President's Message October 2022
October 2023
Dear Rotarians,
This month’s Rotary International theme is Economic and Community Development. 
In last year’s October message, I stated the impacts of covid-19 had had on our communities, we are now learning to live with it, however once again global events such as the invasion in Ukraine has greatly impacted global markets and prices pushing more people into poverty. 
In February 2022, Thailand’s targeted poor had risen to 1.3 million, which was an increase of 46,466 people since 2019, this information is based on the Thai people map and analytical platform (TPMAP)
TPMAP has reported it has based its estimation on data collected from 36.1 million people who have registered with the Community Development Department, which found 3.4 million people classified as poor as per the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
It then cross-referenced this group with those who have registered as state-welfare cardholders and eventually arrived at 1,025,782 as the number of “targeted poor”.  However, this information may not include migrant workers who have been ‘stuck’ in Thailand, therefore the true figures may be higher.
According to TPMAP, Nakhon Pathom has the lowest number of poor people in Thailand, followed by Chonburi, Trat, Samut Songkhram and Rayong. TPMAP also estimates that provinces where the number of poor people will start decreasing by the largest ratio in 2022 are Satun, Bueng Kan, Tak, Phitsanulok and Suphan Buri.
TPMAP is a government-sponsored platform working in cooperation with the National Economic and Social Development Council , National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre  and the National Science and Technology Development Agency.
TPMAP was established in 2018 to collect data, which the government is using to solve Thailand’s poverty problems.
In addition, the good news is that Thailand’s unemployment rate has decreased by 1.3% since covid-19, however the household debt levels have increased.
However, having recently returned from the island of Koh Chang it was sad to see 70% of businesses still shut, and local communities abandoned. Here in Hua Hin things are slowly improving, however; there is still a long way to go.
So how has the Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin supporting the local communities?
In the short term we have engaged in projects supporting local communities in partnership with the Sang Foundation, growing greener communities, there is also an opportunity to work with Stamford International University and the Sang Foundation on environmental projects. In addition, we have undertaken several small projects with Nong Hoi school supporting their football teams.
To me, our longer-term goal in supporting Economic and Community Development is through our education programs such as the Rotary Education Center and the Free English on line Program in partnership with the Rotary Club of Thavaravadi, which will help improve the education standards in schools, and the local communities, therefore by improving the level of education this in turn offers greater job prospects of local people and leading to an improved family life.
It is important to establish future projects using this excellent facility for the benefits of our community and sustainability of the project itself.
It is not only about achieving higher education standards, vocational training is essential to help young people develop hands on skills in the hotel and leisure industry, IT, manufacturing and many other forms of vocational skills. Partnership working to help Thai children experience exchange programs such as those run by the Thai Administration and business college are key to Thailand’s future, and I am happy to help support these programmes with the club’s approval.
On a different theme, we welcome back our delayed 12th Amateur golf classic on the 25th November and our members support is important to the success of this event both on and off the field.
As I have mentioned previously, we also need to look at ways to diversify our fund raising, new ideas, generates possibilities of raising further income to support our projects and club development. Now our Rotaractors are back we can work more closely with these young people, and develop relationships with other Organisations, and other rotary clubs not only in our district, but Thailand and other Countries.
Let us continue to Change Lives by supporting economic and community development through our service projects and by contributing to The Rotary Foundation which we have been doing for nearly a decade through Every Rotary Every Year – EREY.
Rotarians worldwide are determined to reduce poverty through projects that deliver equipment, vocational training, and work to strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders.
October 24th has again been marked World Polio Day, and once again we are looking to identify a project to commemorate this day.
Once again this year is proving difficult for our club, however let us not forget wherever you are in the world, let us continue to support each other, stay in contact and more importantly stay safe and well.
Yours in Rotary
Phil Lawrence
President 2022-23