others went back to their home countries. Seen here (front) Kenny Bryant, Joann Seely, Joyce Seely, Larry Johnson, Paul Bradburn. (Back) Peggy (NA), Ricky Judd, Diane Pickering.

In just a short time, there was a need to add hostel accommodation for children of missionaries from other parts of Thailand who began attending the school. So, in 1955-6 the school moved to another former missionary home - that of Dr McKean, the founder of the McKean Leprosy Hospital and Rehabilitation Center.

The McKean home doubled as classroom space and hostel until the first purpose-built classrooms were erected. Today the charming old house serves as the administration building for CMIS.

The McKean House, seen here in 1973, is still a landmark on the current CMIS campus. It was built in 1906 as the home of missionary Dr J.W. McKean, founder of the McKean Leprosy Hospital. In 1955-6 it became the CCC school building, and later served as a hostel for students. Today, the classical old house is the Administration Building for CMIS.

With expansion of the school in the 1960’s a name change was decided upon, and, without changing initials, CCC became Chiangmai Co-Educational Center. A full education program for grades K through 8 was offered and the school now welcomed an increasing number of children from other international (non-mission) families coming to live and work in Chiang Mai. At the time, international schools outside of Bangkok had no legal status under Thai law. The administrators of CCC worked patiently and long to lobby for legal status for the school. Finally in 1984-5 the school was officially approved as Chiang Mai International School, becoming the first legally recognised, Thai Government registered international school in Thailand outside of Bangkok.

CMIS Today

Today, CMIS has become a dynamic and successful international school with over 400 pupils. Small enough to retain a friendly and relaxed campus environment, yet still the largest international school in the North. CMIS welcomes children of all faiths, cultures and ethnic backgrounds from the much-enlarged international community in Chiang Mai. It also remains true to the traditions of its founders, serving missionary families and maintaining its heritage of the Christian faith and values at the heart of the school.

Today the historical McKean House remains a key campus landmark at CMIS and serves as the Administration Building and the first stop for visitors to the school.

CMIS High School (grades 9 - 12) has been an important addition to the school. Beginning with Grade 9 in 1992, grades up to 12 were added each year until the high school was completed in 1995. Operating a basically American school system, students study a broad range of arts and science subjects over 4 years for the CMIS High School Diploma. In addition, the high school challenges its brightest students with the academically demanding Advanced Placement (AP) courses in a range of core subjects.

Modern graduates at CMIS finish in 12th Grade and enjoy a full American style high school graduation ceremony. Here the Class of 2003 celebrates together.

Around ninety percent of CMIS high school graduates continue their education at a university, and qualifications gained at CMIS are welcomed around the world. Recent grads have furthered their studies at universities in Australia, Canada, England, Holland, India, Japan, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the USA. This 50th celebration year will honour the school’s 9th senior graduating class in June 2004.

Plans to celebrate 50 years and beyond

Plans to celebrate the 50th year include a special Founders Day service scheduled for Sept 18th this year, and an Alumni Reunion weekend planned for Jan 2 - 4, 2004. It is hoped that as many as possible former CCC and CMIS students, teachers and parents will attend the weekend celebration. Alumni and others who are interested in getting further details are asked to either contact Kevin Morse at CMIS, or check the school website on

Miss Rose Wood was the first teacher of the school that opened as the Chiangmai Children’s Center in June 1954. Miss Wood continued to teach at CCC for many years, and is seen in this photo with her Grade 2 class in 1964. The children (from L to R): Victoria Kholer, Ricky Korn, Grant Pound, Joseph LeBeau, Michael Long, George Waters, and Mark Sewell.

As it looks forward to the next 50 years, CMIS plans a significant new building program at its campus close to downtown Chiang Mai. A gymnasium and a central resources building housing a new library, computer labs and additional classrooms will begin construction soon.

A challenge recognised by the school administration is to build for the future, but to maintain the intimate, friendly and tree-shady nature of the campus. With its experience of serving the very broad based community of international families who have lived in Chiang Mai over the past fifty years, CMIS projects a highly developed sense of the needs of international students. And, celebrating the school’s birthday today in a more complex and fractious world than the one in which it began fifty years ago, CMIS prides itself on developing its students as responsible individuals with a lifelong appreciation and respect for people of different cultures and backgrounds - a humble contribution from Chiang Mai towards a better world.

Happy birthday Chiang Mai International School!