Japanese Minister visits Doi Saket organic education centre and farm
Minorikawa Nobuhide, the Japanese Parliamentary
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, is shown the tanks used for frog
Minorikawa Nobuhide , the Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister for
Foreign Affairs recently paid a visit to the Environmentally Protective
Organic Farming Promotion Centre located in Doi Saket district’s Tambon
Choengdoi. Previously, the Japanese government’s Grant Assistance for
Grassroots Human Security Project had given a grant to the facility of 1.5
million baht, enabling the centre to erect the necessary buildings.
Prior to the founding and opening of the centre, local farmers had been
using chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, with amounts used
increasing every year in order to achieve results. Farming expenses also
increased in line with the cost of chemicals, as did the concern of farmers
about the environment and the safety of their crops. Many farmers were
experiencing declining health and skin conditions as a result of the
over-usage of dangerous chemicals.
As a result, the local Tambon authority began recommending an
environmentally protective farming system by introducing locally produced
organic fertiliser together with an education programme for farmers in the
new system, which stressed the economic and health benefits of going green.
To facilitate the programme, the Tambon authorities appealed to the Japanese
government for financial assistance in setting up a learning centre for
environmentally protective organic farming. Thanks to the generosity of the
Japanese grant assistance programme, the centre was established on May 23,
Since then, local farmers have become aware of the advantages of organic
farming, which has lead to the recovery of the precious soil and an
improvement in their health. Sustainable agricultural practices are now
being promoted, with many farmers from outside the immediate area now coming
to the centre to learn about the theory and practice of organic farming
During his visit, the Japanese Minister and his government delegates also
made plans for a project to organize a joint educating and training
programme involving Japanese and Thai housewives and farmers in Doi Saket,
to enable them to share knowledge and experiences on both Thai and Japanese
Pattaya Charity Club donates 100,000 baht to Chiang Mai’s Prosthesis Foundation
Christina & Malcolm donate
100,000 baht to Dr. Therdchai.
Our initial plans for our first trip to the Prosthesis Foundation in
Chiang Mai was cancelled as Suvarnabhumi airport was somewhat OCCUPIED! So,
with the approach of Songkran, we thought it would be a good time to
disappear. We flew in on the Friday - the Foundation had agreed to pick us
up 9.30 a.m. on the Saturday.
of a new limb.
On our arrival, we met with Dr. Therdchai Jivacate, the Secretary General
and founder of the Prostheses Foundation, set up when the Princess Mother
learned that Dr. Therdchai had devised a process to make artificial legs
from recycled plastic and recycled aluminium which were lighter, more
comfortable and 10 times less expensive than imported ones!
As well as our cash donation of 100,000 baht, we went armed with thousands
of ring pulls from cans of soft drinks and beer, which will be melted down
After meeting with Dr. Therdchai, and donating our funds, this great man
took us on a tour of the Foundation. First stop was the accommodation they
provide for people who come for training and rooms for the disabled who are
from outside Chiang Mai. Then we went to the main area where the limbs are
made and were shown the many different types of prostheses available.
We didn’t want to intrude too much on the people who were being treated so
we chose to see just two patients. In the Physio department, one, a young
lady, was being measured for her new limb after losing her leg to cancer;
the second, an older man, was learning to walk, wearing his new limb, and
was adapting very well.
After coffee and cake, the tour centred on the factory. We were shown the
process from the start; the measuring of the patient, the materials used,
the machines that make the limbs, test the limbs and finally how the
adjustments to the limbs are managed.
During his research, Dr. Therdchai found that a lot of the patients brought
to his attention were poor farmers who live in rural areas and have no money
to travel to Chiang Mai to receive services from the Foundation. His
immediate solution was to get a team together and actually go out into the
rural provinces around Thailand. As a result, residents in several far–flung
villages were trained in the art of making limbs, and provided with small
workshops and materials for the new assistants to use in those areas.
The Foundation also has a mobile unit, which, along with Dr. Therdchai
himself, visits rural areas for 5 days at a time, and has now made trips to
52 provinces in Thailand as well as to Malaysia, Laos and Myanmar. The unit
has provided service to 14,130 patients, made 17,251 new prosthetic legs and
repaired 2,336 legs. An amazing record!
