Doi Kids need glasses too!
Local kids get a chance to see the world more clearly
explains to Rotarian John Schorr about the first step in eye evaluations.
By Shana Kongmun
Kid’s from Schools of Hope, the Stratton ABC Foundation and Magical
Light Tam Nak children came to Magical Light Foundation on Sunday, September
7, 2014 to have their vision checked and help those in need obtain glasses
from Amigo Vision and Chiang Mai International Rotary Club.
The kids lined up, many nervous as they had never been tested, others eager
as they were having a hard time reading and so were looking forward to the
day they could see clearly again. The youngest fellow of four years old was
very shy and a bit short for the equipment but his big brother Tai, from the
Stratton ABC Foundation, was there to help him along. He said that poor
vision ran in the family and he wanted to see if his little brother needed
help at such an early age or not. Other kids ranged in ages from seven to
seventeen and a few parents came along to get tested too. All in all, around
30 people were seen and glasses will be made for about a dozen of them.
Amigo Vision and Chiang Mai International Rotary Club will be heading to Mae
Hong Son for the Small World Festival to work with Chiang Rai Rotary Clubs
to test kids from schools around the region on December 24, 2014 and also
visits Chiang Mai villages with other local Rotary Clubs to work with people
in more remote villages.
K. Noom was
a big help in registering the kids and getting their information before the
fellow was being tested to see what strength he needed for glasses.
girl was nervous of the equipment at first, but settled in when she realized
it wasn’t going to hurt!
FERC raises funds for scholarships
Twenty-five students get help with schoo
David’s Kitchen joins committee members and guests at the registration desk:
From left: Caroline Thompson, Dorothy Engmann, Tannanan Wilson, Nattajuck
Boonma, Glynn Morgan and Marc Dumur.
By Shana Kongmun
The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children (FERC) held their
annual fundraising dinner at David’s Kitchen at 909 on Thursday, September
11, 2014 where over 70 people attended enjoying the atmosphere of good food,
good music and friendship.
FERC initially began by building schools but realized that their time and
money would prove more beneficial by providing scholarships mainly to teens
in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades but also to kids in pre-school and primary
school. The scholarships, which provide each student with 10,000 baht
annually, ensure that they can cover their living expenses without being a
burden on their families.
Yoktree of the Office for Social Development and Human Security for Chiang
Mai (center) is joined by Caroline, Norman, Celeste and David
One such alumnus is Nattajuck Boonma or Wit of the very popular hair salon
Hair Pro, who is now also on the committee for FERC along with Marc Dumur,
Celeste Tolibas-Holland, Carolina Thompson, Glynn Morgan, Dorothy Engmann,
Patrick Roberts and President Luxami Utaipol Dumur.
The dinner, which raised over 65,000 baht for scholarships, saw many local
supporters come including Mayuree Yoktree, the head of the Office for Social
Development and Human Security for Chiang Mai, was also on hand to join her
longtime friend Celeste in supporting education for rural children.
his wife Prom welcome Annette Kunigagon and Tim McGuire who are joined by
FERC Committee member Celeste Tolibas-Holland.
Chair Marc Dumur welcomed the guests and introduced them to the work that
FERC had been doing over the past years, adding that last year they
supported 37 students while this year they are currently supporting 25 since
some have graduated.
The evening ended with everyone thanking the staff at DK including Chef Oh,
David and his wife Prom. FERC’s next fundraiser is a tea scheduled for some
time in February while the next scholarship distribution will take place in
chair Marc Dumur greets old friends Ineke Martens and Matthy van der Pohl to
the fundraising dinner.
Janet and Ed
Hennessey were happy to join the evening with Marc.
spoke to the party goers about FERC and the work that they do.
Mums and kids get a second chance
Hanna, Eleanor and staff from the New Life
Center Foundation at the pop up shop opening at Promenada on September 6,
By Shana Kongmun
The newest shop at Promenada is not your average store; this pop up shop
located on the second floor of Building B sells second hand kids and baby
clothes, toys, cribs, strollers, maternity clothes and more. The pop up shop
was set up by Eleanor Broad and Hanna Tower to help raise funds for the New
Life Center Foundation and opened to a full house on Saturday, September 6,
Local resident Karen brings kids clothes and
toys to donate to the shop.
The New Life Center Foundation is a faith based organization that works with
ethnic minority women and girls in Thailand and surrounding countries who
are at risk for trafficking, labor exploitation and sexual abuse. Started in
1987 the Center has been partnered with the government and other NGOs to
help victims of trafficking and give others the tools to avoid trafficking
by providing shelter, education, life skills, and vocational training. The
pop up shop is a permanent fixture at Promenada and welcomes donations of
used baby and kids clothes, toys and other items for children and mothers.
Marc Vermeulen, Director of Project Development
for ECC International that manages Promenada, presents Hanna and Eleanor a
congratulatory basket on the opening of the new charity kids shop.
Lamphun’s Tai Yong people hold ancient Buddhist merit making ceremony
The local community of Tai Yong people celebrate
this event annually.
By Shana Kongmun
Lamphun’s stunning Wat Haripunchai hosted the annual Salak Yom merit
making ceremony on September 6 and 7, 2014. Chiang Mai a la Carte, a unique
tour agency in Chiang Mai which offers customized experiences joined the
Buddhist faithful in this ancient ceremony.
Salak Yom is practiced annually between September and October among the Tai
Yong people of Lamphun province. The Tai Yong originally came from Muang
Yong in Northern Shan State in Myanmar and migrated to Lamphun in the early
The intricate strings tying the Salak Yom to the
temples are clear in the setting sun.
The Salak Yom ceremony features the presentation of elaborately decorated
“trees of gifts” to the Buddhist monks and novices of the local monasteries,
in return for merit and blessings for the donors. The gifts hung on the
upper part of the tree are offerings for the monks, such as alms bowls,
robes, blankets, palm leaf manuscript holders, dried foodstuffs, and money.
The lower half of the tree is decorated with offerings intended for the
spirits of the deceased, such as clothing, cigarettes, and accessories. Many
of the large Salak Yom trees as well as smaller salak offerings feature
framed photographs of the deceased to whom the offerings are dedicated.
Local girls dress in traditional clothes before
performing at the ceremony.
Salak Yom means “lottery tree”. The donors of the trees write their name on
a piece of paper. After the chanting by monks and novices, these papers are
randomly divided among the temple, monks, and novices, who must then find
the offerings and the donors written on the paper.
Once the monk has found the donor he gives a blessing transferring merit to
the donor and the spirits of the deceased, after which he will carry off the
offerings with the help of lay members of his home monastery.
The Salak Yom are pulled by men through the
From the mid 20th century Salak Yom had been in decline but it was revived
successfully in 2004 by the provincial authorities of Lamphun.
The first Salak Yom ceremony always takes place at Wat Haripunchai and is a
two-day event. Smaller Salak Yom ceremonies then take place at a number of
local monasteries. Chiang Mai a la Carte was lucky to join this stunning
event as part of their program to offer tourists something completely
“There are unique seldom visited temples, local markets, magnificent Lanna
architecture, very high-quality handicrafts, botanical gardens and, most
importantly, very hospitable and genuinely friendly people. Meeting and
getting involved with the people of North Thailand is the biggest attraction
of all,” said Chiang Mai a la Carte founder, Frans Betgem who is happy to
help spread the word about this “one of a kind” event in Lamphun to
The Salak Yom are trees of gifts for the monks
to make merit for deceased loved ones.
The Salak Yom are tied to the temple with holy