Annual Report 2015
FED Foundation for Education & Development
Foundation for Education and Development Turning Rights into Realities
In this Annual Report
Dear Colleagues It has been 16 years since the formation of the Foundation for Education and Development (FED), which is a Burmese (Myanmar-lead) NGO. FED focuses primarily on education projects for Myanmar migrant children unable to access the Thai education system. Currently, FED’s team includes 25 teachers (Myanmar, Thai, and foreigners) and 61 fulltime staff members working on 4 projects in Thailand and Myanmar. These teachers provide comprehensive education to over 400 Burmese children, which would otherwise be illiterate and working as child laborers. FED also runs 3 additional programs: Healthcare; Women’s Empowerment and Development Association (WEDA); and Migrant Development (child protection, emergency assistance and shelter, labor and human rights abuse documentation, legal aid, and peace building). Although the political situation is allegedly changing for the better under Myanmar’s new government, without significant economic change or job opportunities, the flow of migrant workers into Thailand remains unchanged. Ongoing land confiscation, rights violations, no guarantee on a nation-wide ceasefire agreement, and fighting along the border, contribute to increasing numbers of migrant workers moving into Thailand. FED continues to collaborate with the Myanmar government on many levels, to protect and promote Myanmar migrant worker rights in Thailand. FED has the first-ever government appointed spokesperson for the internationally-renown Koh Tao murder case - two Myanmar migrants accused and sentenced to death for the murder of 2 British tourists in 2014. Many people in Thailand, Myanmar, and in the international community believe that the migrants are scapegoats. FED’s lawyer is coordinating with the defense team, providing legal assistance, and currently preparing for an Appeal. FED also provides legal assistance and advocacy for the two victims and their families. In 2015, FED established a new office in Myanmar’s Kayah State to support peace initiated programs and youth development projects. An office in Myanmar’s Capital, Yangon was also set up for predeparture projects to commence in March 2016. Utilizing a rights-based approach, FED’s methodology is one of "working alongside", encouraging "self-help", and empowering individuals and communities. The Pre-departure human rights education focuses on rights issues migrants can expect to face when working abroad and how to address issues. Your assistance provides critical ongoing support for Burmese migrants and their families by promoting human rights, and helping Burmese migrant families access basic services in Thailand (health care, education, and legal aid). On behalf of all the children, parents, staff, and Board of Directors at FED, I would like to thank you for your generous contributions to our community.
Mr Htoo Chit Founder & Executive Director, FED
Dear Friends Greetings from FED! 2016 is set to be an exciting year as we seek to empower Burmese migrant youth to gain access to new education opportunities, designed to prepare them to excel in the professional world. Our ideal location along the beautiful Andaman coast of Thailand has led us to focus our envisioned professional skill development and internship programs on the booming Thai tourism industry. Currently, we are in the early stages of developing the Young Empowered Professionals (YEP) program. The vision is to equip Burmese youth with advanced technical skills in English, Hospitality, Business, and IT that will enable participants to secure higher income employment in the tourism industry and beyond. Furthermore, in collaboration with a high-end restaurant chain, initial plans are being made to launch a social enterprise venture to provide our students with a hands-on working and learning environment in the heart of the Khao Lak tourist district. In order to create high quality programs, FEDâ€™s Development Department is networking with both local and international professionals in hospitality and business. This will identify interested partners willing to offer valued-added expert insights, trainings, and internships for migrant youth. These programs will help address the challenge of migrant youth dropping out of school early to work, by offering an education that coincides with their chosen professions. We believe participants will be empowered to become the generation that overcomes the poverty cycle, which has entrapped migrant families for decades. Educating migrant children and youth is our passion and we thank you for supporting us as we strive to make their future potential limitless. Best Regards
Mark del Greco Development Director, FED
â€œDifficulties mastered are opportunities won.â€? Winston Churchill 2
Empowering Burmese migrants in Thailand to achieve greater recognition of their rights through education, social services, and advocacy.