Touched and heartened by what we had seen, we decided there and then that a
good project for one of our upcoming Charity Events would be to try to raise
funds for a second mobile unit.
Dr. Therdchai has also adapted a prosthesis especially for farmers, so that
the poor farmers can go back to work using this very sturdy leg - even in
muddy rice fields. The cost per unit is ONLY between 500 -1,000 baht.
We were also shown the prosthesis that Dr. Therdchai has made for Mosha -
the cutest baby elephant that had the lower half of her foot blown off by a
land mine while walking with her mother on the Thai/Burmese border. The
Foundation also makes artificial limbs for dogs!
Recently, the Foundation has introduced a simple but highly efficient
manufacturing technique, sand casting. With this technique, the Foundation
can make a good prosthetic leg for below the knee amputees within 4 hours,
instead of 8 hours.
While we were at the Foundation, we showed Dr Therdchai several photos of
adults and children who are in desperate need of artificial limbs. We are
happy to report that he agreed to examine 11yr old Surapon and 25-year-old
An, when the mobile unit visits Isaan in September.
If you would like to make a donation towards the mobile unit or donate a
collection of ring pulls just let us know by calling Christina on 089 545
4185 or Malcolm on 089 744 1040, or emailing on
Christina and her husband Malcolm are a powerhouse of compassion, energy and
commitment to helping the poverty-stricken, the disabled and the needy. In
the 5 years since they founded their small charity club, they have raised an
incredible 3,353,000 baht, —all of which has been spent helping those in
Belgian home cooking
When you think great-tasting food, what’s the first country that
pops into your mind? I’ll bet it’s not Belgium! But, putting the lie to that
cliché is a fairly new place in town,
Liam’s Suan Dok Mai Guesthouse and Belgian Home Cooking.
Located off Faham Road in the Samakan Village Moo Baan, Liam’s place is
clean, new, and attractive and features a large garden with swimming pool as
well as two stories of modern guest rooms. The ground floor rooms feature a
small back yard so guests who are travelling with (pre-approved) pets will
have a comfortable place to stay. A note to animal lovers – and others –
there are several very friendly and well-behaved canines who live here, and
who will drop in to say hello.
The menu at Liam’s is extensive, with a large selection of salads, soups and
sandwiches, including a variety of “croque monsieur’s” toasted bread with
ham and cheese in various combinations. But the real hit of the menu – and
its surprise – are the genuine Belgian main dishes, including Belgian beef
stew with Belgian brown beer sauce, for 175 baht, or pork stew with red
peppers, onion, carrot and green peas for 165 baht.
On a recent visit, our party tried several different entrees and pronounced
them all delicious. Included was Lamb Winterstew, a generous serving of very
tender lamb with potatoes, carrot, leeks, celery, horseradish, white
cabbage, onion & garlic for 195 baht, as well as Pork Winterstew, with the
same mixture of spices and vegetables at 165 baht; and a generous, no, make
that huge, Salade Niçoise, with lettuce, mixed vegetables, onion, tuna,
anchovies and black olives for 165 baht.
One diner opted for the special Greek-style lamb meatballs in tomato sauce,
accompanied by fresh pita bread and a Greek salad with lots of feta cheese.
This was the most expensive item at 295 baht, but no complaints were heard.
There is one dish many of us think of when we hear the word “Belgian,” and
that’s waffles! For the utmost in decadent desserts, nothing beats a
freshly-made Belgian waffle topped with whipped cream, ice cream, fruit, and
melted Belgian chocolate sauce. At 85 baht plus 20 baht for the ice cream,
it was a hit. But the confirmed chocoholic with us couldn’t resist Belgian
Chocolate Delight, consisting of 3 scoops of chocolate ice cream, whipped
cream and hot Belgian chocolate for 75 baht. Oh my. Lots of “mmm’s” and
“aah’s” pronounced this the perfect ending to a surprising and delicious
For more information, check out the website at: www. liamsuandokmai.com.