It is always with great pleasure that we get to update our wonderful supporters with news from The Branch Foundation. Our mission of supporting community development through education, capacity building and renewable energy projects is only possible with the help of generous people from across the globe such as yourself.
Since our last report, we held our Annual General Meeting. This is always a great opportunity to assess the methods we use to achieve the organisation's goals as well as planning ahead for the future. We had some great input from our board of trustees and supporters which makes us feel confident about our long-term success and that our strategic placement of project coordinators in the Southeast Asia region will ensure that marginalised communities continue to receive vital support.
In the coming months, we are planning on providing more English language textbooks to the dedicated teachers and students at Koung Jor Shan refugee camp. We are also in the beginning stages of preparing our next teacher training session there. It is important to us that they have the resources and skills necessary to allow the children and young adults in the community to realise their full potential. Sai Vijit, the eduction coordinator at the camp, had the following to say:
"The evening English classes are a great way for children to have a chance to attend in university when they grow up. Also, parents want to see their children is able to read, write and speak in English."
We look forward to providing you with an update regarding the above in our next report along with more information about the capacity building workshops we plan to carry out before the end of this year. In the meantime, it would be greatly appreciated if you could share information about TBF with your friends and family so that they can see the impact that your donation has allowed us to deliver.
With sincere gratitude,
Tom and The Branch Foundation Team
The Branch Foundation team would like to start off by thanking our supporters, without whom we would not be able to carry out projects which empower marginalised communities in Southeast Asia.
Over the past few months, we’ve been busy ensuring that our current projects are running smoothly, preparing for our Annual General Meeting and networking with our partner organisations. As both of the management team (Iona and Tom) will be moving to London next month, we felt it was important to reinforce the relationships we’ve built over the years with other hard working non-profits who also do great work in the region. As The Branch Foundation is transitioning into a more traditional fund raising body, we look forward to continue to work with these organisations in the future.
This month, we also made a trip to Koung Jor refugee camp. It was great to see all our friends there and to catch up with all the latest news over some hot green tea. It was wonderful to hear the camp headman sound so positive about the future of the community and how that, by working alongside side each other, we’ve been able to achieve so much together. We also brought with us lots of clothes which had been donated, teaching materials to help the English evening classes and a sewing machine to help residents earn a sustainable income.
In recent days, an update from the Shan State Refugee Committee was received by our team regarding the food relief at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps across the border in Burma/Myanmar. We were pleased to hear that the money we donated is still being used to help provide rice to families who’ve recently experienced shortages in basic supplies.
On Wednesday 18th of July, GlobalGiving will hold their annual bonus day which means that any donation made between 9am and 11:59pm EDT towards our project will be matched by 50% whilst funds last. Therefore, it would be greatly appreciated if you could share this information with your friends and family. We look forward to keeping you updated on our activities in the future.
The Branch Foundation team
It's always a great delight to update all our supporters with the latest news from the organisation. Before we get started, we would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has generously donated to this project — your support enables us to continue to promote sustainable community development in Southeast Asia.
Since we were last in touch with you, there have been many new developments. Recently large international aid bodies have shifted their focus away from the Thai-Burma/Myanmar border, however many people in these remote communities still face problems due to conflict in the area and have been left without basic supplies. Therefore, The Branch Foundation donated money towards the provision of rice to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Shan State, Burma, via the Shan State Refugee Committee.
During the months of February and March, we also facilitated a workshop at the BEAM Education Foundation in Chiang Mai. At this workshop, students are taught valuable skills such as how to write CVs and university application letters in English as well as practising interview techniques. This allows them to apply for higher education opportunities and provides them with the confidence to demonstrate their full capability. We've been facilitating this workshop for the past 5 years and look forward to more in the future.
As more sustainable funding options have become available to the local English teachers at Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp, we've gradually reduced our support over the past couple of years. We continue to stay committed to providing wages to the community's computer teacher and education coordinator whilst the need is present along with non-monetary assistance such as teacher training and educational resources.
In March, Iona made a trip back to New Zealand where she got the chance to meet up with some of The Branch Foundation's long-term supporters. It was fantastic to be able to wrap up the end of our financial year by speaking face-to-face with the people who've cheered us on since the very beginning. We look forward to creating new partnerships and projects in the forthcoming year and we'll be sure to keep you all updated.
The Branch Foundation Team