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Vol. XII No.26 - Sunday December 29, 2013 - Saturday January 11, 2014

Arts - Entertainment
Life at 33 1/3
Ask Emma
Book Review
Bridge in Paradise
Business - Travel & Tourism
Animal Welfare
Care for Dogs
Community Happenings
Doctor's Consultation
Eating Out & Recipes
Life in Chiang Mai
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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern

Santa’s Delivery to MuserNai

The bouncy toys were a big hit with the smaller children.

By Joe Evans
In 2011, with funding from my friend in NYC Don Duggan, Toys for Thailand, a US based charity, in partnership with Maejo University’s Dept. of Renewable Energy installed the first solar system in the remote Lahu village of MuserNai in the forest preserve in Om Koi, about 70 Km south of Chiang Mai. MuserNai is cut off from the rest of the world during the rainy season and many of the people there do not speak Thai, only Lahu. My friends Maria and Sasha asked me if I wanted to make a Santa delivery to MuserNai and I eagerly accepted the job thinking it would be a fun adventure and an opportunity to help very underprivileged children.

From rom left to right Anouk De Graaff, Patricia Van Weenan, Joe Evans, Shasha Bilar and Maria S. Miller ready for the big trek.

We left Chiang Mai at 9 a.m. with my truck packed with blankets, clothes, toys and food and started our drive to MuserNai. By the time we arrived at the ranger station outside Om Koi it was raining pretty hard and we had passed by three accidents. Despite the rain, Sasha Bilar, Maria Miller, Anouk Ge Graaf and Patricia Van Weenan and I decided to test out my new 4-wheel drive pickup to head towards the village. The local teacher, Kru Lare, accompanied us to show us the way. She asked me several times if I wanted to attempt the drive. Because we all really wanted to see the children we thought, how bad could it be with a four wheel drive and new tires, so we continued.
The last thing I heard as we passed the ranger station was “choke dee”, and that should have been a sign that I should have heeded. As we started down the red clay road my driving skills were sorely tested, slipping and sliding along the side of the mountain roads we got about half way there but with the weight of all of the blankets clothing food and toys we brought and the five of us I found a hill that I was no match for. I was forced to stop driving and wait for back up from the Lare’s nephew who came along in a few minutes with a truck to rescue us.
At about 5 p.m. we finally arrived at MuserNai and the whole community slowly came out to meet us at the school room, the only place in the village with lights. The little ones had never seen anyone like us before. The bouncy animal toys were a big hit with the 2-4 year olds but the blankets were the main attraction in this windy and cold mountain village. Whenever we ask Tribal children what they want it is never an iPod or an iPhone it is invariably blankets and food.
After spending about 90 minutes with the villagers and children of MuserNai and taking many photos we distributed blankets, handed out toys and offered food. Kru Lare said we should return to the truck, put chains on it and drive back to Chiang Mai. It was a long and exhausting day but I will never forget this place that is off the grid from the modern world. MuserNai is a primitive village with a high illiteracy rate and where girls marry and start to have children in their teenage years. There is no medical care, children hunt bats for protein and most villages earn less than $200 per year picking vegetables and rice. Kru Lare is only the second teacher to work in this village, a place that was her birthplace and where her father is the local Shaman. The good news is MuserNai now has electrical power with solar and has communications with the outside world. Since the installation of solar power, Kru Lare told us the teenage pregnancy rate has dropped substantially. When we arrived back to Chiang Mai it was 3 a.m. and we were sore from the rugged drive but filled with joy from the wonderful experience of making a Santa delivery to one of the poorest places on earth.
Toys for Thailand partners with the teachers and administrators to give the material resources to make sure that the children get a fighting chance at living a full and rewarding life. Turning schools into protein factories where the children grow their own vegetables, raise pigs chickens and ducks, bio-tanks to provide fuel for the school kitchens and whatever is necessary to fight poverty and isolation.

Children’s Day preparations in place at Kad Suan Kaew

Fun in chaotic times!

Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center will host Children’s Day One Day Camp featuring papier mache crafts and play acting.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chanel Kids Club in Kad Suan Kaew announced that Children’s Day festivities are already being put in place with a one day camp that will offer a full day of fun learning activities under the theme “Fun in Chaotic Times”. The project, held in cooperation with Kad Suan Kaew wil offer children a chance to model for the Kad Suan Kaew Children’s Day Calendar.
Children’s Day is held on Saturday, January 12, 2014 and is a day for children to have fun, learn and play. The one day camp will give kids the supplies and help to create papier mache crafts, draw their dreams and play act. The project is being held to help kids promote their creativity and fun in learning.

Disease free nurseries is the city’s goal

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn (center) presided over the seminar on disease free nurseries and pre-schools in the city system.

Chiang Mai Mail reporter
At an academic conference held at the Park Hotel Chiang Mai on December 11, 2013 the Chiang Mai Municipality worked with related agencies and public health officials to discuss means to prevent disease and illnesses among pre-school and nurseries run by the city government.
The conference, presided over by Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn, is part of the Municipality’s strategy to deliver medical supplies and prevent diseases among nurseries and kindergartens. Chonlisa Jariyalertsak, representing the Office of Disease Prevention and Control 10 Chiang Mai said that the Office, the Chiang Mai Provincial Health Office, the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization and the Chiang Mai Municipality have been working to make child care centers and preschools under local government organizations to be livable and disease-free since 2011 and to realize the impact of diseases that affect the overall development of the child. The conference was held to increase knowledge and understanding about diseases commonly affecting children and to increase effectiveness of surveillance of diseases, prevention and treatment. Child care center policies and criteria for establishment of schools were discussed as well an exchange of ideas on making schools livable and to prevent and control diseases there.

Chiang Mai students receive Royal scholarships for orphans of disasters

Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo with the 55 recipients of Rajaprajanugroh Foundation scholarships.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Fifty-five Chiang Mai students will receive scholarships for high school and undergraduate education thanks to the Rajaprajanugroh Foundation. Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo presided over the ceremony with the students who received their grants on December 13, 2013.
The Foundation, under the Royal Patronage of JM the King, offers education scholarships to students who have lost their parents due to natural disasters. Undergraduate students will receive 30,000 baht each to attend university while high school and vocational students receive 15,000 baht each. The Foundation already transferred the money to all students.
The Rajaprajanugroh Foundation under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King was founded with the objective to provide relief assistance to victims of disasters that occurred across the country, to prevent disaster that will occur throughout the country and to provide relief assistance to the people who have been suffering from any other affliction that the Board of Directors deems appropriate. The Foundation also provides relief for education, renovate, repair and improve Rajaprajanugroh Schools and provide scholarships to students who study well at Rajaprajanugroh Schools, orphans or victims of disaster.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story] :

Santa’s Delivery to MuserNai

Children’s Day preparations in place at Kad Suan Kaew

Disease free nurseries is the city’s goal

Chiang Mai students receive Royal scholarships for orphans of disasters



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