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.
Jul 16, 2014

Update from TBF HQ.

The camp headman & Tom discussing renewable energy
The camp headman & Tom discussing renewable energy

Dear friends of The Branch Foundation, 

I hope this report finds you well. 

It has been a very busy few months. The highlights include a new solar project in collaboration with Solbakken organisation, recruited more volunteers, and held a successful and productive Annual General Meeting! We recently visited the Shan Refugee Camp and, as per usual, the headman was working on a new renewable energy invention. His forward thinking and innovative spirit never ceases to surprise me. It is once again the monsoon season here in Thailand so a good time to strategically plan the year a head. 

Our operational costs still remain our most pressing need. We have been spending much time working on different approaches to gain more regular monthly support to ensure the sustainability of the organisation and all of our projects. We are confident that together we can reach our goal and appreciate your support immensely.

If you are not already a regular donor, I do encourage you to consider making your contribution a monthly one. Click HERE for GlobalGiving’s recurring donation option. Monthly contributions enable us to plan in advance and also ensure the continuation of all of our work. Please feel free to share this with any of your friends that might be interested, a collective spirit goes a long way! 

This Wednesday is Bonus Day where all donations will be matched at 50% until matching funds run out. A great opportunity to make your donation go that much further!

With warm regards,

Iona.

A new bio gas cooker
A new bio gas cooker
Young camp resident
Young camp resident

Links:

Jul 16, 2014

Update Report & Today's Bonus Day - July 2014

Sai Oo and a few students who
Sai Oo and a few students who've just graduated

The Branch Foundation, on behalf of Sai Oo, would once again like to thank you for your generous support towards this project. Sai Oo is currently away arranging various logistics for the start of his university course. When I last met with him in June, he was extremely busy training other members of the Koung Jor community who will be taking over his duties. I am sure he will be sorely missed by all the people he has dedicated so much of his time to, however everyone shares his excitement for this wonderful opportunity which lies ahead for him.

We will transfer our first instalment of funds to Sai Oo just before he starts his Information Technology course in September to help him with uniforms, food, dormitory costs and other expenses associated with attending university.

I would like to bring to your attention that on the 16th of July, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations by 50% whilst matching funds last. This is a great opportunity to make your donation go that much further and to help us reach our goal for this project. I sincerely hope that you can help us in assuring that Sai Oo has the funds necessary to attend University by donating today.

Kind regards,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team.

Grandpa receiving his monthly food allowance
Grandpa receiving his monthly food allowance
Helping to fix the boarding house roof
Helping to fix the boarding house roof
May 8, 2014

Update Report - Feedback from the community

Children studying using kerosene lamps as lighting
Children studying using kerosene lamps as lighting

In our last report regarding this project, we informed you that we sent a new design of solar lantern to be tested at Loi Lum internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Shan State, Burma. Since that time we have received feedback from the community members who got the opportunity to experience solar lighting in their households for the first time. The results were very similar to those we received from our previous solar lighting project at the Koung Jor Shan refugee camp.

The solar lantern was tested in four households in the IDP camp and this is what we learned:

  • All 4 households reported that they now worry less about household fires (success rating = 4.25 out of 5)
  • Residents did not have any issues using these easy to install lanterns
  • An average of 215 THB (7 USD) was saved per month due to not having to buy candles and kerosene. That's an amazing 75% of their monthly income!
  • All residents said that having safe lighting at night improved their standard of living
  • The solar lanterns allowed all children to study after dusk and also enabled the older residents to continue working on products such as brooms and roof thatches which they sell in the local area

Mr Hsen illustrated the benefits of solar lighting to the local children's education by saying "The children could do home work together without parents worrying that they will use the fire dangerously".

We are now very confident that these new solar lighting systems will achieve the objectives that we have set ourselves for this project. Over the next few months we hope to raise the remaining funds so that when the rainy season has ended and the camp is more easily accessible, we can provide all the households in this community with clean and safe lighting.

On 16th July, GlobalGiving will be hosting a bonus day in which they will match all donations by 40%. This is a perfect opportunity to get this project fully funded and we hope that you can help us. There are many ways in which you can raise funds such as telling your friends about this project, hosting a dinner party or completing a sponsored walk/run. Please feel free to email me if you would like help setting up a GlobalGiving fundraising page and/or hosting an event.

Many thanks,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

The school at Loi Lum
The school at Loi Lum
A family eating dinner together in semi darkness
A family eating dinner together in semi darkness

Links:

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