Dear All,

As you know this years AirAsia Phuket International Rugby 10s will also be raising money for an orphans scholarship program for children left orphaned by the tsunami in the Phuket & Khao Lak areas. For this we have joined with a partner The Asia Centre Foundation.

We would also encourage interaction between the kids in the program and donors by posting on the website school reports and kids progress on a quarterly bases as well as emailing lists.

The fund has been named in memory of a friend of the Vagabonds RONDA BUTLER
who tragically lost her life during the tsunami of 26/12/04

What we would like to do for the weekend of the Tens, is get as many of these children
down to Phuket where they can hopefully forget the tragedy they have suffered for a couple of days and have some fun. To this aim we would ask all participating teams to adopt (during the day!! ) a couple of kids to be their mascots and if possible give them some kit and show them some real rugby hospitality.

Donations can be sent to Patrick Cotter, Bank of Auydhya Patong Beach Branch A/C No. 210-113671-9 swift Code AYUDTHBK. Upon sending please confirm by email the amount, name of donor and contact details to this address, or my using the Pay Pal link below

The following donations have already been gratefully received

1. The Needs
· Many organizations as well as individuals took care of immediate short term needs at schools (uniforms, shoes, bags, stationary)
· Many promises have been made to children and schools in the affected areas but not all has been fulfilled

2. Why scholarships?
2.1 The Thai educational system works as follows:
· Children at age 12 (pratom 6) moves up to secondary level
· Compulsory education stops at age 15

If a child is 12 years old and needs to move to secondary school he/she might not continue with school as the normal procedure requires. They might end up in prostitution or drugs because they are still young and could be influenced. Without the parent (if they are deceased) the child might drop out of school especially if they don't get any counseling after the trauma they went through. If compulsory education ends at 15 many of the tsunami affected children might consider leaving school to help their families by finding a job. This is a crucial time to have assistance ready to make it easier for children to stay in school by providing the necessary financial and psychological assistance they need to make good decisions for their future.

The present school year finishes at the end of March 2005. The ACF therefore commit itself to find, plan and provide such assistance with the help of various sponsors from the new school year starting in May 2005.

3. Scholarship Program Goals:
Through a scholarship program the ACF will build a relationship of trust through which children will be supported not only by financial means but also by necessary contact with people who cares and who can counsel where necessary. The aim would be to provide children with all assistance and opportunities needed to prevent them from leaving school at too early an age. Furthermore to provide financial assistance or opportunities for further study should a child want to leave normal school at age 15 to learn a new skill.

4. Duration of program:
Each scholarship will be provided on a yearly basis for a minimum of two years. Each student's progress and needs will be evaluated on a yearly basis. Students that are performing well will have the opportunity of longer scholarships if funds are available. Progress will be evaluated by keeping record of attendance, academic performance etc. of a student

5.2 Scholarships will include the following:
· School Uniform (if none)
· Scout Uniform (if none)
· Sport Uniform (if none)
· Shoes (school and sport)
· Schoolbag (if needed)
· School stationary (if/when needed)
· Books (if/when needed)
· Underwear
· Toiletries
· Pocket money
· Lunch money (if school doesn't provide)
· Transport fees (if school doesn't provide)
· Special Birthday package (a small gift, candy, a card from sponsor etc)