It was June 28th and as I sipped my morning coffee and flipped through my Moleskine diary I saw ‘AGM’ written in big letters. Finally the day had arrived, after weeks of preparation and numerous hours spent  on finances and administration files. New Zealand charity law requires us to have an Annual General Meeting with all the board members/trustees.  I always look forward to the AGM as not only does it draw a line under the previous financial year but also gives us a moment of stillness to reflect on the organisation’s achievements and to celebrate our successes.

Whilst Tom prepared tea and snacks, I was busy shuffling through my Chairperson’s Report for the start of the meeting at our office in Chiang Mai. Joining us this year via Skype were our New Zealand based trustees and an independent advisor.

Tom, being an Englishman, is genetically predisposed to make tea and I could rest assured I was getting the perfect brew to accompany me during the meeting.  All of a sudden I heard the familiar tones of a Skype call coming in and Tom and I quickly gathered around my computer. Despite the formalities and legalities, in true TBF style we try to keep it as personable as possible. I kept my fingers crossed that there would be no power cuts and that the internet connection would last.

As I read through my Chairperson’s Report, different Trustees and attendees voiced their opinions and Tom scribbled these notes down in preparation to be deciphered later in the form of AGM Minutes. It was great to take stock on the past year, discuss our current position and plan strategically for the year ahead.

A few of this years highlights for me were the development of not one, not two but three partnerships with organisations working with renewable energy. This means we have solar projects not only in Thailand but also a short hop across the border in an Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Shan State, Burma. We also further developed our Outreach education workshops, built our team of dedicated volunteers which are located all around the world and attended networking events at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, the Asia Pacific Rights Network and at various Rotary clubs in Thailand and Cambodia.

As we drew the meeting to a close there was a common excitement for the year ahead. There is much work to be done however we are confident that 2014/15 will be just as fruitful as the year just discussed. During the meeting, all the TBF team acknowledged the importance of your support and we hope that you continue to follow us on our journey. Cheers to a successful year ahead!

Written by Iona Proebst – Director & Founder – The Branch Foundation









To read our AGM documents in full, click here.

To support our vision of ‘cohesive South-East Asian communities empowered to be self-reliant and able to participate in opportunities available in the wider community around them’, please consider donating via this page.