Our Story FED was founded in 2000 in Sankalaburi, Kanchanaburi province under the name Grassroots Human Rights Education & Development (GHRE). Soon after the 2004 tsunami, the organization relocated to the Phang Nga province to offer emergency assistance to Burmese migrants affected by the tsunami, whose needs had been largely ignored by the Thai government NGOs and the International Community. Since then, FED addresses the long term needs of marginalized Burmese migrant workers and their families, and is working towards building trust between the Burmese and Thai communities. Our staff members are predominantly of Burmese origin and came to Thailand through similar migrant circumstances. This enables FED to reach the migrant population on a more personal and relevant level; something larger NGOs are not able to achieve. We aim to accomplish our mission by carrying out the following 7 objectives: Provide education to the children of Burmese migrant workers in Thailand Promote job opportunities and foster a safe and lawful environment for Burmese migrant workers in Thailand Provide migrant children with a safe and happy environment Build bridges between Thai and Burmese communities Bring justice and social security to Burmese migrant workers in Thailand Educate Burmese migrant communities on human rights, economic, social, and cultural rights Empower Burmese migrant women to improve their situation
On behalf of Burmese migrant communities, FED also works with relevant Thai authorities and institutions to help migrants gain access to schooling, health education, and decent work opportunities. By reaching out to local and provincial government leaders, independent bodies, and the media, FED creates an effective social, and legal platform to bridge the existing divide between the Thai and Burmese communities. This also drives greater visibility of migrants at the policy level.
FED focuses on provinces with high migrant populations; first strengthening their visibility and then providing individuals with social services long violated or unrecognized by Thai law. In many instances, FED serves as an umbrella organization to link the work of other nonregistered Burmese community-based organizations and groups throughout Thailand. This is the reason that FED is the first registered foundation in Thailand conceived by and for Burmese nationals.
2015 was an exciting year! Myanmar’s first democratic elections in decades yielded a landslide victory for Noble Peace Prize winner Aung San Su Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. Hope for the future has never been brighter for the citizens of Myanmar. Consequently, FED seized opportunities to serve and defend the rights of Burmese people at home. In 2015, FED began supporting the education recovery efforts and took a leading role in the peace and reconciliation movements of rural Kayah State - a land in northeast Myanmar torn by civil war for much of the past 60 years. Even with this progress, the road to recovery for Myanmar, a nation consumed by conflict, rights violations, and poverty will take time. FED has not lost sight of this and its founding mission to serve the Myanmar migrant community of Thailand. Currently Thailand’s economy provides employment opportunities to an estimated 4 million Myanmar migrants, roughly 10% of Thailand’s workforce. Migrant labor drives the Thai fishing, construction, and agriculture industries where migrants fill low-level jobs deemed undesirable by Thais. The Thai Military regime that took power in May 2014 remains entrenched as the governing body of the nation and continues to receive international pressure to return to democracy, and address the remaining human trafficking and modern day slavery crisis within its borders. In 2015, FED’s Migrant Development program launched a 3-year project specifically targeting the human trafficking and exploitation issues in the Thai seafood and fishing industry. Our team works tirelessly to address this problem, rescuing numerous victims of trafficking and helping victims recover and reintegrate into society.
The FED Education Program, our cornerstone and passion, continues to impact over 400 migrant children and their families, by providing the opportunity to receive a quality education in a safe environment. Without FED, these children have very few educational opportunities and would likely fall victim to child labor exploitation at very young ages. Educating these children ensures that the next generations of Myanmar children become the teachers, doctors, businessmen, and leaders that the country so desperately needs. In 2016 FED has ambitious goals to develop and promote new opportunities for our children to advance their education beyond 8th grade, through vocational training and the Thai nonformal education system. During this time of change and unpredictability within the region, FED prides itself in remaining a constant and persistent voice for Myanmar people, defending their rights both at home and abroad.
Our Commitment FED is driven to provide an education for Burmese migrants as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty that traps many Burmese migrant families. Most migrant childrenâ€™s families have themselves received little or no education. As such, it is extremely difficult for them to find any work other than low paid, unskilled labor/jobs. Typically, jobs that migrants work in Thailand are referred to as the 3 Dâ€™s: Dirty, Dangerous, and Difficult. The worksites usually include rubber plantations, construction sites, fisheries, and sawmills.
Providing a learning space for the children not only improves their future prospects, but also keeps the children safe from harm by removing them from dangerous work environments. This also offers peace of mind to busy working parents. Without education this cycle of poverty will continue. Providing Burmese migrant children with an education, delays the age at which they enter the labor force. Also, when they do start work, they will be equipped with the skills to demand better job opportunities and a decent living wage. All students studying at the Unified Learning Center (ULC), Kuraburi Learning Center (KLC), and in the Thai School Integration Program receive free transportation services to and from school. Students living in remote areas such as rubber plantations would likely not have an opportunity to go to school, were it not for the transportation services offered by FED. 324 students enrolled at the ULC 54 students enrolled at the KLC 29 integration students enrolled in Thai Government schools 18 teachers at 2 learning centers 76 out-of-school youth enrolled in Thai Non-formal Education Program
Staff Capacity Building A 3-day Staff Capacity Building workshop was held in Krabi province and attended by FED staff (14 staff and 17 teachers) from the Health, Migrant Development, Public Relations and Finance departments, and teachers from the ULC. The interactive workshop expanded on participants’ project management, child protection, and finance knowledge.
