Written by Carol Acosta, President of the Maechan, Thailand Rotary Club
Submitted by Bill Taylor, International Service Chair, Rotary Club of Edmonds Daybreakers
The dedication for Mae Ta Maew was held on Friday, Feb. 19th, 2021. It turned out to be an all-day event. Originally we had a group to go to the school but, because some had to attend ceremonies surrounding the funeral of the main monk at the Maechan temple, we ended up with three of us. It is a long and at times uncomfortable ride so it is understandable that not too many people want to make the trip.
Baan Mae Ta Maew is a small primary school being moved higher up the mountain to have better access to an Internet signal that will permit improved connectivity for IT usage. Also, the present school is flooded every year during the rainy season making it difficult to use the facilities they have.
The day we went was dry and quite pleasant even though we have been having several rainy days. We lucked out.
Currently, they have the activity building at the new site and the bathrooms we built earlier this year. The director is working to get the other buildings up, but it may take some time. He has salvaged roof tiles from another site and is planning a golf tournament and that will help raise some funds. The villagers are willing to supply the labor. They are farmers rather than construction workers so they can only do the work assigned by a real builder. (It seems to me that when the government says to go ahead and move a school, they should also approve the funding, but, as we know, this is Thailand.)
The equipment is currently in two rooms. The younger children were working on learning to read the Thai alphabet. The computers definitely made that easier as the letters were quite clear and easily read. I am not sure what the older children were working on, but they appeared to be at ease with the equipment.
Again, this is a small school in an isolated location, but all the villagers appear to have a common commitment towards the value of education and seeing to it that their children become as educated as possible. For that reason, I believe this is a school/village worth assisting. The money was well spent.
Again, thanks must be given to the Rotary Club of Washington D.C., Edmonds Daybreakers Rotary Club, and the SE Asia Foundation.
Following our visit to see the equipment, we were treated to a really good lunch that we shared with the director and teachers. We had taken a sort of a sweet sandwich and mixed fruit milk for the children and handed it out after their lunch. They enjoyed the treats.
Here are a few photos from that day and a receipt for the computer equipment. (The modest amount of surplus money (~$35) will be used for related supplies.
Note: The current exchange rate is approximately $1.00 = 30 Thai Baht 131,000 THB = approximately $4,365. Any remaining money will be used for supplies.