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One Step Forward!!

Caption: Foundation Registration Certificate in Thai

Yes, finally!
We are officially registered as Bookworm Foundation (มูลนิธิหนอนหนังสือ) in Phrao!
Yeaaaaay!!!

Now, next steps…

1. English name:
We may have to rethink our name, Bookworm Foundation, because there is a organization called The Bookworm Foundation in the US.
Why didn’t I Google for the English name and double check in the first place? Why? Why?
I have no idea… I want to kick myself…
Anyway, we need to think of cool, simple, unique, easy-to-remember, short, and lovely name (if it exists!). Ho ho ho…

2. Logo:
Our old logo was this:

Photo caption: Logo with two worms reading a bok on top a bus

And latest draft of our new logo is this:

Photo caption: Logo with an open book, and coming from that a globe composed of different items

I thought this is final, but I just received very constructive yet critical feedback.
So… no, this cannot be final yet.
We will discuss again in the meeting.

3. Financial duties of foundation:
Now that we are a registered foundation, we have more legal obligations.
We need to find someone who can make financial report, help us with tax document etc.
This person must be experienced, living not too far from Phrao, helpful, affordable, and approachable… Hmmmm… who can this be?

So, at the moment, I don’t feel like raise my hands in celebration and dance around the library.
Tons more to be done…
Still, we must stay optimistic, right?
At least I can say that we are definitely one big step closer to well-structured organization in my dream picture 🙂

Hello, Spirit of the Land

“Hello, gods and spirits of this land, my name is Yoshimi Horiuchi.
We will renovate this house to be used as a community library.
I will try my best to utilize this place for the entire community, so please protect us…”

Yes, I greeted out loud.

The village monk told us that if we wanted our activity to flow smoothly, we need to start renovating this month.

Yoshimi with ax

So for the first time in my life, I held an ax in my hand and tare off a part of a door.
Indeed, we REALLY are going to move into a new location!

Letter from Bookworms: Jul. 2012

Letter from Bookworms: Jul. 2012

 

Dear friends and supporters,

 

Sawasdee kha. Warm greetings from Phrao, Chiangmai.

We are in the middle of rainy season, and are about to welcome the lamyai season.

 

Lamyai, or longan in English, is a sweet and juicy fruit, which is one of the main crops in this area. Now, the tree branches are heavy with fruits, waiting to be harvested.

 

Our project has grown quite a lot over this few months. Some of you may have been following us on Facebook, but let me try to sum up what has been happening to this 2-year-old toddler called ARC. Here is the menu for today!

 

1. Sunshine Kids Center in Action!

2. Glimpse into Our Mobile Library Visits in Villages

3. ARC Library in Phrao Town in Need

4. Introduction of ARC Staff in the North

5. New Social Media: Causes.com

6. Help us to spread the words!

 

Bon appetit!

 

 

1. Sunshine Kids Center in Action!

The early childhood learning center for Akha children, now named Sunshine Kids Center, was born as a result of hard work of many people over January through April.

 

One person that we must mention here is Mr. Daniel Lockwood at the Dragonfly Community Foundation. With his expertise, we were able to build a beautiful mud house to be used as the classroom. On May 18, with our sponsor Mr. Katsuhiro Mizuno, 10 children from age 2 to 6, started to learn Thai and Akha language, basic math, and many other life skills. Please be proud, as your support has resulted in opening door for education for all the children!

 

 

2. Glimpse into Our Mobile Library Visits in Villages

We mainly visit book lovers who happen to have difficulty in visiting our library. Books cannot walk, so we walk on behalf of them, right?

 

For instance, this grandpa, Taa Inta, is 89 years old, and has lost most of hearing.

 

As his children are working outside all day, he is mostly bound to home. He is the only Christian in the family, and LOVES reading. The moment we bring the books, he immediately starts to read!

 

Another regular customer is this adorable girl, N’Waeo.

