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American volunteers build preschool facility in Doi Ang Khang

Army Development Unit celebrates 33rd anniversary

American author to launch new book on November 1

CMU to hold Thai student youth camp to encourage creative thinking via IT

American volunteers build preschool facility in Doi Ang Khang

US Consul General Michael Morrow, centre, presided over the handing over of the newly built Nor Lae Kindergarten to representatives of the Ang Khang Royal Agricultural Station.

CMM Reporters
On September 28 US Consul- General Michael Morrow presided over a hand-over ceremony for the Nor Lae Kindergarten to representatives of the Ang Khang Royal Agricultural Station. The construction of a new pre-school facility in Nor Lae village is the result of the collaborative efforts of volunteers from Engineers without Borders USA, a non-profit organisation dedicated to sustainable engineering projects throughout the world, and the Consulate General of the United States of America in Chiang Mai. The U.S. Department of State’s J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust provided a grant for the school as additional funding.
Nor Lae Village is located up a steep mountain road in the hills of Doi Ang Khang, close to the Thai-Burma border, and is home to a large number of indigenous Palaung. Previous educational facilities were not adequate to accommodate all of the new children in the area, particularly those of kindergarten age and younger.
According to Consul-General Morrow, America’s volunteer spirit goes back for many generations.’ We are proud of having assisted in the Nor Lae Project. These efforts are yet another example of the U.S.-Thai partnership in the field of education. Since the 1800s, the U.S. has played a vital role in the development of education in northern Thailand. We are committed to helping this region develop and grow for generations to come’, he said.
For further details, please contact Worawan Thanamongkol (waewWOW),
Public Diplomacy Assistant Office on 053-107-772 or 081-883-4008. You may also fax on 053- 234-475, or email on [email protected] .govplease
Please visit the Facebook page on http://chiangmai. usconsulate.gov/facebook, or the website on http://chiangmai.usconsulate.gov.

 

Army Development Unit celebrates 33rd anniversary

Khajohn Boonpath
Soldiers of the 36th Development Unit based in Mae Hong Son, whose duty is to provide every kind of support to residents in isolated areas of the province are celebrating the 33rd anniversary of their founding on October 9. . Since 1979, they have repaired 795 km. of main roads, and 242 km. of roads leading to isolated villages, laid 50 km of macadamized roads, built 94 fish ponds and concrete tanks for water storage and provided many other utilities for Mae Hong Son residents.

Soldiers of the 36th Development Unit based in Mae Hong Son, whose duty is to provide food, necessities and infrastructure of every kind to residents in isolated areas of the province, are celebrating the 33rd anniversary of their founding on October 9, 1979.
Mae Hong Son has 7 districts, 45 sub-districts, 415 villages and a population of 255,959 people, and is the least populated province in the northern region with a density of 19 people per square km. Residents comprise Shan peoples living on the plains and hill tribes, including Lahu, Lau, Meo, Hmong and Karen, who represent 79.3 % of the total All districts in the province lie along the 483 km. of the Burmese border, with as little as 3% of land suitable for agricultural use.
The Armed Forces Development Command established the 36th Development Unit 1979, to work closely with local residents and provincial administration officials. It is the 6th unit of its kind in region 3 and the 24th out of 30 units of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters’ Armed Forces Development Command.
At that time, many Mae Hong Son residents live in severe poverty, lacking agricultural lands and adequate road transportation facilities. As the Communist Party expanded into the area, they were able to easily persuade local residents to join with them, causing instability. The Development Unit was created as a response to this, with the aim of educating local residents about governmental plans and encouraging cooperation between residents and the authorities.
The unit focuses on relieving poverty, improving health and education, and supporting local communities by providing them with much-needed services in all sectors. The unit also carries out projects initiated by the Thai Royal Family. Experts in various fields are sent to isolated villages to gather information as to needs. The results are used to plan effective responses and provide accordingly. Teams regularly visit such areas to build better relationships between the public and the government.
Poor transportation, a major cause of poverty in the region, is the unit’s top priority. Many people live in isolated villages in mountainous terrain, a great distance from population centres and other villages. Lack of access makes transportation on a regular basis of agricultural and other products impossible.
The unit also provides rainwater storage tanks to temples, schools and villages for use in households and agriculture during the dry season. A canal system and ponds to store water from natural resources for use in agriculture have been established, and seeds are provided to growers. Agriculturalists have been sent to teach villagers in Pang Mapha sub-district to make fertiliser, grow mushrooms and process food.
Educational supplies, sports equipment and sports fields have been provided in order to promote sports in the villages. A natural disaster mitigation centre is an important development, with teams standing by in case of need to provide assistance within 24 hours, as with the recent floods in Mae Sarian and Sob Moei districts.
For 33 years the unit has operated to relieve poverty and care for the well-being of residents in Mae Hong Son. Its work is not yet finished, but it is well-prepared to continue its essential mission.


American author to launch new book on November 1

CMM reporters
Victoria Vorreiter, an American filmmaker living in Chiang Mai , will be hosting the launch of her new book, ‘Songs of Memory, Traditional Music of the Golden Triangle’ on November 1 at the Suriwongse Book Centre on Sridonchai Road in Chiang Mai.
The beautifully written and illustrated book highlights the music of the ethnic peoples of the Golden Triangle and its all-important place in their lives, exploring the cultural and musical foundation of each group and featuring the musical instruments that animate daily and sacred life, through archival images and field photographs of musicians and ceremonies rarely witnessed. Hill tribes covered buy the book are the Hmong, Mien, Lahu, Akha, Lisu, and Karen.
To accompany the book launch, Victoria is staging a photographic exhibition of her work including portraits of a great variety of indigenous groups and subgroups of the Golden Triangle in their traditional clothing. Also on hand will be textiles from the Karen, Lisu, Akha, Lahu, Hmong and Mien. A CD created by Victoria of the tribal music will also be available. The exhibition, ‘People with Hats’, will run until November 15.


CMU to hold Thai student youth camp to encourage creative thinking via IT

CMM reporters
The Information Technology Service Centre (ITSC) at Chiang Mai University is organising its 19th Youth Creative Thinking with IT Camp for Chiang Mai young people between October 5th and 16th.
Due to its success for the last 10 years, the ITSC camp is the most attractive camp for children in Chiang Mai and nearby provinces. It is aimed at Northern Thai young people between 10 and 16 years of age, helping them to develop life skills including creative thinking, decision-making and social networking. IT tools such as 3D animation software and LEGO Robolab will be featured.
2 courses will be presented for parents who wish to develop their children’s life skills.
The first, 3D animation for kids, will focus on creative thinking. The second, Automatic Robot Design with Lego, will utilise Lego’s Robolab programme and Construction Tool Kits, encouraging team work.
The courses will be given in the Thai language, although English translation will be available on request. Cost is 3,000 baht per course, including lunch and a break. Courses will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chiang Mai University’s ITSC (Information Technology Service Centre), Chiang Mai University. For more information please contact ITSC on 053-943811, fax: 053-216747 or e-mail: [email protected], or visit the website at itsc.cmu.ac.th