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.
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.
The Burma Volunteer Program
We at BVP would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who has supported our first fundraising initiative ‘Support the Burma Volunteer Program’ campaign on Global Giving. Since June, the project has raised an impressive US$2,579 bringing us closer to our eventual goal of US$20,000.
Thanks to your contributions, we can continue to support our local partner organizations in their crucial work in the fields of health care, education, community development, democratization, human rights, women's empowerment and poverty alleviation. Since June, we have welcomed 7 new volunteers and now have a total of 20 volunteers working with partner organizations in the Thailand-Burma border regions of Sangkhlaburi, Mae Sot, Mae Hong Son, Mae Sariang as well as 3 refugee camps.
15 of our volunteers are involved in developing curriculum and teaching subjects ranging from English language to social sciences. These volunteers roughly work 25 hours per week, teaching on average 10 students or staff members from their placement organization. 3 of our volunteers work in refugee camps, teaching between 30 to over 100 students per day. The remaining 5 of our volunteers are working on average 25 - 30 hours per week in non-teaching placements conducting research, human rights documentation, report writing and producing funding proposals. This important work carried out by our volunteers enables young people to gain access to higher education opportunities and empowers them to become leaders and change makers in their communities.
BVP is expecting 19 more volunteers over September and October. We are also celebrating our longest serving BVP volunteer to date. Lenka has now been working tirelessly at her organization for almost 2 years!
Here is a quote from Stephanie, one of our volunteers in Sangkhlaburi:
“I am so proud of my students for all they have accomplished. I am amazed by how much I have learned through this experience and I am sad to be leaving what I've grown to know as my family and home for the past three months. I am already making plans to return and continue this important work with people from Burma on the Thailand-Burma border."
BVP would like to thank you once again for your kind support and we encourage you to spread the word about our program and fundraising intiative. On October 17th, Global Giving will be holding another Bonus Day. On this day, Global Giving will match donations to our project by 50% (up to a specified limit)!
We will continue to keep you updated on our progress.
Program Manager, Burma Volunteer Program
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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