As per usual, it's been a busy and productive 3 months for us here at The Branch Foundation. Not only have we been supporting our on-going projects, such as education and enterprise development at the Shan refugee camp, but we have also had an array of new developments. The highlights since our last report include:
- Facilitating an eye clinic at Koung Jor refugee camp
With the help of Amigo Vision and the Chiang Mai International Rotary club, we tested the eyesight of nearly 50 residents of the community within two days. Over 20 pairs of glasses were provided and a few cases of cataracts were diagnosed. Now many residents are able to see more clearly which will help the youth with their studies and the adults with income generating activities.
- Preparation and final logistics for soft skills development workshop at Bridging Educational Access to Migrants (BEAM)
These workshops are held periodically throughout the year and provide refugee/migrant students in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with the skills necessary to enter into higher education. The workshops include training in CV writing in English, interview techniques and future planning. The coordination of these sessions takes a lot of planning and we are pleased that everything is set to go at the end of this month.
- Creation of our 'Dinner by Candlelight' campaign
In order to raise funds for our projects, sometimes we must get creative. Therefore, The Branch Foundation team came up with the idea to encourage people to host dinner parties for their family and friends using candles as the only source of light. This was to mimic the conditions in which the residents of two communities for which we are currently raising money to install solar lighting for have to cope with in their daily lives. We are pleased to announce that this campaign has received a lot of interest and we already have dinners planned in the UK, USA, New Zealand, Thailand, Burma and Cambodia. If you are interested in getting involved, please click HERE.
All of our projects and behind the scenes work would not be possible without your support. We understand that operational costs are not the most attractive to fund however they are essential in allowing us to carry out the work we do. Therefore, we would be truly grateful if you would consider turning your one off donation into a monthly recurring donation or telling your friends about how, by supporting the costs of the organisation, you are tacitly supporting each and every one of our projects.
Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team
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,
In the last few months all our projects have been running smoothly, especially our new solar project at Loi Lum internally displaced persons camp in Shan State, Burma, which has been steadily picking up momentum. Our friends at the Earth Day Network recently featured the project, which you can check out here. In the next few months we are looking forward to organise the next round of our Out-Reach Education Workshops in Chiang Mai and to work with the Koung Jor refugee camp community to continue our local education project. We also have some potential new projects in the pipeline, which we will be sure to update you on.
The first quarter of 2014 also included a great opportunity for me to gain new knowledge, which I am looking forward to put to use at The Branch Foundation. In January this year I attended a 3-month Rotary Fellowship in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in Bangkok focusing on conflict analysis, negotiation & mediation, problem solving & approaches for intervention, peace processes, cross cultural communication and media. During my time in Bangkok I was given the opportunity to attend many networking events and to gain a deeper understanding of the overall current and future position and direction of sustainable community development in South-East Asia. Although The Branch Foundation is a relatively small organisation it was enlightening to see how in tune, forward thinking, and respected our organisational philosophy is by others in the development sector.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment and generosity, by supporting this project you are contributing to the sustainability of all of our projects! If you have family or friends who would be interested to support this project, please do feel free to share this report and tell them a little about the project and its importance in providing a sustainable future.
In the next few weeks keep an eye out for our next edition of 'Branching Out' - our online newsletter. This is set to be a special one, celebrating 7 fantastic years of The Branch Foundation! If you haven't already you can subscribe here.
Iona and The Branch Foundation Team.
Dear TBF supporters,
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your generosity towards this project. It means so much to our whole team that you understand The Branch Foundation’s need for basic operational costs in order to ensure that we continue doing our work in the most transparent and efficient way possible.
Many other organisations raise the money necessary to keep the cogs turning by taking a percentage out of the donations they receive for projects. Whilst I see no wrongdoing in this, and acknowledge it’s a widely accepted method, we at The Branch Foundation like to do things a little differently. We want our donors to know exactly where their money is going. For example, if someone donates $20 to our Education Project at the Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp, $20 dollars is spent on the camp for educational purposes. This is the 100% funding model we use. To see our infographic of this unique model, please click HERE.
As you have donated towards helping the organisation’s operational cost needs, every penny of your contribution has either gone towards or has been put aside for the Office/Education Center rent, stipends for our in-country staff, and water/electricity bills.
Iona Probest, the Founder/Executive Director of The Branch Foundation says:
“We are collectively working to make The Branch Foundation sustainable. Thank you for playing such a vital role in our future. Since we launched this project, we have had many more supporters decide to give regular monthly donations. This enables us to plan strategically and with stability. If you know of anyone who would be interested in donating to this project (one off or regular, big or small), please invite them to join us!“
Once again, The Branch Foundation team and I would like to thank you. By enabling the organisation to run as effectively as possible, you are supporting each one of our projects, each community we work with, and a brighter future for each individual supported by The Branch Foundation.
TBF Co-Director/ Project Manager
Dear Friends of The Branch Foundation (TBF),
I just wanted to take this opportunity to THANK YOU personally for donating to our new Support Community Development in South-East Asia project! This ensures that TBF can mantain its operational base in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This ideal location allows us to be close to our projects, thus ensuring they are as effective as possible.
I am really happy that this project is off to a great start. As you know, we have been working hard to diversify our fundraising streams and gain regular donations in order to make The Branch Foundation more sustainable in the long- run. I really appreciate you understanding the importance of capacity building costs in order to successfully manage and run the organisation.
Your donations will be going towards the following:
- Office stationary
- Keeping the office lights and communications on
- Office/Education Center rent
- Staff stipends
We will be continuing to advocate and gain support for this project. If you have not already, please consider setting up a regular monthly donation (no donation is too small!). Or if you know someone who might be interested, please do visit and/or share our project here. At TBF, we believe in collaboration and that collectively we can make a difference! As the saying goes 'many hands make light work.'
Once again, I thank you for your support and commitment to TBF's sustainable future.
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