 

She is in her early teen, but is not enrolled in education as she has developmental disability. Although she cannot read, she is so happy to see books with lively pictures of animals and friends. We are planning to bring books with music and see if we could play an interactive game with her.

 

 

3. ARC Library in Phrao Town in Need

Our library base on the site of Warm Heart Foundation is getting too small for us. Now that we have over 1000 books, we are quite desperately in need of another place to keep some of them. So at the beginning of July, I have moved into a two-storey flat in Phrao Town. I will live upstairs, and the entire first floor (about 40 square meters) will be used as community library and office.

 

But as you can see on this photo, it’s so empty at this moment because we hardly have any furniture—bookshelves, desks, etc. In order to make this place appropriate for a library, we roughly need 90,000 baht (or 835 USD). We are planning to do a big online fundraising, so please help us to reach out to more people once started.

 

 

4. Introduction of ARC Staff in the North

Can you believe that we now have 2 paid staff at ARC? These powerful ladies are untradable assets for ARC now. Let me introduce them briefly.

 

Ms. Orapin Sata (Tuu)

Position: project assistant

“Active, straightforward, and fun-loving”

 

 

She is stationed in Phrao, Chiangmai, which is her hometown. Ever since she joined ARC as its first full time staff in February this year, she has been supporting me in countless ways: driving around on her mighty motorbike, organizing our library, preparing various documents, etc.

 

Ms. Ahmee Biapa (P’Nalae)

Position: Teacher at Sunshine Kids Center

“Lively, strong, and caring”

 

She is the main pillar for the Sunshine Kids Center. Three days a week, she teaches 10 unstoppable children in her village, how to read and write, to count, to sing and dance—simply to live as a happy child of the world. By the way, she is a great cook as well J

 

 

5. New Social Media: Causes.com

In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, we now have a new social media platform on Causes.com. This is another way to promote our activities, and also is going to be used as fundraising platform, connected to our Pay Pal account. Please check it out, join the cause, and write why you support the cause to spread the words.

 

http://www.causes.com/causes/788244-always-reading-caravan

 

 

6. Help us to spread the words!

Thank you for reading all the way through. Last but not least, all staff at ARC appreciates your continuous support. Children are our future, and we do want to help open their window into the world through reading, but all the activities would not have been possible without your support. We would be very happy if you could spread the words about us to your friends and colleagues so that we can reach out to more potential bookworms here in Thailand. Here are some ways that you can join our caravan.

 

  1. Monetary Donation:

We are currently in the process of registration as an official organization in Thailand. In the meantime, please use the following bank account. This account is to be used only for ARC activities.

Account Holder: Yoshimi Horiuchi
Bank name: Thai Military Bank
Branch: Arkhaan Yada (Yada Building) Silom branch
Bank No.: Savings Account 232-204-9202

2. Books Donation:
Please send any type of new or gently-used books (except for textbooks) to either of the following addresses. We are mainly in need of books written in Thai language, but English picture books would be equally appreciated.
Ms. Yoshimi Horiuchi
Urai Apartment 209
70 Krungthonburi Rd, Soi 4
Banglamphulang, Khlongsan,
Bangkok 10600
Thailand
Yoshimi Horiuchi
c/o Warm Heart PO Box 8
T. Wiang, A. Phrao, Chiangmai 50190
THAILAND

3. Volunteers:
Wherever you are, whatever you are good at, we are always happy to welcome you as our volunteer. If you are interested, please send your inquiry first. If you already know what you would like to do, please send your CV directly.
Email: volunteer@alwaysreadingcaravan.org
Our director, Yoshimi Horiuchi, can be reached at
083-542-7283
in Thai, English, or Japanese.

 

KHOB KHUN KHA = THANK YOU!

 

 

—————————————-

Yoshimi Horiuchi

Director/Founder, Always Reading Caravan (ARC)

235/2 M. 2, T. Wiang, A. Phrao, Chiangmai 50190 Thailand

 

Email: yoshimi.horiuchi@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/yoshimiarc

Twitter: www.twitter.com/yoshimiarc

Mobile in Thailand: (+66) 83-542-7283

—————————————-

New Year Greetings

Do you know what a dragon look like?
What color is he?
What can he do?
What sound does he make when he roar with all his might?

