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Familiarization visit for Regional Red Cross, Tuscany, Italy
July 10-11, 2009 at Chiang mai Red Cross Station 3

Observers: Pino Ungaro, Dr. Francesco Caponi, Dr. Maria Letizia Caccamo Coordinators: Mrs. Somboon Suprasert, Mrs. Margaret Bhadungzong,
Mrs. Patcharee, Ms. Mingkwan, Mrs Benjawan

Visit to Vieng Ping Children’s Home, Mae Rim on Friday, July 10, 2009

We met with Assistant to Director. At present, 200 orphans reside in the home. Of these are 25 children HIV infected and of the 25 children, 21 children are from birth to 5 years old. Non infected children are adopted by both Thai, Asian and Westerners. However, the HIV infected infants and children are adopted by only Westerners. The home accepts children from 17 provinces in north. Thailand Chiang Mai is only one of those provinces. The children are in the home because parents have died from disease or in traffic accidents; children were rescued from abusive situation or they were improperly cared for by guardians. This home is the last chance for orphans and abandoned children.

Dr. Litizia and Margaret were shown the dormitory on the second floor. The 20 girls staying in this dorm are from 7 years to 18 years. The bed has a built in unit with a closet, writing desktop plus drawers and shelves. These units are built from private donation of funds. The children attend nearby public school and on the weekends, children participate in the activities learning vocations and skills. Some children can benefit from foster parent programs. Accompanied by the Home caretakers, children can “reunify” by meeting distant relatives outside the home to keep a closer relationship.

The Tohmya Sewing Center. Hua Rin, Mae Wang on Friday, July 10, 2009

The Tohmya Sewing Center is a cottage industry producing garments and small coin purses for one Japanese company, The Japanese supply the modern sewing machines, bolts of hand-woven cotton, the pattern sizes, buttons and zippers when called for. The 28 women sewing in the center are both non infected and HIV infected. The maximum wage they can make is Baht 200 for 8 hour day. No other benefits such as family welfare are available. The bolts of cloth are brought to the center. When the products are produced, the Japanese take the finished

goods to the cargo company for export to Japan. None of the products produced at the center are allowed to be sold in Thailand. However, scraps of the material are sewn into small purses. The village women can sell these to interested visitors. In 1994, Phra Daeng, the abbot of the nearby Wat Hua Rin, saw the need for HIV infected women to earn supplementary income. This group was severely discriminated against. He started the cottage sewing industry for the about 15 years ago within the temple. Later the sewing center was built adjacent to the temple.

Meeting Phra Daeng, the abbot of the nearby Wat Hua Rin

During our informal meeting with Phra Daeng at Wat Hua Rin we were informed the treatment unit for alcoholic and drug addicted as been completed. A hospital in Chiang Mai is carefully screening the applicants who would best benefit for treatment in the center. Another requirement is that no members in the families of the screened addict is an alcoholic or takes drugs. Under Phra Daeng’s direction, they are researching various herbal enzyme drink to use in the treatment program. Such as mongkoot or mangosteen peel, apple, salee, and loob yaa.

At present there are 3,000 people living in the tambol comprised of 12 villages. Hua Rin has 1,800 people. The total population of Sanpatong is 30,000 people. Within the village are several groups needing health treatment such as addicts, diabetics and unwell seniors. Phra Daeng is making plans to develop an alternative health center using three modems such as:

  1. Herbal health products,
  2. Thai massage, and
  3. Heated herbal compresses known as loog prakobe.

One young monk is enrolled at the Chiang Mai Teacher’s College studying in the alternative medicine department.

Grandma Cares Workshop on Saturday, July 11, 2009

“The Life We are Born with” Opening by Chao Duang Duen

Human beings are born with great potential to live a good life. A human life has high value more so than that of animals that start as worms increasing to frogs and larger body forms.

Even so, humans have problems throughout their lives. They must be patient and if the problem cannot be solved, it’s alright to ask for help. Today, the Italian Red Cross has come to help Chiang Mai people in the Red Cross workshop. Here at the Red Cross the participants can gain knowledge about prevention from disease and how to promote good health. Thus, we see this good example of how human beings help each other.

