Thailandfreunde e.V. donate 175,000 baht to School for the Blind
Teerapol Sanchue, Frank Sethi, Brian Howe,
Marisa Chuchan, Aoy Howe, Joe Erkes, Maria Reussner, Dirk
Weeber-Arayatumsopon, Sawat Intaleng, Pramuan Namonchul, and Wuttipong
Arayatumsopon, pictured with teachers and supporters of the School for the
Blind, all pictured at the party to celebrate the donation of 175,000 baht.
(Photo by Ray A.Tumpson)
Lee Roy Webster
On July 8, the executive board of Thailandfreunde e.V, Thailand
presented a donation from Germany of 175,000 baht to the director of the
School for the Blind, Pramuan Namonchul.
Special guest from the German Thailandfreunde, (TF), executive board, Peter
Heinrich, was present to document the transfer of the donation, and speeches
were given by the president of the German human rights organisation and
vice-president ofthe Thai chapter, Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon, and Wuttipong
Arayatumsopon, a section leader.
The presentation was attended by many students, teachers, (present and
retired), as well as by volunteers; all enjoyed a delicious lunch cooked by
School for the Blind students and teachers, as did the deputy director of
the province’s education office, Sawat Intaleng , representing the governor
of Chiang Mai.
During his speech, Sawat praised the efforts of the Thai/German organisation
for their donations over the last 4 years of more than 2 million baht cash
and double that amount in goods to needy Chiang Mai organisations.
In the near future, after receipt of necessary official documentation, the
Thai chapter of Thailandfreunde eV will close and change its name to ‘Lanna
Star Kids’ Foundation Thailand’. Wuttipong Arayatumsopon will become the
joint president of the new foundation, together with Teerapol Sanchue.
Cooperation with the German Thailandfreunde e.V. organisation will continue.
The aim of the new foundation will by to provide much-needed help to the
underprivileged, especially orphanages and those who need emergency
assistance. Wuttipong states that, ‘We also feel that we have a duty to
support the projects of the Thai Royal Family, as in the past when we
donated to H.R.H. Princess Somsawali´s Red Cross Mother and Children HIV
projects, the School for Life under the patronage of His Majesty the King,
and now the School for the Blind under the patronage of Her Majesty the
Queen and the Chao na Chiengmai Foundation here in the city.
‘Big Bike Night’
at the Night Safari
Members of the Chiang Mai Big
Bike Club, assembled at the Night Safari recently for an informative and
useful meeting with relevant organisations including the Lawyers’ Council,
the Provincial Transport Office, and the police. Hope they all got home
The Chiang Mai Big Bike Club recently held a meet for their members
at the Night Safari, aimed at increasing training and knowledge about all
aspects of owning a big bike.
Kunkanit Chaichankanit, the ‘Big Bike’ club’s president, introduced a number
of organisations and their representatives, including the president of the
local Lawyers’ Council, who gave some useful legal advice and the head of
the local Provincial Transport Office, Atsathai Rattanadilok na Phuket, who
gave advice on road safety, followed by members of his staff who advised on
driving licenses and their availability. The lucky Thai ‘big bike’ riders
who attended were given the privilege, as a result of the lectures, of not
having to attend the mandatory talk at the transport office before taking
their driving tests. The speakers may, quite possibly, have wondered if
members of a ‘big bike’ club should not have already taken their driving
Also in attendance were officers from the tourist police, who spoke on
visitor safety, and local police who reminded the members about on-road
safety issues, traffic rules and regulations and the dangers of ‘drugging
Thailand’s tourist numbers
hit lowest level for 49 years
The Tourism Council of Thailand’s chairman, Kongkit Hiranyakij,
announced last Thursday that tourism in Thailand had hit its lowest point
since 1960. In percentage terms, the decline in 2009 is expected to bottom
out at 22%.
According to Kongkit, political uncertainty and violence have contributed to
the sharp decline already evident as a result of the world economic crisis,
with the high incidence of swine flu causing a further drop in expected
visitor arrivals from 14.1 million to 11 million. The country is expected to
lose up to 200 million baht of projected tourism revenue this year if the
swine flu outbreak is not contained..
However, Kongkit believes that if the government can deal with the political
turmoil successfully, a revival in visitor numbers is expected by 2010. He
expects local Thai tourists to account for 430 billion baht in revenue in
Amari Rincome’s ‘Baht for a
Better Life’ awards 7 scholarships
In a recently held painting competition with the theme ‘My Dream’, 7
winning students from Baan Kob Dong School in Fang, one of the ‘Baht for a
Batter Life’ project schools, received scholarships presented by Wim Fagel,
GM of the Amari Rincome, as part of the hotel’s 40th anniversary
winning students with their artwork, pictured at the awards ceremony with,
(l-r), Ajarn Arkom Dejkhunmak, Wim Fagel and his wife Pinkaew, and Ajarn
Jiraporn Phoonsri, director of Baan Kob Dong School.
The ‘Baht for a Better Life’ charity was started by Amari Hotels and Resorts
in 1995. Small change and donations from both guests and staff are collected
to further the education of children in Thailand. At present, two projects
are being supported, the Duang Prateep Foundation and the Amari Schools
Project. Funds from ‘Baht for a Better Life’ have also been used to rebuild
a dilapidated school in Udon Thani and build ten new schools in
underprivileged areas throughout the kingdom.