Empower ethnic Burmese refugees through education

 
$5,207
$543
Raised
Remaining
The 3 computer teachers
The 3 computer teachers

Dear Friends of The Branch Foundation, 

We have some exciting news for you! Due to lower than expected expenses and visitors to the refugee camp donating educational materials, we have reached our project goal! Collectively we raised a total of $5,182 USD. A sincere heart felt thank you to all of you who have made this project such a success during 2012-2013, we could not have done it without you. 

We have just launched our new project to continue our educational support withinin the same community for 2013-2014 'Educate 140 refugees on the Thai-Burma Border' . With your help, we have been supporting and will continue to support our local Project/Education Coordinator and computer teachers. Given this project's previous success, we are now expanding our support to include a stipend for 5 dedicated Burmese language teachers, 1 new English language teacher and teacher training workshops. Burmese language lessons are crucial for the youth at Koung Jor as it is the national language of Burma. Should the camp residents be forced back into Shan State, Burma, these classes will equip them with the necessary language skills to communicate with authorities and their fellow Burmese citizens. The new English teacher recently participarted in a teacher training workshop and has been employed to help teach the ethusiastic, energetic younger students. We also wanted to include teacher training workshops by skilled native English speakers to support the local teachers in developing their teaching ability and to advance the educational standard within the community. 

The education programme doesn't only benefit the children of the refugee camp. The classes are open to students from the surrounding villages, promoting local interaction and cooperation within the community. One student named Sai Seng said “Because of supplementary classes in our camp, I got better marks in school. Even one hour of learning every evening can benefit my knowledge and I can use my time valuably. We meet new local friends at the Camp and we make friends well.” 

We are really excited about these additions to our project, and really look forward to working with you on reaching the 2013-2014 funding goal of $6,200 USD, continuing our education project within the amazing Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp community. If you are already one of our special regular monthly donors, your donation will automatically be rolled over to the new project. If you want to become a regular donor, ensuring the sustainability of the project, simply select the 'monthly recurring' payment option. All donations, no matter how small or big, truly make a difference! 

We look forward to collaborating with you again and continue advancing education for Burmese refugees. 

With warm regards and gratitude, 

Tom Rosen 

Young Burmese language class students
Young Burmese language class students
Two young residents waiting for class
Two young residents waiting for class
A couple of younger residents of the Refugee Camp
A couple of younger residents of the Refugee Camp

Dear kind supporter,

Thanks to your generous donation, the children and young adults of the Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp community continue to benefit from supplementary education. Since our last report, we have continued to fund wages for both the computer teacher and education coordinator. They receive 2,500 and 3,000 Thai Baht respectively (approximately 80 and 95 USD) per month for their dedicated work, passing down their knowledge to the younger generations not only within the camp but also to other children in the surrounding area. As well as appropriately rewarding the teachers, we have also continued to provide educational materials and new desks for the students.

The advantages that the extra classes which the youth receive were all too apparent when we heard the exciting news that 5 students have since been accepted into schools both in Mae Sot and Chiang Mai, thus allowing them to further their education. These students and other beneficiaries of this project might well be the leaders in their communities in the future and you have played a vital role in providing them with this opportunity.

It's wonderful to hear from the students how much they want to give back to their communities; after all it is the community itself which made them into what they are today. Sai Oo, the Education Coordinator who has been living in camp for the last 10 years, is currently looking to achieve his goal of obtaining a degree in Information Technology. His dedication to his own people is illustrated well in a recent quote -  "After I complete my degree, I will work for my community by offering IT classes for poor and orphaned children. I believe it's essential to help the development of my Shan people and country (Burma)". This kind hearted attitude rings true throughout Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp.

We would once again like to thank you for being a part of this community’s story of empowerment and sustainability. This September you can continue to help by creating your own fund-raising page on GlobalGiving, allowing you to put your own personal touch in reaching out to other people who might share your interest in providing more opportunities to those less fortunate. To read more about how to create your own fund-raising page, please click HERE.

With sincere gratitude,

Tom Rosen

Sai Oo preparing for an evening computer class
Sai Oo preparing for an evening computer class
Grammar books donated to the camp
Grammar books donated to the camp
Playtime for some of the children
Playtime for some of the children
Art class
Art class
Building the school desks
Building the school desks

Links:

Some of the children in the camp ready for school
Some of the children in the camp ready for school

We’d like to introduce you to Sai Noom, a teenage boy at the Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp on the Thai-Burma Border.  When violence broke out in Shan State, Burma, Sai Noom and his family fled the region and settled at Koung Jor with hundreds of other refugees.  Since then, Sai Noom has lost both of his parents, but remains fervently hopeful for a brighter future.

