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.
Feb 24, 2017

February 2017 - We've reached our target!

Thank you for helping us reach our target!
Thank you for helping us reach our target!

We're extremely excited to announce that, thanks to your help, we've now reached our funding target for this project! This has been one of The Branch Foundation's longest lasting initiatives - helping to support the wages of teachers and the provision of educational materials to this small community for nearly 4 years. During this time, we've ensured that the youth at Koung Jor Shan refugee camp have been given the opportunity to better their education as well increasing the capacity of local teachers by providing training and resources.

What happens next you may ask? Well, for the past 12 months we've been slowly decreasing our monetary support as the local community has started to contribute towards these costs themselves. This is in alignment with our strong commitment to sustainability and our belief that all our projects should eventually phase out external assistance and move responsibility and power to the communities with which we work. We plan to gradually reduce this funding until we cease all financial support towards this project by March next year. During this time, we will assist the community in dealing with this change and help them adapt the project in order for it become fully sustainable.

Whilst we plan to eventually stop all financial support - this does not mean that we will stop helping to provide quality education to this community in other ways. We intended to not only continue providing teacher trainings at the camp which enhance the capacity of the education project, but also facilitate group visits from native English speakers or those of similar language abilities so that the students in the community have the opportunity to practise speaking and use correct pronunciation. The following quote from Tai Leng, the Education Coordinator at the camp, highlights just how important and valued these experiences are:

"Local teachers left students with the visitors and they had conversation by talking about each other. We think it really helps children practice their speaking and we believe that children will get used to by hearing native English speakers. If there were more visitors we would invite them to join one of the classes".

Once again, all of us here at The Branch Foundation and our friends at Koung Jor Shan refugee camp would like to thank you for your support towards this project and we hope to provide you with more updates in the future.

With sincere gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

A New Zealand school group teaches a class
A New Zealand school group teaches a class
We plan to continue our popular teacher trainings
We plan to continue our popular teacher trainings

Links:

Feb 7, 2017

Update Report - February 2017

Iona and our friend at Koung Jor refugee camp
Iona and our friend at Koung Jor refugee camp

As per usual, we'd like to start off our report by thanking everyone who has donated towards this project. We are often humbled by the generosity of our supporters - especially over the holiday period, in which we saw a flurry of donations towards our various projects hosted on GlobalGiving.

Since our last report to you, we've been hard at work ensuring our projects are running smoothly as well as trying to gain enough funding so that we can continue to support community development in Southeast Asia. In November, we held our annual Halloween fundraiser in Chiang Mai. This year, the event was delayed one month out of respect of the passing of the King of Thailand - His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. As always, the event was a great success and we managed to raise enough funds to support the wages of local teachers at the Koung Jor Shan refugee camp for two months.

In addition to our fundraising activities, we also facilitated two group trips to the refugee camp. One group was from The Branch Foundation's founder, Iona Proebst's old school in New Zealand. The purpose of this trip was to give the group an insight into the lives of people who've fled conflict and to allow the children of the community to practice their English language skills with the visitors. Last weekend, we returned from the second trip this year to show a family who've long been supporting our work at the camp first hand where their donations have gone. One of the visitors had the following to say:

"I'm amazed, after all that these people have gone through, that they remain so positive and resourceful. It's great to see that they take so much pride in their culture and heritage and I wish them all the best for their future."

In the forthcoming months, as well as continuing to support our education initiatives both at the camp and in Chiang Mai city, we'll be researching into new renewable energy and capacity building projects in the region. In March, we'll also be visiting New Zealand to catch up with some of our supporters there and our board of trustees. We look forward to updating you about it in our next report.

Until then, it would be greatly appreciated if you could share the work of The Branch Foundation with your friends and family so that maybe they, like you, will get on board with us on our journey towards empowering Southeast Asian communities to be self-reliant and able to participate in opportunities available in the wider community around them.

With sincere gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

Some of the guests at our Halloween Fundraiser
Some of the guests at our Halloween Fundraiser
Camp residents earn a steady income by weaving
Camp residents earn a steady income by weaving

Links:

Jan 23, 2017

Update Report - January 2017

Students and teachers gathered around solar panels
Students and teachers gathered around solar panels

Firstly, all of us here at The Branch Foundation would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy New Year and to thank you once again for your generous donation towards this project!

We've been delighted to see donations rolling in towards this project, especially over the holiday period. It's been 11 months since we put this project up on GlobalGiving and we now have only $645 to go to reach our target which just goes to show that no matter how small or large contributions are, it all adds up to make our work possible.

During this fundraising stage, we've been putting our efforts into researching communities in Southeast Asia that we can support with solar lighting. We have a couple of potential developments and we'll be sure to keep you up to date with our decision making process.

Until then, it would be greatly appreciated if you could tell your friends and family about this project in order for us to reach our funding target - hopefully we can achieve it within the next month!

With sincere gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

Installing a solar panel on a resident
Installing a solar panel on a resident's roof
Studying at night with the help of solar lighting
Studying at night with the help of solar lighting

Links:

 
   

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