Chiang Mai is a beautiful place with culture and a supporting society who regularly follows religious practice. Though she is 80 years of age, Chao Duang Duen wants to continue promoting this society. She asked the grandmas to encourage their children and grandchildren to carry on promoting the particular culture of Chiang Mai.

The Red Cross of Italy comes to help and will continue with more projects in 2010. All of today’s participants have the duty to actively spread the knowledge they will learn today to help family members and neighbors in their community. Chao Duang Duen prays the Chiang Mai Red Cross will continue to be successful in their grassroots work.

The lecture of the Monk

The monk greets all with the wish they are able of find happiness today. The participants came to seek knowledge about health. Good health is necessary in each life as is love and food. Each person can participate in creating happiness by congratulating and expressing support to others who have achieved success in their life. Every day each person can be mindful, be calm and patient to all persons around in these times of trials and chaos. Upekka is equanimity, the ability to accept the ups and downs of life with equal dispassion.

“Concept of the importance of caring for Grandchildren” by Auntie Boon Suprasert

Concept of importance of caring for Grandchildren just what to do and how to do this?

  1. Good care through proper food and nutrition
  2. Keep home clean and safe from accidents
  3. Wash clothes frequently and keep clean garments in proper place
  4. Continue the child’s immunization program for health protection until 12 years of age
  5. Be loving and tender iwhen communicating and touching for psychosocial interaction. Positive conversation and personal communication with children is essential

Follow these eight steps to transform children into Polite behavior to help your child learn how to make good choices.

  1. Teach self care to the child and teach personal hygiene
  2. Take care of clean clothes and shoes
  3. Take care of all things in home, family, such as TV and household items as dishes
  4. Take care to clean the inside and outside of the house as well as bathroom. Put away clean clothes in closet. Wash dishes and sweep the house
  5. Help grandma to plant trees and water the plants in the garden
  6. Help grandma to visit the temple on Buddhist holidays.
  7. Meditate with grandma.
  8. Pass these 7 steps and a chied the child will be a mufal person with mufal ethics. Children learn ethics by watching grandma’s example.

When children go to school,then grandma has time to think of future projects. She can be positive. Grandma has time to meditate regularly. Practice patience with children and find the time to speak about honesty. Practice Honesty. Pray every day. Be kind, show love and be tender. The Buddhist discipline of uppekka is to practice being calm and peaceful.

Auntie Boon prays all grandmas will be successful and be healthy.

Problem Based Learning groups

The thirty workshop participants were divided into 3 groups of 10 persons each. The facilitator, Auntie Boon, lead one group of senior women from the Sanpatong district. Each receives Baht 300 per month from the Zonta Chiang Mai Women’s Club. The facilitator asked what serious family problems cannot be solved by them.

Grandma 1. Her 13 year old grandson is very stubborn. He does not mind her. Auntie Boon said this is a typical problem with most teenagers. The grandmother has to accept and try to speak with him in a normal voice. Try to encourage him when he shows appropriate good behavior. The possible consequences of his choice of behavior can be identified.

GR 2. Her grandchild needs to buy several uniforms for school, such as daily form, sports uniform with gym shoes, and cultural dress for special school days. Her child needs Baht 30 per day for lunch. There is no extra money for uniforms.

GR 3. She informed the group with good news that her 18 year old granddaughter has finished school She works in a health center for Baht 3,500 per month and she is a part time deejay in community radio.

GR 4. She nurses her own paralyzed child .plus she baby-sits a grandchild during the day. The child resides in a neighbor’s house.

GR 5. She has 2 grandchildren. She gets baht 500 monthly senior stipend. Her own allergy to detergent diminishes her health. She gets monthly Baht 200 to buy medicine. She has diabetes. Auntie Boon advised her to plant “ma room trees* near her home to provide herbal treatment for diabetes.

GR 6. She has no problem to care for grandchild. She regrets she cannot help the child to understand homework. She has no extra money to hire outside tutor.

GR 7. She has ovarian cancer and diabetes. She cares for 16 year old boy and a 20 year old girl. She is very happy to attend the workshop and receive the health and family relationship knowledge.

GR 8. Her 18 year granddaughter has finished school. She cooks and takes grandma to temple two times per month. The granddaughter does not work outside the home. Grandma has diabetes.

