Vol. VII No. 22 - Tuesday
May 27 - June 2, 2008

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by Saichon Paewsoongnern

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Foundation for the Education of Rural Children awards scholarships

Foundation for the Education of Rural Children awards scholarships

The FERC committee and friends with the students
from Chiang Mai Region IV who received scholarships.

Rebecca Lomax
Board members of the Foundation for the Education of Rural Children, scholarship committee members, fund-raising musicians and many other guests recently gathered with students, their families and school officials at the Region IV Department of Education offices in San Patong to present scholarships to five outstanding high school, (matayom), students. Supplementary scholarships were also awarded to ninety-two other young people. Funding for the scholarships came from the organization’s “Sweet Charities” event, individual donors and the fund-raising efforts in California of the foundation’s North America representative, Steve Deering.
Donations from the United States flow through Give2Asia, a special tax-deductible charity account. Local donors included Jane Redgrove, who provided a scholarship for one of the young girls, and Margaret and Harry Deelman, who funded a two year scholarship.
Recipients were chosen on the recommendations of the students’ teachers and school administrators. Matayom scholarship recipients were also interviewed and recommended by members of the FERC Scholarship Committee, Glynn Morgan and David Geddes, both professional educators, who will monitor their progress during the school year.
FERC board members and friends were welcomed and a special certificate of appreciation was presented to the foundation by Region IV representatives. Marc Dumur, chairman of the foundation, accepted the award and spoke briefly to the students about the importance of education in their lives. One of the scholarship recipients, Wimala Saelee of Maewang District, addressed the gathering and thanked the foundation and its supporters in English, and noted the difficulties that many students face in completing their education. Board members and guests were then given the opportunity to award each scholarship, creating a steady stream of uniforms as the ninety-seven students came forward.
The matayom students were interviewed after the presentation of scholarships. They have different skills and goals, but each has demonstrated an enthusiasm for a good education and is willing to work for it. They come from families both large and small; one student is an only child, another has nine siblings. There are two girls and three boys in this group; representing both Thai and ethnic tribal children.
Overwhelmingly, they want to make their parents’ lives better. Wimala hopes to go to university and become an English teacher; at present she helps her parents on weekends in their flower business. Chadarot Kuenkum wants to attend university and become a biology teacher, and is concerned that the present state of the economy has had a negative impact on her mother’s saa paper business. Sirawit Jerchokchai, whose parents are farmers, plans to become a mechanical engineer, and has set his sights on Chiang Mai University because of its excellent engineering department. Yutthapong Inkae, whose father is deceased, plans to become a computer science and mathematics teacher, and appreciates how important computer studies are to his future and that of other Thai students.
The board of FERC and its supporters extend their congratulations to these outstanding young people. For further information on FERC’s scholarship program, you are invited to visit its website, www.thai-rural-education.org.

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