Project #14608

Support Sai Oo's Dream of Attending University

by The Branch Foundation

Firstly, we at The Branch Foundation would like to wish you a happy new year.

Last week I received an email from Sai Oo in which he answered my questions regarding his experiences at university so far and why it is important for him to continue his studies. This is what he had to say:

"Here are 3 experiences I have faced during my studies so far. One was learning among younger ages and it was fun to work with them, however they did not take things seriously. Anyway they got a better grade from assignments. I saw that they learned things quicker than I did. It took time for me to do homework. One of them usually said that I should take it easy when I tried to read lessons in front of him, however, in the end he would like to change his major at last because he could not follow the lessons.

Another one was that I had access to good learning materials and environments such as the internet and a library. They are accessible all the time and helpful to study. Another new experience was having to live with people from different cultures. The most challenging was, when I do my homework, my roommate was playing either electrical guitar or rock music in the room at dormitory. It was a terrible noise and disturbance to concentrate on my lessons. Anyway I developed my patience and by talking with them, I eventually resolved the issue. 

It is important for me to continue attending University because I need more skills regarding of Information Technology in order to improve myself. I found out that there are a lot to learn in this field such as programming and business retails. In the future, using IT for everything will be common so understanding those methods is required. I am a teacher for refugee children so I need to be an expert to teach my students and I should have the mentioned skills."

Everyone I know who has met Sai Oo knows that he's an extremely hard working individual who is dedicated to helping his community back at Koung Jor Shan refugee camp and we can see from his answers to the questions that, whilst attending university for the first time had its challenges, he has the determination to overcome them.

We are delighted that he now has the opportunity to pursue his dreams, and have started a new fundraising campaign to ensure he is able to continue to do so in the future by securing funds for his 2nd year at university. Last year, over 30 people from various different countries around the world donated to help Sai Oo, which goes to show that even the smallest contribution can make a large and lasting difference. Please consider continuing your support by clicking the following link:

With sincere gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

Sai Oo expresses his gratitude
Sai Oo expresses his gratitude

Great news! With your help, we have reached the funding goal necessary to support Sai Oo with his university costs for his first year. When we informed Sai Oo of this achievement, he had the following to say to all those who donated:

"Thank you very much for your support. You change my life to be better and brighter which is what I have been waiting for a long time. It is very valuable support for me. So thanks again and I am very appreciative of your kindness."

After nearly a decade of serving his community at Koung Jor refugee camp, Sai Oo is due to start his first day studying Information Technology at university this Monday. We’re incredibly excited about this and have already penciled in his graduation day in our diaries. This donation page will shortly be taken off-line, however The Branch Foundation will soon start raising funds for his second year of studies. We will be sure to send you another update once Sai Oo has settled into university.

In the meantime, if you would like to help other students like Sai Oo to reach their full potential, please check out our Education Project at Koung Jor.

With sincere gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team


Sai Oo and a few students who
Sai Oo and a few students who've just graduated

The Branch Foundation, on behalf of Sai Oo, would once again like to thank you for your generous support towards this project. Sai Oo is currently away arranging various logistics for the start of his university course. When I last met with him in June, he was extremely busy training other members of the Koung Jor community who will be taking over his duties. I am sure he will be sorely missed by all the people he has dedicated so much of his time to, however everyone shares his excitement for this wonderful opportunity which lies ahead for him.

We will transfer our first instalment of funds to Sai Oo just before he starts his Information Technology course in September to help him with uniforms, food, dormitory costs and other expenses associated with attending university.

I would like to bring to your attention that on the 16th of July, GlobalGiving will be matching all donations by 50% whilst matching funds last. This is a great opportunity to make your donation go that much further and to help us reach our goal for this project. I sincerely hope that you can help us in assuring that Sai Oo has the funds necessary to attend University by donating today.

Kind regards,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team.

Grandpa receiving his monthly food allowance
Grandpa receiving his monthly food allowance
Helping to fix the boarding house roof
Helping to fix the boarding house roof
Sai Oo at the Shan Culture workshop he organises
Sai Oo at the Shan Culture workshop he organises

Thanks to your generous donation, we are just over half way to reaching our funding target to help Sai Oo start university this year. The majority of his university fees are being supported by two very kind individuals who have seen first hand the dedication and hard work that Sai Oo has provided to his community at Koung Jor refugee camp over the years, however this amount falls just short of what is needed to ensure all costs are covered. The funds we are raising through GlobalGiving will be used to make sure that Sai Oo is financially prepared for such things as dormitory fees, uniforms for university, transport around the local area, food, hygiene products and for all those other extra small costs associated with attending higher education.

I recently asked Sai Oo how he feels about attending university later this year, what he is doing in the refugee camp to prepare the community for his departure and what his plans are for when he finishes his course in Information Technology - here's what he had to say:

"I am excited to be going to university and to meet new friends and professors. University will be a new experience and I am blissful to attend as my dream is coming true for achieving IT skills. I am currently training one of my pupils to do my duties at Koung Jor such as computing, writing proposals and reports, organizing, management and logistics for projects and Education. He just finished a training from Mae Sot which provides project management, proposal and report writing and translation skills. My expectations are to achieve the IT skills professionally. With the skills I’ll gain, I plan to share them to the children/youth in the community of Shan State by opening trainings."

We, at The Branch Foundation, would once again like to thank you on behalf of Sai Oo for your support. We are looking forward to keeping you up to date with both the progress of this GlobalGiving project and Sai Oo's well-deserved venture into higher education.

With sincere gratitude,

Tom Rosen and The Branch Foundation Team

Some of the workshop attendees
Some of the workshop attendees
Making sure the children are ready
Making sure the children are ready
Sai Oo hard at work as per usual
Sai Oo hard at work as per usual



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Organization Information

The Branch Foundation

Location: Chiang Mai - Thailand
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Tom Rosen
Project Manager
Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Thailand

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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