Support Community Development in South-East Asia

by The Branch Foundation
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia
Support Community Development in South-East Asia

Dear Friends, 

We hope this message finds you safe, well and feeling optimistic about the future. 

Covid has to varying degrees affected all of us including the communities we support in South-East Asia, and our friends at Koung Jor Refugee Camp are no exception. Thailand has recently had another wave with infection rates going up and lockdowns in place. So far we have not heard of anyone being infected in the refugee camp however it has severly affected the availablilty of seasonal work which the residents rely on for their survival. We are working with the residents to make sure their additional needs are met either from us or other partner organisations. 

You are also likely aware of the violence and coup in Myanmar. We have responded with emergency funding to two local organisations working on the ground with those most at risk. 

The first is support for safe houses for striking workers and activists, including protective gear for protesters, and legal support for people who are detained. Our support helped secure survival kits for people (esp health workers) who have suddenly had to flee their homes to avoid arrest (mosquito nets, soap, sanitary products, change of clothes, towels, food), and funds to build temporary shelters for them in safer areas. 

The second emergency funding reponse has been to an organisation we have worked with over the years, the Shan State Refugee Committee (SSRC). Since food aid was totally cut off to Shan Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camps a couple years ago, members of each camp formed this committee to provide an avenue of direct support to these camps. Right now, SSRC is the only group with permission from the Thai authorities to give cross-border support to the Shan IDPs, since the borders are closed. They buy rice and then deliver it to the camps that are most in need. During the Covid time, their situation has been dire, because no one can cross the border into Thailand and seek day labourer work outside the camps. Koung Jor is also a member of SSRC. 

If you would like to see what they do or support SSRC directly please do so here: https://shanrefugees.org/

Alternatively if you would like to support our wider emergency relief efforts you can do so by donating directly to this GlobalGiving project or via our website: http://thebranchfoundation.org/donate/

 As always, we are forever grateful for your ongoing support. 

Iona and the TBF team

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Dear Friends, 

Happy New Year to you! We hope this update report finds you safe and well in these uncertain and troubling times. 

Since our last update we have been busy! In November we coordinated another Teacher Training workshop weekend at Koung Jor Refugee camp. We had the same amazing teacher trainers as last time and the workshop theme of sustainability was a huge success. Jakkai, one of Thailand's most renowned embroidery artists, also gave another training in the camp and has even offered some community members paid employment by helping him with one of his bigger art projects!  

Our newly launched Computers for Refugee Children project is coming along nicely. With the generous donations received so far and topped up funds from our general funding pot we were able to fund the first half of the project. The Koung Jor community are so excited to finally have a new laptop for camp admin and a few new desktop computers to be able to effectively teach their computer classes. We still need to raise the funds for the remaining computers and would love your support! If you have the means to donate or would like to share amongst your networks, here is the project link: http://goto.gg/49378

We are so saddened to hear of the recent coup in Myanmar/Burma and are keeping in regular touch with our friends and colleagues. 

Thank you so much for your ongoing support! 

With gratitude, 

The TBF Team

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Hello Friends, 

We hope this update finds you safe and well. Things have picked up at TBF HQ in the last few months and we have some exciting developments to tell you about. 

We have a new project LIVE on GlobalGiving called Computers for Refugee Children! As many of you know we have supported the computer classes at Koung Jor refugee camp for many years now but the computers have long been in need of updating and replacing. This project aims to fund new computers and connect more of them to the internet - both vital for the teachers and the students. Please check out the project here: http://goto.gg/49378

In November we also plan to do another Teacher Training workshop at Koung Jor and are delighted to have the same trainer as last time who will be joined by his friend who is a master in embroidery and will also run a workshop again in the camp. We are so pleased that we can still run one or two teacher training sessions per year and can see just how helpful they are to build the teacher's skills and confidence. 

Since our last report we also held our Annual General Meeting and as usual it was a great chance to reflect on the previous year and plan ahead. We are so thankful for all your help and support, without you our work simply would not be possible! 

 

With gratitude, 

Iona Proebst

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The kids wanted to say "hello" to you!
The kids wanted to say "hello" to you!

Dear Friend, 

Who would of imagined that even as we wrote to you last we, our collective global communtiy, would find ourselves here! We sincerly hope that you are safe and well and riding out these uncertain times as best as you can. Despite all the challenges we are hopeful that maybe good things will come out of all of this too, we've seen more compassion, understanding and respect amongst our local community - have you too? 

As the world was paused for the past few months we do not have much to update you on but simply wanted to send you a message to see how you are and let you know how our friends are doing. We've been in regular contact with the communities we work with in South-East Asia and whilst Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the availablilty of seasonal work they heavily rely on there have so far been no active casses in Koung Jor or in our out reach education project villages in Myanmar. Harvesting garlic is for most families the only income opportunity available and seeing as restrictions were put in place so camp residents could not leave the camp to work in the fields many missed out on this seasonal work for this year.

We totally appreciate these a rough and for many tight times BUT if you do find yourself in a position with a little extra to spare please consider donating so we can help those that are vulnerable and struggling with the support they need during this time. 

Keep well and safe,

Iona

Evening games
Evening games
Outdoor learning
Outdoor learning
Need a hair cut? Refugee camp salon style
Need a hair cut? Refugee camp salon style
Computer class
Computer class
Our computer classes are still very popular
Our computer classes are still very popular
These kids never take their education for granted
These kids never take their education for granted
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Happy kids with new stationary
Happy kids with new stationary

Dear Friends,

First of all I'd love to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you've had a good start to 2020 so far and that a fun, healthy and happy year lies ahead for you. 

This report is particularly exciting because since our last update we visited the community at Koung Jor Refugee Camp in Northern Thailand. It was a special visit as we introduced our friends in the community to our daughter for the first time. We were welcomed with a delicious Shan noodle lunch (our favourite) and caught up with the Headman, Education Coordinator and teachers over delicious local green tea. As always it was like visiting old friends and was such a pleasure to see everyone again. 

Shan people are known for their hospitality and also for their love of children, so bringing Amelia to the community was definitely the highlight of our trip. It was also so lovely to introduce her to the oldest resident, who we affectionately call Grandma. 

During our stay we asked the Education Coordinator if there was anything else they needed. He said it would be good to start the year off with giving each of the students a new fresh notebook and pencil, so for 2,000 Thai Baht (£50/$63) we were able to make that wish come true. It's AMAZING what a small amount of money can do and the joy it can bring! Please consider donating (if you already do, THANK YOU) and/or telling your friends about our work so we can continue to make big and small dreams come true. 

With gratitude, 

Iona and the TBF team.

It's all about the small but vital things
It's all about the small but vital things
Happy students
Happy students
Choosing a new notebook for the new year
Choosing a new notebook for the new year
One of the camp classrooms
One of the camp classrooms
Our delicious welcome lunch
Our delicious welcome lunch
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Organization Information

The Branch Foundation

Location: Chiang Mai - Thailand
Website:
Project Leader:
Tom Rosen
Project Manager
Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Thailand
$49,601 raised of $60,000 goal
 
626 donations
$10,399 to go
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