GR 9. She cares for enfeebled husband. She is the only income earner by making artificial flowers. Her grandchild is supported by outside NGO “Grandma Cares Trust”. She is happy to talk and network with other seniors at the workshop. This activity reduces her stress and she needs fellowship.

GR 10. She has no money for daily school expense of three grandchildren who are7, 10, and 13 years old. Only one toilet inside small the house causes much stress during morning hours when all are getting ready for school. Auntie Boon advised the children should not eat snacks of empty calories. In another province, Uttaradit, Auntie Boon observed a grandfather take the chicken from his mouth to feed his grandson who said he did not have enough to eat. It’s best to use money to buy healthy food.


Children’s programs Morning : Life skills for Teaching Children to Make Good Decisions

The group comprised 20 children from 5 to 16 years of age. The facilitator Nurse Noi reviewed important points of the Monk’s lecture. The children recalled the quality of compassion for animals and for humans. The way to show compassion is to show warm feelings to family members and kiss on the cheek. Another is to ‘wai’ and show respect to senior persons. Another way is to go to the temple with senior adults to make merit.

The facilitator introduced the topic of emotions and asked the children to name emotions. The children did not know emotion

from feeling hungry. When meditate we can ask ourselves, what am I feeling at this moment— happy, sad, anger, dissatisfied, jealous, etc. Another child said her mother is often angry with her. Another child volunteered that her mother and father argued with each other often. The facilitator asked her what does the child do? She sits quietly and that is fine for her. The child does not have to be involved in the angry words. A child must not scold parents. During this emotional confrontation the child can leave the room to read a book in other room. Use your life energy for happiness.

Be a good person. Be generous. Be Smart. Be Happy. Good children listen to parents, adults and teachers. Practice smiling with the face and with the heart’s inner smile. Learn to give or sacrifice for other family members. We have to evaluate about giving away material things when necessary.

How to be smart. Learn to focus direction of mind to be the top student. Other useful activities are planting trees, cooking, taking part in sports.

Having a hero or mentor to look up to and follow is someone who sets a good example for you, someone you can look up to. We can use the example of Chiang Mai’s “Nok’ Noppawan who is 17 years. She has been played tennis and won the Girl’s Singles and Girls’ Doubles Wimbledon title in the UK in July 2009. At Math Yom 1 she had to leave school and study only in weekend education so she can have enough time to practice and perfect her tennis discipline. This is an example of having a goal in life. People who succeed have goals, and people with goals succeed. Other examples could be a profession such as car repairman, gardening, and cooking. Another child informed the group about planting vegetable such as kale to sell in the market. One and Sunday

Think about living “Pawpiang” or sustainable living with in the family budget . Find the positive in all situations. What can you do to find happiness? Plant trees and see the flowers bloom, play sports e.g. volleyball, badminton; an instrument. Help mom and dad with chores. Wash clothes. Read book both school books and fiction or cartoons. Go to school. Give a hug. Listen to music. Talk and visit good friends, write out feelings on paper keep a diary. Invite friends to work on environmental improvement projects.

We must have good health to be happy. Learn how to prevent fever ‘2009’ or H1N1. Ask yourself what can be your goal? Identify the steps required to get there.

The children colored and discussed a poetic caption under each picture allowing them to understand the connection of the message and the drawing. By working within their team, they learned how to build friendship. The teams were formed by days of birthdays, e.g.. born on Mondays, Tuesdays., etc., seven groups were formed. They were informed about the importance of washing hands often during this current flu epidemic. How to wash hands during an actual self demonstration. They were given masks to wear. Recreation through art therapy gives them a chance to express their emotions. They sang a few popular songs. Each had their picture taken with their artistic creation. The leader is Nurse Ampawan from CMU Medical Faculty.

Afternoon Programs for grandmas

First session: How Seniors can know have to practice self care

Sometimes Seniors do not look after themselves as closely as they should. The steps are reviewed about hygienic care and the same information is recommended in the handbooks that are given to them during this workshop.

At the senior years it’s important to exercise with daily stretching. The cassette developed by the Red Cross Thailand has inspirational music to encourage seniors to exercise regularly.

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