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Prinzessin Maja von Hohenzollern visits the School for Life

A Children’s Day to Remember

Prinzessin Maja von Hohenzollern visits the School for Life

170,000 baht donated as final part of 1 million baht promise

On 14th January the School for Life in Doi Saket was honoured to welcome Prinzessin Maja von Hohenzollern, together with Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon, President of the Thailandfreunde e. V. Both the Princess and Herr Weeber-Arayatumsopon had been involved with School for Life since its inception, so their meeting with the children on arrival was more of a “re-introduction” than a formal introduction! The Princess will remain in Chiang Mai for a week, in order to learn more about the children and their way of life.

A happy face watching the clown, Nick Wiszynski.
To the joy of all concerned, Herr Weeber-Arayatumsopon presented School for Life with a cheque for 170,000 baht, thus making good his promise made three years ago to donate 1 million baht in total. He also announced that he would be moving to Sansai district, Chiang Mai, in May, where he would open a Medical Foot Therapy Centre, an effective treatment which is popular in Germany. He told the children that he would not only “look after all their little feet”, but would also offer to train older children in this technique, which has been proven to be effective in cases of warts, corns, nail fungus, and even skin cancer.
Both the VIP’s and the children were delighted with a performance by Nick Wiszynski, an English teacher in Chiang Mai who doubles as a children’s clown and magician. With the other guests from Germany came Tasso Bertram, a soccer professional, who will stay at School for Life for a week to teach the children to play soccer.
As well as their generous donation to School for Life, Thailandfreunde e. V. also donated 21,000 baht to the 4th Annual Rooftop Party to be held at Hillside 4 on 26th January. This year, all the money raised will be donated to the Foundation for the Development of Disabled Persons, which is based in Chiang Mai.

Clown and magician Nick Wiszynski entertaining the kids.

Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon showing one of the School for Life’s children
the work that goes on at the Medical Foot Therapy Centre.

The kids from School for Life watching the morning’s performances.

Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon, (fifth from the left), presenting School for Life with a cheque for 170,000.00 baht, pictured with H. H. Princess Maja, (fifth from the right), and representatives, friends and kids from the School.


A Children’s Day to Remember

Elle Faraday
Put two hundred kids next to a huge pile of toys which are all theirs to choose from and you would not be wrong in expecting a riot. However, there was no riot to be seen on Saturday 12th, when The Chiang Mai Toy Ride committee together with local charity ‘Give and Live’ took hundreds of toys up to Vieng Ping Orphanage. The toys had all been donated at the Toy Ride the previous week, and were about to make Children’s Day very special for very many children.

Over 400 toys were laid out in front of the children for them to choose, and the resulting anticipation was almost too much to bear for some. In fact, one small boy, one of the first to choose, was so overwhelmed that he began to cry and refused to move. The tears soon subsided when he was handed a toy truck almost too big for him to carry!
After the youngest had chosen their toys, the calm proceedings gave way to complete chaos! Some children were desperately searching for the biggest and best while others were happy with the first toy they picked. The enormous pile of toys just 10 minutes earlier had quickly become just five small teddy bears waiting for the last couple of children to claim them. It was all great fun, and the squeals of delight and huge smiles on the children’s faces brought home to everyone what an enormous success both the toy ride and this day had been. Toys were compared and some even swapped, but at the end of the mass scramble, every child there had at least one special toy - some had even managed to sneak one extra.
After a brief break for ice cream, (kindly donated by Give and Live), it was time for the fun and games. Thumb wrestling was the game of the day and the winners of each match got to choose from six enormous cuddly toys which had been held back specifically as prizes.
It was a great day for everyone, which showed how just a little kindness can go a very long way! A big “thank you” must go to Scott Jones from Give and Live, for his organisation of the day’s events, as well as to Robert Straghan, the organiser of the Toy Ride.
For information and photos, visit the Chiang Mai Toy Ride’s website at: www. chiangmaitoyride.com and Give and Live’s website at: www.giveandlive.org.