Mae Sai School for the Blind Receives Support from Rotary Club of Thai Town and United States Civil Affairs Team
On July 27, 2022, the Rotary Club of Thai Town, Los Angeles, and the U.S. Embassy Civil Affairs Team donated a collection of items and sponsored a luncheon for students at the Mae Sai School for the Blind. Donated items included three Perkins Brailler machines, ukuleles donated by Fender, basic hygiene supplies and food items. Local Rotary clubs were also present, including the Mae Chan Rotary Club and the Chiang Rai Rotary Club.
Koy Jaiyong and Sam Prompichai, leaders of the Rotary Club of Thai Town, have a deep personal connection to this project as they are from the Mae Chan and Mae Sai area. “I grew up in Mae Chan, so being able to come back and do this is a labor of love,” Koy said. “These projects reach out to a lot of people in the area and there’s really nothing like the feeling of giving back to the community. You cannot imagine how happy I was when I saw the students smiling and saying thank you. It’s very touching.”
The club has sponsored activities with Mae Sai School for the Blind since 2018. More recently, the Rotary Club of Thai Town donated canes and personalized blankets to each student. During this visit, Koy identified that the school’s brayer machines needed repair and started a fundraising campaign to refurbish and purchase new machines. Due to COVID-19, members of the Rotary Club of Thai Town were unable to personally deliver their donations until now.
Since 2007, the Rotary Club of Thai Town in Los Angeles District 5280 has served Thai Town and Thai communities in Los Angeles. Chartered under Rotary International, the club works with international partners, such as the Mae Sai School for the Blind, to foster peace and goodwill.
Mae Sai School for the Blind was founded in 2016 with Her Royal Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presiding over the opening ceremony. The school welcomes visually impaired children from kindergarten to sixth grade. The first school of this program was established in 1981 in Khon Kaen under the royal patronage of His Majesty the King and later spread to other provinces of Thailand.
This donation is the first of several planned collaborative projects between Rotary International and the US Embassy’s Civil Affairs team. The Civil Affairs team has previously provided humanitarian assistance in Thailand through donations of firefighting equipment to deal with seasonal fires and medical supplies during COVID-19.