Thabyay Education Network

Thabyay Education Network's mission is to educate, develop, inspire, connect, and empower individuals and organizations who are change-makers in Southeast Asia, with a primary focus on Myanmar. We seek to achieve this through knowledge creation, innovative learning, guided skills expansion and by forging connections to networks, information and opportunities. We are inspired to create far-reaching transformations for the people of Myanmar.
Feb 19, 2013

BVP handing over to local communities

Handover Workshop
Handover Workshop

After eleven successful years, and hundreds of successful volunteer placements, the Burma Volunteer Program decided to hand over the recruitment and management of volunteers to interested local organizations on the Thailand-Burma border. This decision was taken for three reasons:

1. Recent research has shown that at least 50% of organizations receiving BVP volunteers were also recruiting their own volunteers independently.

2. With the changes occuring in Burma, the border is changing, and an increasing number of organizations are shifting into the country.

3. Adequate funding for the program was increasingly difficult to source.

In order to phase out the program responsibly and ensure an effective handover, BVP staff developed a plan to empower partner organizations to successfully recruit and manage volunteers. This incorporated capacity building workshps for interested partners and a Volunteer Management Manual to be developed distributed to all partner organizations.

In January and February 2013, the Program Manager delivered training workshoips in Sangkhlaburi, Nupo Refugee Camp, Mae La Refugee Camp, Mae Hong Son and Mae Sot. Our partners were walked through the entire process of writing job descriptions, advertizing/recruiting volunteers, choosing applicants that best match their needs, managing volunteers, and maintaining an on-going relationship afterwards.

Of the 58 partner organizations that were invited, more than half of those partners (32) (55%) attended the trainings and a total of 64 people participated. 2 members from each organization were invited to attend the trainings however this number varied on occasion. Many organizations that did not attend trainings at the above locations informed the BVP Program Manager that despite being grateful for the opportunity to attend the trainings, they already felt comfortable recruiting volunteers on their own.

BVP also encouraged current volunteers working with our partners to attend the training with members of their organization to provide them with extra support throughout this process. They will also help to recruit the next volunteer for their host organization

Despite BVP closing, there is still a need for volunteers to work with civil society organizations from Myanmar on the border region. Therefore the website of BVP (www.burmavolunteers.org) was adapted to suit the needs of our partners. When potential volunteers visit the website, they are now provided with details about BVP partner organizations and are able to contact them directly to inquire about volunteer opportunities. This particular change was a focus point of the Volunteer Management trainings. In total, 19 partner organizations opted to be featured on our website.

The BVP staff were touched by the many testimonials and gestures of thanks received from partner organizations during the handover process. While it is sad to see such a great program with a notable history in this context come to an end, we are confident that this was the right step in the circumstances, and delighted that the handover process will mean that the fantastic work of the volunteers and partner organizations will continue.

Farewell!

Jan 8, 2013

A successful year for BVP

To all our supporters,

BVP would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who has donated to our ‘Support the Burma Volunteer Program’ GlobalGiving campaign.

2012 was a successful year for BVP. Our project has continued to make a significant impact in the local communities we serve. In 2012 BVP welcomed a total of 73 volunteers with 97 volunteers active in total. On average 35 percent of volunteers that started in 2012 stayed on longer than their initial 3 month commitment. Volunteers taught approximately 1,325 students and 23,400 classroom hours.

BVP volunteers worked at 70 unique organizations located in 6 locations (Mae Sot, Mae Sariang, Chiang Mai,
Mae Hong Son, Mae Tan, Sangkhlaburi) and 5 refugee camps (Mae La, Nupo, Mae La Oon, Mae Ra Moo,
Koung Jor). Our volunteers were primarily involved in developing curriculum and teaching a variety of social science and English language subjects as well as non-teaching tasks conducting research, human rights documentation, report writing and producing funding proposals.

We would like to say thank you to everyone who supported our Global Giving ‘Support the Burma Volunteer Program’ campaign. These funds have helped us to continue serving our local partners and provide volunteers with the necessary support to increase the capacity of civil society organizations from Burma.

Kind Regards,

The Burma Volunteer Program



Dec 10, 2012

Education and Opportunity in a Changing Burma

"The future of this country will be determined by the education of its youth." - President Barack Obama, University of Rangoon, November 11th, 2012.

In 2012 we have witnessed the beginnings of significant political and economic reforms in Burma. More international NGOs are moving in to the country and national and community based organizations are able to operate more freely, strengthening their capacity and impact. It is an exciting time, and this program works directly with the young dynamic change-makers involved in human rights, good governance, education, and public health organizations to name a few. Strengthening young change-makers' English abilities and providing them the tools and skills they need to access quality higher education and professional development opportunities has never been more important.

The Exam Preparation Outreach Program (EPOP) has achieved many significant outcomes in 2012 and has made multiple improvements to the program. Over 150 students have successfully completed our courses this year and 140 students from Burma are enrolled in the current semester. Eighty students have achieved a TOEFL score necessary for university entrance and we expect that number to increase significantly at the end of this semester. Many EPOP students are currently applying for university scholarships, while others are pursuing professional opportunities.

"I just wanted write to say thank you because I got a new job where I need to speak English. The EPOP courses really helped me to improve my English skills. Thank you to all of the EPOP staff for this opportunity." -Thu Thu Ko

"My studies with EPOP have helped me a lot and I began a masters program in Thailand and all my courses are in English. I just wanted to share my experience and appreciation to EPOP for opening me up to this new journey." - Chin

EPOP, through its online platform and local partnerships, is continually working to expand its services to those working outside of the major urban centers of Rangoon and Mandalay. This semester EPOP has been able to serve 20 new students in Chin State and Kachin State. With your help, we hope to continue to expand our services in 2013 working towards progressive change through greater access to higher education. We thank you once again for your kind support for this important project and look forward to hearing from you if you would like any further information about this program.

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