Vol. VII No. 19 - Tuesday
May 6 - May 12, 2008



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


ACADEMIA NUTS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai International School holds a “Model United Nations” conference

Freedom House Benefit

63,000 baht from Ban Kingkaew Benefit for beds, bikes and bathrooms

Chiang Mai International School holds a “Model United Nations” conference

Discussions held on “Ethnic Minorities and Indigenous Peoples”

A “Model United Nations” conference was held April 26 in the auditorium of Chiang Mai International School. In addition to the school’s students, representatives from Lanna, Prem, Grace, and Nakornpayap international schools had been invited to attend the forum to discuss the topic of the conference, ‘Ethnic Minorities and Indigenous Peoples’. After registration, the forum was addressed by Suriporn Suriyanonton and Minnie Degawan from the ‘International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests’. Prior to the event, all the students had been allocated different countries to represent and had been preparing speeches and researching their countries for many weeks. Martin Foakes, co-ordinator of the event and teacher at CMIS, then informed the delegates of the procedures for the rest of the day.

Minne Degawan (left) and Suriporn Suriyanonton (right) were invited by Martin Foakes to address the student United Nations Delegates.
In the morning, the delegates were separated into four committees to discuss four topics: Darfur, Civil rights for indigenous peoples, Kurdish independence and Kosovo and the Basque region. Each committee was to come forward with a resolution which the teachers would then examine. The approved resolutions were then to be discussed, adjusted if necessary, and voted upon during the afternoon’s general assembly, which would also discuss a resolution on the question of “Palestine and its independence”. All countries were to participate in the general assembly, with every country giving its opinion about the topic and what they believed needed to be done to resolve the situation.

Suriporn Suriyanonton addressing the Model United Nations at the CMIS.
After the conference, most of the delegates proceeded to the Shangri-La Hotel for a buffet dinner in order to socialize with the other delegates, relax from the day’s events and just have a good time.
The “Model United Nations” event is becoming very popular in international schools around the world as it allows students to learn about current world events and how people can work together to influence their outcome. Presenting different countries’ respective opinions and finding compromises which help to form a consensus calls for diplomatic skills as well as problem-solving abilities, both of which will serve the students well in their adult lives and careers.

French and Serbian delegates discussing
the troubles in Kosovo and the Basque Region.

Saudia Arabia and Iraq trying to reach agreement on a UN Resolution
over the Kurdish Independence situation in the region.


Freedom House Benefit

KissMetta May 30

Freedom House kids with their teachers - the huge smiles tell it all!

Ever wondered where the kids who sell flowers go to school? What their lives are like or where they live? One kind woman did. She starting talking to them and found out that mostly they are too poor to go to school. Some live in tin shacks on construction sites, taking care of their siblings during the day while their parents work for subsistence wages. All of them live in extreme poverty on the fringes of society with few rights and even fewer opportunities or resources.
Freedom House education center was born. Freedom House’s mission is to provide opportunities for underprivileged peoples in Chiang Mai that have slipped through the cracks of our city; living almost invisibly around us. Since 2006, Freedom House has been providing children and adults free education including Thai and English language, art and music classes.
You can help Freedom House, help others by joining us at our upcoming benefit, KissMetta. KissMetta will feature original artwork donated by notable Thai and foreign artists, including Kamin Lertchaiprasert and Rungsak Dokbua, inspired by the benefit’s theme of metta or kindness. These unique pieces will be available for auction at the event. You can also enjoy live music, featuring the savvy stylings of Chai Blues and the whimsical songs of Mister Bradley; contemporary Thai Puppet artists, Wandering Moon; food and drink and prizes.
Come share kindness and enjoy an evening of inspired art and engaging entertainment Friday, May 30, 2008, 6-10 pm at JJ Market. Discounted advance tickets on sale at JJ Market, La Luna and Kasem stores starting May 9, 2008. Contact [email protected] for more information and additional ticket locations.


63,000 baht from Ban Kingkaew Benefit for beds, bikes and bathrooms

Lucky Foo’s restaurant was packed on Saturday night, April 26, with an evening of special hors d’oeuvres, toe-tapping tunes, a comedy slide and compassionate songs from Naie Kete, a Massachusetts native. Cosponsored by the LiL (Love is Life) Foundation, the nonprofit Give and Live and Lucky Foo’s, the 63,000 baht will be used to remodel bathrooms, repair bikes and purchase new beds for the young children at Ban Kingkaew orphanage on Thanon Wualai in Chiang Mai. Somehow we threw it all together in less than two weeks. Admission/donation came to about 8,000; raffle proceeds and extra donations were about 20,000, which Give and Live matched baht for baht; the Love is Life Foundation threw in 15,000 baht. LiL Foundation founder Steve Rosenfield is heading back to California to put together another benefit to raise the additional funds needed.

One of the precious 48 children at Ban Kingkaew.
Local businesses donated a wide array of raffle prizes: fine wine from Sadamnern Limited; manicure/pedicure from Nice Nails; massage from Bor Nguen; oil, tea and natural supplements from Nutra Thai; t-shirts from the co-sponsors, Scott Jones’ Life in the Laugh Lane book and 10 body piercings from Naga Tattoo. Amy and Dean, creators of Lucky Foo’s, (named after their dog Foo), were happy to host a full house only a month after opening with tasty appetizers including tiny deviled quail eggs and bangin’ buffalo wings that left spicy footprints on your tongue. Foo was not particularly pleased with all the people wandering around on his floor, but he did appreciate appetizers secretly donated under the table by humanitarian/dogitarian patrons. Liverpudlian Warren Simpson and The Garden Restaurant’s owner Tim Davies warmed up the crowd with acoustic blues; Scott Jones comedy slides and music took the guests on a tour of the USA and Thailand; Aey from The Hug Bar performed splendidly with guitar, vocals and kitchen spoons. Kete’s set featured her original songs, rousing and sweet, plus a new one written for the kids with touching photos of Ban Kingkaew taken by Steve, which drew a few tears from the guests.
With only two weeks of planning time, the benefit was a grand success for attendees and soon for Ban Kingkaew. Steve and Kete came to Chiang Mai for a trip of service and walked the talk. Almost every day for three weeks, they sanded and painted walls, purchased new benches and helped the orphanage staff wherever they could. Visit Love is Life’s Internet website/blog at www .thelilfoundation.org to learn more about their trip and learn exactly how the funds will be used to enrich the children’s lives.



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