Now, try to go on his back,
and fly up in the sky with him.
What can you see?
How do you feel?
What do you smell?

Friends, this is the power of imagination, and the beauty of dreams.

With your continuous support, ARC has been trying to empower people of all ages to imagine and to dream on by bridging between books and people  who cannot reach them.
In this year of dragon, with much respect and gratitude, I wish you a healthy year with time to imagine and dream.
Don’t let anything (amount of your hair, what you do to eat, money in your wallet, or whatever) come and intervene!
Forgot how to imagine? Thought dreams were for kids only?
Well, join us, and soon you will see.

A happy 2012 to you!

Bookworm News Dec. 2011: Christmas of a 90-Year-Old Grandpa

Dear friends of ARC around the globe,

It’s far from white Christmas here in Phrao, Chiangmai, but we feel freezing while driving the motorbike around under 20 degrees.
Let us send you our heartful Christmas greetings, though it’s already a few days late!
Today, we went to deliver Christmas gifts to a 90-year-old grandpa in Huai Sai village.
What were the gifts?
OF COURSE, books!
We brought him a Bible and some Christian books, which were donated from one of our friends in Bangkok.
As the only one Christian in the entire family and being hard of hearing, he seemed to enjoy our gift a lot.
Another bridge between books and people were built, thanks to our friends’ support.
We thank each and every one of you for supporting ARC throughout 2011.
You made it possible for us to connect books and people.
ARC cannot give you any gifts, but please be proud that YOU were the one who put on a smile on the kid’s face.
YOU were the one who made that grandma laugh as our volunteer read for her.
That warm feeling in you is the gift from us.
Let’s enjoy the last week of 2011, and get ready to welcome 2012!

With warm regards and much gratitude,

Yoshi

Bookworm News #2 Happy Thai New Year!

Dear all ARC friends,

happy new year! Yes, we just had Thai new year from April 13 to 15.
May this year filled with countless smiles and good luck, and may your every day accompanied with naughty smiles and warm affection.

How are you doing in every corner of the world? I am very fine in
Thailand. We are already through the new year holidays, but people still
 seem to be in the holiday mood this week. Bangkok is in the hottest
season of the year. Occasional showers cool down the town and bring
greens back to life. After a night, however, the city becomes an
enormous oven once again. Good things are that fruits are getting
sweeter and more juicy with cheaper market price, and that there are not
 many mosquitos around.

The red-shirt movement is still ongoing, so we have to be careful
where we are heading to, not to run into the area of mob. Otherwise,
it’s as peaceful as usual.

OK, without much delay, here are the headlines of news from ARC today:

1. Fundraising with colorful children
2. Going public in Thailand
3. “To be an association or to be a foundation, that is the question.”
4. Our next step in the north-east
5. ARC as the second home for books
6. (HIGHLIGHT!) Our new staff
1. Fundraising with colorful children

Neilson Hays Library is the oldest English-language library in
Bangkok. They not only provide 20,000 quality  books to English
readers in the metropolis, but also conduct various activities in the
community as a part of society.

One of the activities is called “Reading Marathon,” and ARC is luckily
involved in it this year since March. It’s a fundraising activities
through book-reading, and a part of the raised fund goes to purchase
children’s books in Neilson Hays Library, and another part goes to a
social project.
This year, ARC was selected as their target project.

600 children at four international schools in Bangkok competed amount of
 books they can read within a certain period of time, and their family
and friends pay for their reading. I think it’s a great method to
motivate kids to read more, and contribute to the society at the same
time.