Teacher’s Training A 4-day Professional Teacher’s Trainers program at the ULC enhanced teaching skills and capabilities, providing a basic understanding of childhood psychology. The program included 23 participants: 11 FED teachers attended from ULC and KLC, with 12 representative teachers from 6 different schools situated around Phuket and Ranong.
Integration Classes FED runs an extensive integration program that focuses on migrant children unable to attend Burmese learning centers, including: Children in migrant communities, which lack information about Thailand’s education system, so children can attend Thai schools close to their community. Encourage all Burmese migrant children to attend school and have the chance to study in a safe environment. Each Saturday, Burmese language lessons for migrant students in the Thai school integration program are held to ensure students continue to develop their native language whilst attending Thai schools. Weekend English language lessons by a native English teacher for integration students.
Youth Unity Camp A Student Camp was held at the Thai Navy Base in Thaplamu village with the purpose of strengthening friendships and unity, between Thai and Burmese students in the local area. Twenty students from 2 Thai schools, 30 students and 12 teachers from FED Learning Centers, participated in peace-building and integration activities. Students also learnt about the unique and diverse ecological environment of the beautiful Khao Lak area. Events like these are vital ways to bridge the gap between Thais and Burmese, creating a more understanding and socially inclusive society for future generations.
Student Exchange Youthlinc conducted a 2 two-week activity session. Each session included 30 plus youth, which was held in KLC and at the ULC (Khao Lak). Activities included English classes, sewing training, and basic health care services. School grounds’ development such as tree planting, installation of an Aquaponic system in collaboration with the Rotary Club, and fence painting at the ULC were also completed.
“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai
Tree Planting Day A Tree Planting Day took place in the Thong Kamin village (Khuk Khek’s sub-district) and Lamkin village (Thai Mueang district). This was held in conjunction with Thai local officials, heads of villages, community members, Youthlinc international students, FED staff members, and migrant students. The day raised awareness of environmental issues and the importance of saving plants now, and for future generations. This interactive day also strengthened friendship between Burmese migrants and the local Thai people.
Sports Day The celebration of a sports and games’ day at the ULC was a great success! The purpose was to encourage students to adopt a positive attitude towards physical exercises on a daily basis to enjoy and maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst building friendships. Over 300 students from the ULC, KLC, and the Integration Program participated in the event. Students played 12 different sports including football and Cane ball (Burmese traditional sport).
“The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” John F. Kennedy
Student Profile Zaw Thu is a Grade 1 student from a Thai school and also attends Burmese language lessons every Saturday at FED’s ULC. Due to the lack of job opportunities in Burma, Zaw’s family moved to Thailand where his father works at a rubber plantation and his mother as a shop assistant. Although Zaw is happy to study at school and play with friends, he also helps his family at home with domestic chores, and takes care of his sister. “I want to become a teacher because it is a great job. Everyone starts their education at school and teachers are the first people who are not only teaching, but also help to shape our lives. I want to go back to my country one day and serve my people as a teacher. I would like to thank FED for giving us the chance to study.”
Meet Zaw Thu
Tin Zar Win is 14 years old and in Grade 8. Her father is a construction worker and mother works as a housekeeper. Tin Zar Win started school in grade 5 in 2012 at the ULC and her favorite subject is English. “It is one of the most common languages in the World. If I speak English, I can travel and find a job easily. I was fascinated with English from a young age.” Tin Zar Win is talented and likes to sing and dance, often performing in school dances. “I sometimes teach the kids how to dance. I would like to be a famous singer in the future because I am sure I’ll make a lot of money and will be able to support my family.”
Meet Tin Zar Win 10
ULC Construction and Repairs In 2015, several construction and repair projects were carried out to ensure the school facilities remain in top condition far into the future. After several years of facing water shortages during the dry season, we were able to secure funding to drill a much needed, 60-meter deep well. This well offers long-term water security for our school and is an essential need of life for migrant children. A 100-meter section of exterior wall was constructed along the back of the ULC grounds. A wall now encircles the entire premise, ensuring safety for the children and our property. Remodeling of our library and IT room commenced with the completion of tile flooring and a drop-down ceiling. Both renovations contribute greatly to reducing the heat and dust levels in the room. This protects the computers and books while creating a more comfortable environment for learning.
