CHILD WATCH-PHUKET FOUNDATION - SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
by W Bro. Ralph Waldman, PM - Lodge Secretary
June 2022 , Phuket
LOS donation of Fifty – Eight Thousand (58,000) Thai Baht
The Light of Siam Lodge works closely with the Child Watch-Phuket Foundation who are involved in a number of Programs - Projects – Centers – Schools – Colleges, which are interlinked.
These Centers focus on the support and needs of some two hundred and thirty six (236) plus children between the ages of infant to 22 years of age. The Child Care Foundation began their humanitarian efforts some eighteen years ago ever since the 26 December 2004 when a 9.1 magnitude quake off the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province triggered a deadly Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, killing 226,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and nine other countries. According to geological estimates, the 2004 earthquake was the third-largest of its type to ever be recorded, and it managed to even trigger aftershocks as far away as in Alaska.
The popular tourist resort of Phuket, where the Light of Siam No. 9791 E.C. meets and resides was not spared. Two-hundred fifty (250) people were reported dead, including tourists. The 2004 Tsunami struck the west coast of Phuket island, flooding and causing much damage to most all the major beaches such as Patong, Karon, Kamala, and Kata beach, destroying people’s homes and livelihoods. The Child Watch – Phuket Foundation did much work to assist in the Phuket recovery especially those poor and underprivileged who were the most at risk. While Phuket has mostly recovered from this devastation the Covid-19 Pandemic once again ravished the world and once again the Foundation provided the underprivileged of Phuket on going support and aid.
The Brethren of Lodge Siam driven by the tenants of Freemasonry are ever mindful to support and make their presence felt within their community. Their charity efforts and compassion have focused on the underprivileged so as to help provide them a better future especially for the caring of abused and abandoned children, street kids and children at risk , needy children in a one parent family up to the age to 22 years. Also included in this umbrella of benevolence are those children with medical conditions requiring immediate care as well as those suffering from the psychological scars due to various traumas of their horrific experiences.
W Bro. Ralph Waldman, who wrote this article, explained that the Brethren of the Lodge all know education is the key to every success story. They strongly feel that aligning their benevolence efforts with Child Watch-Phuket Foundation’s aim of giving every Child an opportunity for education is one the most effective uses of their limited resources. Hence the Scholarship Program! In fact the Light of Siam Lodge has supported this Scholarship Program from it’s conception. The Program currently supports eighteen students ages 11 to 22 years.
Bro. Brede Aaker and Bro. Ralph Waldman of the Light of Siam Lodge attended this years Child Watch Foundation Presentation on the 15th of June 2022. Bro. Brede Aaker did the honors of handing over the Lodge’s donation of Fifty – Eight Thousand (58,000) Thai Baht to a round of applause. Mr. Michael Chapman, a regular supporter of the Light of Siam Scholarship Program generously donated Ten Thousand (10,000) Thai Baht in readiness for the Scholarship Program Presentation.