Nakornpayap’s charity ‘3rd World Dinner’ mimics a sad reality
The headline could not have stricken you more. “1% of the world’s
population controls 40% of the world’s wealth. 21% of the world’s population
controls 51% of the world’s wealth. 78% of the world’s population controls
9% of the world’s wealth.” The numbers were mind-boggling… They inspired
Elyssa Francemone and her students to launch a Third World Dinner Party at
Nakornpayap International School.
Elyssa had been teaching World Culture to 10th grade students by showing
movies and by teaching her students about poverty and world issues. In their
turn, the sixteen 15 year old teenagers decided to increase awareness of
global hunger and poverty, as well as raising funds for a famous foundation,
Nakornpayap International School’s ‘Third World Dinner’—a great idea and an
amazing success, with all 200 tickets sold out well in advance.
The Dinner was planned to reflect the global distribution of population and
wealth, in order to highlight the disparities. 150 tickets were sold at 200
baht each. Out of these 150 tickets, 2 lucky ones would indulge in a
first-class dinner prepared by the international gourmet chef Dominick
Williams and would be attended to by two students dressed as waiters. 28
people would enjoy a “middle class” dinner offered by the UN Irish Pub,
while the vast majority of the guests – 120 people – would eat a traditional
khao man gai. You just needed to look at the dining hall to realize how many
people were among the “unlucky” ones. But this night, you did not come to
enjoy the food—you came to enjoy the experience.
And the experience was indeed interesting. Some ‘middle class’ people
sneaked into the ‘third class’ area and gave a cake here, a special dish
there, to “share with the poor”. The ‘middle class’ buffet was indeed huge
and, as in real life, the ‘middle class’ people left half the food uneaten.
At the end of the meal, some ‘third world’ people walked discreetly over to
their table and pocketed a piece of bread or cake. All the while, Gary
Paolini and Aj. Boonlom Cheva-Isarakul were enjoying their first class meal,
drinking expensive wine and talking quietly in their part of the world. A
very ‘life-like’ experience…
But what was even more interesting was the behaviour of the students.
Responsible and independent, they were totally self-reliant and managed the
dinner from A to Z. It took them about 2 months to organize the evening,
first raising 11,000 baht to finance the food and then finding prizes to
launch a raffle. They set the dining room, put on aprons to be waiters
during the meal and cleared the hall at the end of the evening… Their
efforts were not in vain, as they managed to raise and amazing 47,000 baht
for the Heifer foundation.
The Heifer Foundation is an international organization that aims at ending
world hunger and at saving the environment, by giving resources such as
livestock, grains, and trees as well as training to families in need in
order to help them become self-reliant. They encourage these families to
“pass on the gift” to another poor family afterwards, thus creating a chain
of solidarity that can touch thousands of people. For more information about
Heifer in Thailand, feel free to visit their website:
New McCormick Hospital
established in northern Thailand in 1888, has appointed a new Interim
Medical Director, Adul Warin, M.D., F.A.C.S, F.I.C.S. It has also received
full ISO certification for its laboratory services department.
Local authorities warn about building Preah Vihear replica
Provincial authorities have warned the private sector to
conduct a thorough study, including an impact assessment on the issue of
Thai-Cambodian relations, before deciding to build a replica of the Preah
Vihear temple in the northeastern Thai border province.
Sa Ket governor Rapi Pongbuphakit said he supported any constructive idea to
develop the area but the idea to build the replica of the Preah Vihear
temple at Pha Mor E-daeng, an area close to the stairway leading to Preah
Vihear temple, needed a special and thorough study.
The issue was very important, especially in the aspect of environmental
concerns and border security, he said. He added he couldn’t tell if he
agreed with the idea or not at the moment.
Although the planned construction site is in Si Sa Ket’s Kantharalak
district, it is not far from the Preah Vihear temple.
An international court awarded Preah Vihear temple to Cambodia in 1962, but
a 4.6-square km (1.9-square mile) parcel of land surrounding it remains the
subject of territorial claims by the two countries.
The disputed area, adjacent to the ancient temple, has long been a source of
tension between Thailand and Cambodia.
Meanwhile, Vichit Trisaranakul, chairman of the provincial administrative
organisation said detailed feasibility studies were needed. The real Preah
Vihear and its history attracted tourists. He suggested beautifying the
surrounding location was better than building the temple replica, close to
the real temple. (TNA)