Ride 4 Kids, a local motorcycle group, contributed financially to the building of 2 large awnings over the ULC playground equipment. This creates a child-friendly environment for students to play while being shielded from the extreme elements of sun, rain, and wind. The entire ULC facility received a fresh coat of paint. Due to the centerâ€™s close proximity to the sea, the paint and buildings suffer decay from the salty air, wind, and rain much quicker, thus regular upkeep is necessary.
ULC Donor Visit
FED warmly welcomed Mr Umeno, the main donor of the FED Education Program and his team at the ULC. The visiting group provided another donation of ฿50,000 to the ULC for the purpose of student activities such as training and sports. Following the welcoming and speech ceremony, the ULC students performed traditional dancing and music for Mr Umeno and his team. Mr Umeno and Mr Nithipha (Umenohana’s S&P Manager), gifted packages of S&P bakery items and juice to all the students, teachers, and staff at the ULC.
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” Martin Luther King, Jr. 12
School Bank Program FED initiated a Student Bank Program at the ULC to teach students the importance of saving. Students in the upper grades facilitated the banking system and helped to train younger students to become new facilitators or banking junior staff in the future. The program runs at the ULC but has now expanded to 3 local Thai schools of which one consists mostly of Moken students.
Safe School Program A 3-day Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop for Safe School was held at the ULC. The workshop incorporated 30 FED project staff from Phang Nga and Mae Sot. The Child Protection experts from Plan Thailand trained participants on how to deal with natural disaster, protection for the school and students during a disaster. Following the workshop, staff then trained parents and students. The Child Protection experts are scheduled to return in 2016 for a follow-up on training effectiveness and for additional training.
Our Commitment Access to health care is a major concern for Burmese migrant workers in Thailand. Although there are certain systems in place to help registered migrants gain access to the country’s health care system, migrants that are undocumented or live in isolated areas, depend on FED and other NGOs. Since 2005, FED has addressed the short and long-term health needs of Burmese migrant families in the Phang Nga province. Most Burmese migrants are afraid to go to Thai hospitals or clinics for fear of discrimination, sub-standard care, arrest or deportation. For others, it is simply not financially feasible. The vast majority of migrants do not get regular health check-ups and some do not even go to the hospital in a life-threatening situation. To combat these problems, FED created a comprehensive health program that runs a number of projects that strive to address the needs of the Burmese community.
FED’s dedicated Health Team is continuously on-call to assist migrants and provide long-term care to those with chronic health problems such as TB and HIV. The medics also provide monthly health checks to all students at the Learning Centers and nurseries. FED’s medics work alongside staff from the Takuapa Hospital to track and help finance hospitalizations for migrant workers when required. They also disseminate information to local migrant populations on health, hygiene, and disease prevention. FED’s resident medic conducts community training on First Aid, personal hygiene, anatomy, reproductive health, and Family Planning. In 2015, FED’s Health Team assisted the Burmese migrant community in accessing healthcare by providing medical assistance, transportation, translation services, and healthcare training for migrant communities in Phang Nga. Community Health Workers (CHWs) are trained to deliver medical assistance for minor cases within their communities. As a result of the team’s work, the migrant communities are able to access their rights to healthcare.
Youth and Sexual Health Education FED’s Health Team successfully organized a 3-day Youth & Sexual Health Education training in 4 local communities. A total of 83 participants joined. The training to educate Burmese migrant youth occurred before 14 February - Valentine’s Day as many young couples in Myanmar and Thailand, celebrate this Day. With sexual awareness and contraception knowledge, the youth are better informed. As the young Burmese migrants work during the day, it was necessary to conduct night training sessions in Ban Niang and Thaplamu.
Night training in Bang Niang
FED’s Health Team then initiated this successful training session as part of a continual FED’s Health Team in the Health Project. At the end of each training session the team distributed condoms, medication, and also gave flowers to participants as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Training in Luma Ni
Night Training in Thaplamu
Health Achievements Diphtheria Outbreak Response Following the death of a Burmese migrant from Diphtheria, the local health department began vaccinations in the affected area. FED’s Health Team and a local health team from the Khuk Khek Clinic organized a 2-day Diphtheria vaccination response for isolated Burmese migrant communities in Khuk Khek’s sub-district and also ULC students.
