Wat Lok Molee, the beautifully renovated temple on Manee Nopparat Road has the distinction of being the longest serving open food distribution centre in Thailand, having distributed food to the poor and needy each day for 84 days between the 25th of March and the 16th of June. Since then they have also set up food boxes, refilling them four times per day as each time the food runs out within 40 minutes.
Latest, the abbot of Wat Lok Molee, Phra Kru Phaibuljettiyanuraks has joined forces with the Chiang Mai Institute For Skill Development to offer free life skills training classes to the public.
They are currently offering six different life skills and have seen 189 people enroll so far.
According to the abbot, over the lockdown Wat Lok Molee fed not just Thais and immigrants, but also many foreigners trapped in Chiang Mai. Having talked to the many people who came daily for instant noodles, bottles of water, soap and other necessities, the abbot realised that the crisis would not end easily for many unskilled people who were going to struggle for work.
The temple is to be used as the class rooms and this effort, funded mainly by Wat Lok Molee, is to be in honour of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, said the abbot. Initially the courses cover massage, Thai desserts, cooking, and hair dressing classes, but after more feedback following the announcement, the abbot said that they are now also adding online theory and practices as well as sewing classes.
The first course has now completed and they are open to start the second courses which will last until the end of the year. The abbot says that he is open to suggestions and requests should other courses be required.
The director of the Chiang Mai Institute for Life Skills said that all social distancing and safety measures have, and will be, observed.
Classes will also be staggered, for safety, with one day put aside for massage classes, three for Thai desserts, three for Thai food, three for online learning, seven for hair dressing, etc. All equipment and tools needed to learn will be provided by the temple at no cost to the participants. The abbot went on to say that the temple is dedicated in building up on this initial idea and is discussing turning the temple into a full time location for free skills education.
While the temple is covering all costs at present, the abbot says that he is always open to support and welcomes calls at 093-6368452.