As small gift back to them, I have visited two of the schools to give
motivational speeches about people with different disabilities in the
society. In the speeches and Q&A sessions, I tried to illustrate the
positive side of people with disabilities that are often overlooked in
mainstream media. They touched Braille alphabet, and so many hands
were raised high up in the air to try out cane-walk with blindfold.
Please look at the photos attached. I
was so happy to answer such importnt questions as “How do you read the
menu in the restaurant?” and “How do you eat without looking?”

I truly enjoy and admire the ever-lasting curiosity of young children,
and hope many of them will not forget to wonder even after they grow up.
 I am very much looking forward to meeting some of them again on May
15 at the closing ceremony of the reading marathon. Many thanks toMs.
Annemarie at Neilson Hays Library, and Ms. Marjan Konijn in Dutch
society!
2. Going public in Thailand

ARC appeared on NBT, a national TV channel on Mar. 30. ARC is so lucky
to be covered by media in the earliest stage of the project progress.
Also, I met an editor of well-known monthly magazine called “A Day,” and
 he promised to write a story about our project. Since A Day is read
by many young people in Bangkok, it would greatly help ARC to recruit
more volunteer staff and get people interested.
3. “To be an association or to be a foundation, that is the question.”

Since I arrived in Bangkok in February, registration of ARC has been a
big concern for me. I have consulted many people, including people
running NGO, staff at a foundation who closely work with local and
international NGOs, and two law firms. Finally, I decided to ask support
 of a lawyer to register ARC as a foundation in Thailand. Because of
current political instability, it might take even longer than usual (3-6
 months). However, I am quite happy that I know the direction to go.
4. Our next step in the north-east

We are planning to make our first field trip in May. I am in touch
with a friend of mine who works at a blind school in a north-eastern
province, and he is trying to hook us up with local government
officers and center for special education. After school term starts in
May-june, I am thinking of doing some reading activities at schools
and institutions around Bangkok. I am positively excited to actually
reach the children at long last!
5. ARC as the second home for books

We have been collecting second-hand books both domestically and
internationally. So far, we received almost 100 books from Japan, and
about a dozen picture books (even with Braille) from an institute in UK.
 We are going to call for donation at numbers of international and
private schools around Bangkok. Although there are countless number of
quality books abroad, we want to emphasize domestic donation because
we want to provide most of books in Thai language. Mainly, from
foreign countries, We are asking for donation of special books, such
as tactile books and pop-up books, which are quite difficult to find
in Thailand. In case we get donation from outside, we translate the
contents into Thai and modify the book.
6. (HIGHLIGHT!) Our new staff

I came to Bangkok literally alone, and now, not anymore. After my
friends helped me to call for bolunteers through posters and various
blogs, many people contacted me via email and phone, showing interest in
 ARC. Most of them are mainly interested in field visit to the
village, but a few of them are willing to work in the preparation
phase as well. Let me introduce our two skilled volunteer staff, Pat,
and jum.

Pat: Pat contacted me via email as the first volunteer staff to ARC. She
 lives in Nontaburi, so she has to travel the most amongst all of us.
She has studied in Japan for 5 years, including 1 year in a high school,
 and 4 full years in a university. Then she went to the States to do her
 master’s course in international relations. Now she can speak, read,
and write in Thai, English, and Japanese. She has just come back, and is
 looking for a job in the non-profit field in Thailand. She may seek for
 higher education abroad sometime soon. But in the meantime, she is
working as a volunteer staff at ARC.

Jum: She called me in March on the phone. She lives near BTS
station, Saphaan Taksing. After finishing her BA at Kasessat univ.,
she went to the States for 3 years, studying and working at the same
time.
 Shee  has worked in Mae Sod with refugees from Burma for 1 year, with
both children and adults, and has worked at international school. Now
she is teaching Thai language to foreigners at home.

I hope more and more brothers and sisters will keep joining us!
Thank you very much for reading the long letter. I tried to keep it
compact, but at the same time, I did not want you to miss anything.
Please feel free to write to us any time. ARC is happy to be in touch
with you!

Stay healthy, enjoy the world, and laugh every day!

Y