Mission Accomplished! Last month, Mark Kirwin, Co-Founder, returned from a successful trip to Thailand where he established the KIRF tsunami orphan scholarship fund. While in Thailand, he interviewed university officials and met with Senator Mechai Viravaidya, Founder and Chairman of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) in Bangkok. Khun Mechai has been helping those in need since the 1970’s. He is best known for his innovative family planning programs that prevented an AIDS/HIV epidemic from devastating Thailand.
As a result of these meetings, the KIRF Fund for Tsunami Orphans has been set up with the PDA. The Prince of Songkla University (PSU), Phuket Campus, has agreed to host the scholarship program. PSU offers a wide range of degrees including hotel management and computer engineering.
The PDA will assist KIRF in administering the scholarship fund and tracking the 54 orphans we identified last year in south Ranong Province, Thailand.
Presently, the PDA is notifying the orphan children of the KIRF scholarship fund. Through the PDA, KIRF will sponsor summer camps for the kids to boost their morale and assist them towards the goal of attending PSU. A University education is an honor in Thailand. We are glad to be able to provide the opportunity for those orphans from the tsunami who wish to obtain a college education.
The KIRF Fund for Tsunami Orphans has been established but it needs to grow. You can help! If helping out these kids interests you, please send a check to KIRF/IHC and reference “tsunami orphans” in the notes. The funds will be sent directly to the KIRF tsunami scholarship educational fund through the PDA in Thailand.
Below are some of the photos of the orphaned children. These photographs were provided to us by the Director of the Ranong Province School District with the hope that more funds could be raised to help the orphans.