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Update February 22, 2016

Dutch Ambassador visits Chiang Mai

Ambassador Karel Hartogh addressed the local Dutch community at a meet and greet at Promenada Resort Mall on February 18, 2016.

Tjeert Kwant (far right) chats with members of the local Dutch community at the event at Promenada to meet the Ambassador.

Dutch businesspeople including Marike van Breugel chatted about obstacles facing businesses in Thailand.

The Ambassador talks with members of the local community about services at the Dutch Embassy and issues people living here face.

By Shana Kongmun
The Ambassador to Thailand from the Kingdom of the Netherlands Karel Hartogh visited Northern Thailand last week, visiting Dutch businesses and charitable organizations like Philanthropy Connections.
Promenada Resort Mall hosted a meet and greet with the Ambassador attended by many members of the Dutch community including business people and retirees. Tjeert Kwant, CEO of ECC International welcomed the Ambassador to Promenada and greeted guests to the party. Then Ambassador Hartogh welcomed the group and talked about the work that the Dutch Embassy is doing in Thailand and the 400 year history of relations between the two countries. He did mention some measures had been implemented to cut costs as well as his role as representative for the country in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia in addition to Thailand.

Skål Chiang Mai visits Mae Mha Orphanage

Students at Mae Mha School are joined by Skål Chiang Mai visitors at the delivery of appliances, food and school supplies funded by the Skål Christmas dinner and CityLife.

By Shana Kongmun
The trip to Mae Mha School in Chiang Dao saw the school receive several new appliances along with food and other supplies purchased with funds raised at the Skål Chiang Mai Christmas Fundraiser Dinner in December and from funds raised by CityLife at the Garden Fair at JJ Market. The money raised totaled 440,000 baht, with 120,000 coming from CityLife. Of that amount 201,107 baht was spent on goods this trip and the other half will be used in a second trip later on this year.

Skål Chiang Mai members and friends with the truck loaded up and ready to go first thing Saturday, February 13, 2016.

In addition to a new refrigerator, school tables and musical instruments, food and other supplies the kids were also treated to some fun and games like extra-long skipping ropes so that kids can jump in groups, volleyballs, hula hoops and some great wooden games and toys.

The kids were excited to see the Skål visitors and the Principal welcomed the group to the school. A quick tour of the school saw many great improvements in living conditions for the kids in addition to some wonderful art on the walls created by well-known Chiang Mai street artists. New restrooms and dormitories have made life much more comfortable for the kids at the school.

Skal Chiang Mai has been supporting efforts at Mae Mha to offer the kids vocational skills after they finish and to that end provided industrial sewing machines and barber supplies last year. The tourism and hospitality organization believes that supporting the local community is an important role and maintains close ties with the community.

Naka Foundation gets new start with the help of Dutch company Plymovent

Executive Vice President Jan Pieter Brinkman of Plymovent presents the ceremonial check for 1605 euro raised from the company’s grand opening the Naka Foundation representative Thidarat Jitsook.

By Shana Kongmun
Dutch based Plymovent held a thank you party at Holiday Inn Chiang Mai on Friday, February 19, 2016 after the grand opening of their factory in Lamphun attended by the Dutch Ambassador, Karel Hartogh.
With offices in the Netherlands, the United States and other countries the company saw Northern Thailand as an important place to open a factory and ready for the ASEAN community. CEO Friso Horstmeier was on hand for the grand opening along with Jan Pieter Brinkman, Executive Vice President of the company that manufactures equipment to clean out fumes and other dangerous gases in buildings. Unfortunately, he laughed, they don’t make a machine big enough to clean all of Chiang Mai.

The Plymovent team are joined by Thidarat Jitsook and Carmen Rademaker before the party at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai.

The company donated 1605 euro to the new Thai Foundation called Naka Foundation, established to take the place of Dutch based Asian Elephant Foundation. The company called in visitors for the grand opening of their new building in the Netherlands to donate to the Foundation instead of bringing flowers and other gifts, the money raised from that kind gesture was presented to Thidarat Jitsook, representing the Naka Foundation, at the dinner on Friday night.

The Naka Foundation has been set up to take over Thailand operations from the Asian Elephant Foundation. Due to restrictive donation policies, founder Carmen Rademaker felt it better to create a new foundation here in Chiang Mai, where the work is based, rather than use one in the Netherlands. New sponsors for the organization include Elephant Parade, which supported the old Asian Elephant Foundation, and also local partners Monsoon Tea and House & Ginger Kafe.

The Naka Foundation will take over helping to support the Elephant Hospital in Lampang along with wild elephant projects in Thailand and India as well as working with a new group of experts who set up the ASEAN Captive Elephant Working Group to tackle the issues faced by domesticated working elephants in South East Asia. The group plans on working to raise awareness on the real issues find ways to solve them that benefits both elephants and people since it is not possible to send these captive bred elephants back to the wild.

Jan Pieter Brinkman said, “We at Plymovent want to work with the local community, focus and work together and our goal is to work with Naka and the important work they do in protecting Thailand’s national animal.”

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Dutch Ambassador visits Chiang Mai

Skål Chiang Mai visits Mae Mha Orphanage

Naka Foundation gets new start with the help of Dutch company Plymovent