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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
Children playing at Koung Jor
Children playing at Koung Jor

Dear Friends, 

We hope this message finds you well wherever you are on this ever changing planet. The last few months have been a little slower than the previous ones, giving us some much needed time to catch our breath. 

Our latest project:

As promised in our last report we said we would spill the beans about our exciting new education project in Karen State in Burma/Myanmar. Pu Dooplaya Junior College (PDJC) is currently operated in Nu Poe Camp in Tak Province, Thailand and offers higher education to students from the refugee camp as well as in Karen State. There are plans to relocate the college to Htee Wa Klu village in Karen State so that they can continue to run their program training students in leadership skills. The college is fully inclusive and accepts students regardless of their religion, gender and ethnicity. A summer school programme is planned in those villages and The Branch Foundation has committed to support half of the costs to run the summer programme this year. The programme will run on a yearly basis and we are looking forward to work closely with the local team to support their amazing work on an ongoing basis.

Who are the beneficiaries? 

Twenty Five PDJC students to teach approximately five hundred village students aged between 8-14 in four locations. The students will improve their learning skills, world, civic and community knowledge and English language ability.

Expected outcomes:

• Better communication between refugee and village groups. 
• Students from PDJC, assuming role of a teacher, will know how to express and apply their knowledge. 
• Students will know how to handle problems during teaching or working with the community by applying the knowledge, skills and values that they have gained from PDJC. 
• Village students get practical language skills, knowledge and exposure.
• Village teachers get training and experience in practical teaching techniques
• To break down the misperception between refugees and communities inside Karen State.

Want to donate to this exciting project?

If you want to help us support this refugee leadership and education project you can easily do so by donating to our Global Giving project. As before our Global Giving project is a collection pot from which we fund all of our education projects. 

What else has been happening?

Preparations for our Annual General meeting are well underway as we are now in the new 2019/2020 financial year. We have already conducted meetings with our managerial team and it was collectively decided that after a few years of working behind the scenes that Iona will be once again taking a more active role in the organisation. If you have any questions please contact her directly at: ionaproebst@thebranchfoundation.org

With all our gratitude, 

The Branch Foundation team

Iona with one of our dearest friends
Iona with one of our dearest friends
Education is the key to success
Education is the key to success

Links:

Sai Oo at his graduation ceremony
Sai Oo at his graduation ceremony

Dear friends,

We hope this update finds you well. It's been a busy couple of months and we’re excited to update you on what’s been happening for The Branch Foundation and the communities with which we work!

In December, we held a weekend-long teacher training workshop at Koung Jor Camp. We’ve always been very lucky to acquire the best teacher trainers that graciously volunteer their time and skills and this time was no different. This time we had a skilled trainer with over 20 years experience who brought a whole new range of exciting and fun ideas for the local teachers to use in their classes.

At the end of January we facilitated a learning trip to Koung Jor for World Pilgrim from Canada. We have previously facilitated another group from the same organisation who said the visit to the camp was the highlight of their trip to Thailand. World Pilgrim remain eager supporters of both The Branch Foundation and Koung Jor and we were delighted to once again help them have a meaningful, informative and fun stay with our Shan friends at the refugee camp.

Do you remember Sai Oo? For years he was the Education Coordinator and Computer Teacher at Koung Jor and then he went on to study Computer Science at Mai Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai. We previously had a special Global Giving project to help raise funds for his university costs as well as for the stipend for his role at the camp which many of you generously contributed to. Well…. we could not be more excited to tell you that after 4 years and so much dedication and hard work that he has just graduated from university! We could not be more proud of him. He is a shining example of what one determined individual can achieve and an inspiration to the youth in Koung Jor and Burma/Myanmar as a whole. Sai Oo, who happens to also be a long time friend of ours, has also managed to secure himself a managerial role in a computer software company in a nearby city. It feels like yesterday that we sat in a thatch hut just outside the camp enjoying a steaming bowl of Shan noodles whilst listening to his dreams of going to university. In his latest update we could hear just how chuffed he was with what he has achieved and so are we!

Upcoming we have a new exciting education project in Karen state in Burma/Myanmar on the horizon but we’ll save the specific details for our next report. Until then, we will be busy wrapping up the end of this financial year and preparing for this years Annual General Meeting. It’s always a great opportunity to see just how much we have collectively achieved!


With all our gratitude,

The Branch Foundation team.

Sai Oo returns to his community to celebrate
Sai Oo returns to his community to celebrate
The World Pilgrim group visit Koung Jor Camp
The World Pilgrim group visit Koung Jor Camp
The group learning about local customs
The group learning about local customs

Links:

Some of the younger students with their new books
Some of the younger students with their new books

Before we begin to update you on our recent activities, we would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has donated to this project. The support from generous individuals like yourself enables us to promote sustainable community development in Southeast Asia.

Over the past few months, we've been busy ensuring that the youth at the Koung Jor Shan refugee camp are able to reach their full potential by providing them with new educational resources. Each year we supply all students with their own English textbooks along with materials for the talented and dedicated local teachers. Before we started providing these resources, the children would have to share old grammar books which lacked colour, pictures and activities. Now they are able to learn English in a fun and interactive way which greatly increases their future educational and employment opportunities. This is illustrated by the following quote from an old student at Koung Jor:

“It is very important for us to be able to speak English because when I applied for jobs I was interviewed in English. Fortunately, as I have English skills I was accepted to work in a restaurant in Chiang Mai. The shopkeeper tells me that my English is better than the other people at our shop and I can also communicate with foreigners as well”.

In addition to supplying educational materials, we also build the capacity of the teachers by holding training sessions. These workshops act as an opportunity to equip the teachers with the latest teaching techniques as well providing them with new classroom activities to make learning an engaging experience. Our upcoming teacher training session takes place next week so we'll make sure to update you about it soon.

Lastly, we'd like to wish you all a happy festive season. It's at this time of year we should put aside the commercialism all to often associated with this period to remember the true spirit of giving and what a difference we can make to each other's lives.

With sincere gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

A vibrant class in action
A vibrant class in action
More students collect their new textbooks
More students collect their new textbooks

Links:

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

Links:

Getting updates from our grandma at the camp
Getting updates from our grandma at the camp

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.

With sincere gratitude,

The Branch Foundation team

Tom and Iona with the Koung Jor team
Tom and Iona with the Koung Jor team
Donations of clothes and teaching materials
Donations of clothes and teaching materials
Rice distribution - Shan State Refugee Committee
Rice distribution - Shan State Refugee Committee

Links:

 

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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

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