A Busy Few Months

From missed weekends to last minute bus rides, it’s been an incredibly busy time for The Branch Foundation (TBF) team since our last newsletter. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting new people, talking about potential future activities and collaboratively working with local community members on our on-going projects.  In Chiang Mai, we are approaching the end of our soft skills workshop at Bridging Educational Access for Migrants (B.E.A.M) which focuses on providing support for students hoping to enter higher education. These classes include topics such as CV writing in English, Personal Statement Creation and Interview Techniques. Both TBF and B.E.A.M feel that with these new skills, the students have a much better chance of achieving their educational and career goals.

Tom and our Shan grandfather

Our Dinner by Candlelight campaign; in which people advocated and raised funds for our solar projects, proved to be the most successful fundraiser in TBF history and has edged us ever closer to our goal of providing safe, clean and efficient lighting to two communities in the Thai-Burma border region.

We also held our first ever teacher training session at Koung Jor Shan refugee camp. Lauren, who has previously provided training sessions at the camp, invigorated the local teaching staff with new classroom activities. The camp headman, who teaches English and Burmese and attended the whole training session, was very excited about our plans to increase the scope of this project in the future.

On 2nd December, we took part in GivingTuesday, a global response to the commercialism of the holiday season. We asked our followers on social media to donate or share our message, and post an #unselfie photo stating what they’ve done. We also collected #unselfie photos from some of the wonderful children from Koung Jor and put together a short video of our favourites, which we hope you enjoy.

There might be a couple of exciting new developments on the horizon and we hope to share news of them with you in the next newsletter. We’re excited about the year ahead and intend to work towards hiring more local staff in managerial positions and for TBF to increase its scope of activities whilst still adhering to its philosophy of sustainability and working alongside the people we serve.