The Branch Foundation

Our Mission: The Branch Foundation aims to work alongside marginalized communities in South-East Asia to support sustainable community development through education, capacity building and renewable energy solutions. Our Vision: Cohesive South-East Asian communities empowered to be self-reliant and able to participate in opportunities available in the wider community around them.
Aug 11, 2015

Update report - August 2015

Sai Oo outside his faculty building
Sai Oo outside his faculty building

We are delighted to update you on the progress of Sai Oo's studies at Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai, Thailand. In June, he completed the 2nd semester of his course in Information Technology and we learnt that he managed to gain a 3.83 Grade Point Average. This did not come as a surprise for us as we know all too well his hardworking and dedicated character.

His impressive grades earned him a potential scholarship to study in the UK for his 2nd year. This was an amazing opportunity for him and would of made Sai Oo the first person from Koung Jor refugee camp to study in Europe. Unfortunately, due to the late notice and the travel logistics of a required test, Sai Oo just missed out on securing this placement. We are hopeful that this once in a lifetime opportunity will be available to him again for his 3rd year.

Attending university does not come without its challenges. The following is a quote from a report we received from Sai Oo regarding his experiences so far:

"I missed my refugee camp very much while living in University. Missing the place where I worked every day, missing the people I would meet every day. Usually, when I move to new place alone, I miss the old place and people very much. However, I followed my goal by thinking for the future and therefore could continue."

During October, Sai Oo will be taking his midterm examinations and we will make sure to keep you updated. Until then, we would like to thank you on behalf of Sai Oo for your generous support.

With gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

The stunning scenery of Chiang Rai
The stunning scenery of Chiang Rai

Links:

Aug 10, 2015

Final Report - August 2015

We have some great news! The remote Internally Displaced Persons community of Loi Lum have managed to receive additional funding to this project and now have a solar system to light up the school and even use printers. Collectively we have brought solar light to every house and now finally the school has light too! We are emensely proud, this would not have been possible without you. Our local partners, The Shan State Development Foundation, had the following to say:

"We really appreciate your kind support in bringing light to the faces, homes and school of this remote community" 

Stay tuned as we will most likely have another solar project up soon and also hope to repeat our successful Dinners by Candle Light campaign later this year. 

With sincere gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team.

Links:

Jul 16, 2015

Update report

Children studying by candlelight
Children studying by candlelight

Having successfully raised enough funds to buy solar lanterns for the residents' homes at this Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Shan State, Burma, we are still in the process of trying to reach our funding goal. Once we have reached our target, we will then be able to install solar panels for lighting in the camp's school and also to power computers. By doing so, it will have a significant impact on the education of the youth of this community.

If the school has light after dark, then the children can study together and evening classes can be held when necessary. This will enable them to make the most of the educational opportunities that are available to them at this current time. By providing access to computers with the use of solar energy, the students will have access to what many people take for granted. They will be able to learn how to use computer programmes such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as having the ability to use the Internet. By introducing students to the wealth of knowledge available on the Internet, we are sure that their knowledge will be heightened, their horizons expanded and opportunities increased.

Mwe Hkur, an expert in the field of education for Shan youth, had the following to say about the current conditions for the students when we first started this project:

"Students at this school have never learned anything through multimedia in their life due to the lack of electricity. They normally end up studying in dark rooms with low quality textbooks."

We hope, with your help, to change this and to achieve our objective of increasing the educational standards in this remote community.

We sincerely hope you consider helping us reach our funding target by either donating again or by telling your friends and family about this project.

With gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

The solar lanterns arriving at the camp
The solar lanterns arriving at the camp

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