Sai Noom joins the other Koung Jor youth in attending a local Thai school during the day, where they previously struggled to keep up and fit in due to their different origins.  Through funding from The Branch Foundation, Koung Jor can provide extra English lessons and computer classes for the students at the Camp in the evening.  In a recent thank you video, Sai Noom expresses his gratitude to the generous donors like you who have helped create invaluable opportunities for him and his peers.  In his own words, he says “[Because of this project], I can learn English and attend Computer classes. I would like to thank all you donors.”

On June 12, 2013, GlobalGiving will be holding a Bonus Day, where they will match all donations made to our Education Project by 40%! This Bonus Day, you can help us continue to further educate Sai Noom and his fellow students in the Koung Jor community. Bonus Day begins at 9:00 AM EST (see this time in your timezone).  We thank you all for the invaluable support you have already given to this project, and hope that you continue to join our team in this vital endeavor!

With the greatest appreciation,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team 

One of the computer classes in action
One of the computer classes in action
The children on their way to the local school
The children on their way to the local school

Links:

The local mechanic helping to weld the frames
The local mechanic helping to weld the frames

Firstly, we'd like to thank you again for your generous donations towards this project. Giving the children at the Shan Refugee camp the opportunity to better their education is a truly wonderful gift -- one that will last forever.

With the funds we have received so far, we managed to pay 6 months of wages for both the resident computer teacher and project/education coordinator. This not only rewards them for their dedicated work but also creates an incentive for their students to pass down the knowledge they've gained to their own community in the future.

We've included a couple of videos below so you can see firsthand the benefits that you have helped bring to the youth of this vibrant community:

Ying Kam Lu

Sai Noom

Since the creation of this project, another donor has provided enough stationary to the refugee camp to last them well into the future, so we decided to reallocate money for much needed school desks (15 in total).

Whilst many people would simply buy the desks from the shop, the community members decided to build the desks themselves.  This not only shows that they make the most of the money that is donated but that they utilise skills that exist within the camp. The building of the desks brings welders, carpenters and other residents (including the children themselves -- they provided the final coat of paint!) together.

We sincerely hope that you follow this project along its journey and perhaps let your friends and family know how they too can bring hope and empowerment to people who would otherwise receive little or no help at all.

Many thanks,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

One the younger residents painting the frames
One the younger residents painting the frames
The camp head man showing off his carpentry skills
The camp head man showing off his carpentry skills
Nearly finished......
Nearly finished......

Links:

Girls at the refugee camp ready for school
Girls at the refugee camp ready for school

We at The Branch Foundation were truly amazed to see the response to this new project - especially during the October Bonus Day when your donatons raised over $1300 in under 12 hours. This meant that all donations made on that day were matched at 30% by GlobalGiving, ensuring that your generosity goes a little bit further!

One priority of the project is helping local teachers in the Shan Refugee Camp pass on their skills to the younger generation. Therefore, we recently transfered money to the Camp to provide stipends for both the computer teacher and the education/project coordinator for the next three months - $540 in total.

In January 2013, we will visit the camp and assess their current educational needs.  We will be sure allocate funding accordingly and keep you fully updated.

We recently spoke to Sai Leng, the Camp Leader, reagrding the project.  He highlighted the importance of education within the Shan Camp by saying: 

"The educational skills that The Branch Foundation has helped support are crucial for the future of our children".

We hope that you continue following us on our journey with the young residents of the refugee camp.  Please consider donating again or sharing this project with your friends and family to ensure that these vibrant children continue to thrive.  

As it's holiday season, consider celebrating by giving the gift of education in honor of a loved one via the following link:

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/empower-ethnic-burmese-refugees-through-education/?show=gift

Many thanks, and happy holidays! 

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

Learning English by via the medium of music
Learning English by via the medium of music
Computer class at the refugee camp
Computer class at the refugee camp

Links:

About Project Reports

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.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

donate now:

Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?
Support another project run by The Branch Foundation that needs your help, such as:

Project Leader

Tom Rosen

Project Manager
Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Thailand

Where is this project located?