Ma Mot Mot Whilst working at a shrimp pool in Tong Onn Township in November 2013, Ma Mot Mot’s right leg was caught by an impeller and severed. FED wanted to help obtain a prosthetic leg, which would be fitted at the Mae Tao Clinic (Mae Sot). Ma Mot Mot also requested legal assistance from FED regarding compensation from her employer for the accident. FED’s lawyer advised that since the accident took place in 2013, taking legal action was difficult, especially as Ma Mot Mot’s employer covered her medical costs at the time of the accident. To assist Ma Mot Mot receive a prosthetic leg, the FED Mae Sot team researched and confirmed that the Mae Tao clinic provides prosthetic legs to migrant patients, and arranged a prosthetic leg for Ma Mot Mot. The team also provided transportation and covered the cost of food during the Mae Sot trip.
“Good health and good sense are two of life’s greatest blessings.” Publilius Syrus 16
That Zaw Min That Zaw Min (31) had an accident in 2015, whilst working on a fishing boat and required a ฿56,791 emergency operation. Following the operation, That Zaw Min was not permitted to leave the hospital without paying for the entire medical bill as his employer only contributed ฿10,000 as compensation. As That Zaw Min could not afford the entire medical bill, FED’s Health Team negotiated with the doctor to reduce the medical bill to ฿12,000. The doctor also assisted by signing the patient’s hospital letter and paperwork, which prevented him from being arrested when returning to Ranong.
Children’s Health The Health Team conducts regular health education training sessions twice per week at the ULC. Health education training is also delivered twice per month at the KLC, due to the centers distance from our main office. Students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 are taught health education including: Hygiene, Common Diseases, Adolescence and Puberty, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition, Anatomy & Physiology, Basic First Aid (Wound Care). The Health team also monitors whether students apply their health education in their daily lives outside of the classroom. The program reached 400 children in 2015.
Community Health Volunteer Training Each year the FED Health Team organizes Community Health Volunteer (CHV) training for migrant community leaders from different communities. Participants include local CBOs, migrant teachers, and young migrant workers that are willing to serve as health volunteers in their community, following the training. The team successfully organized an intensive 2-day CHV training for 15 participants. FED Health Trainers led the first part of the training including, how to be an effective health educator; lesson planning; and how to motivate and organize people to attend training. The CHV training began with an attendee pre-test to evaluate prior knowledge of health. Dr Tint Zaw Oo, an experienced Health Trainer from the Burma Medical Association (BMA) led the last part of the 2-day training. The doctor covered important and fundamental health lessons including First Aid Wound Care, Vital Signs, common medicines at the CHV level, Child Health, and common medical programs.
World AIDS Day This year, the FED Health Team launched the World AIDS Day event at the local Thai School (Wot Kon Mania Keek), to share our solidarity in fighting against and raising awareness of HIV/AIDS. The ULC Principal, teachers, and 100 Thai and migrant students, Burmese migrant teachers, and a Thai local clinicâ€™s nurse, participated. FEDâ€™s Health Team and a Thai nurse delivered knowledge on HIV/AIDS transmission, protection, and prevention. Several HIV/AIDS quizzes and games were included for the Thai and Burmese migrant students.
Community Health Services 2,981 panents received translanon services at Takuapa Hospital 400 students were provided health educanon & medical care
1% 5% 16%
527 migrants in targeted communiites parncipated in 24 Health training sessions
56 migrants received emergency support
790 migrants received First-Aid treatment via our CHVs
Total migrants directly impacted: 4,999
48 medicine boxes maintained in LCs & through CHVs in 4 targeted district communines 245 migrants reached through 7 community visits
Our Commitment FED believes that sustainable change for the Burmese migrant community must come from within. Although many of the communityâ€™s problems must also be addressed at the national policy level, empowering Burmese migrants to demand respect for their rights is the most effective way to ensure their long-term wellbeing. For this reason, FED is committed to building local systems of protection and welfare that allow migrants to defend themselves from injustice. Our approach is designed to address the issue at both levels, through advocacy with the Thai government to raise awareness and promote proper policy, and grassroots programs that provide essential services and education to the community. FED's Migrant Development Program targets different segments of migrant communities, such as women, youth, community leaders and activists.
An essential component of the program is the human rights training, in which migrants are educated about their rights and the means they can use to protect them. With this training and continued support from FED staff, Burmese migrants are empowered to achieve justice and social inclusion for themselves and their communities. FED also works with Thai civil society to raise awareness of the plight of Burmese migrants and foster a unified approach to human rights promotion in Thailand.
"Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free." 14th Dalai Lama 20
Migrant DEVELOPMENT Rescue Mission Together with DSI, AHTD, the Royal Navy team, and concerned authorities, our MDT team staff collaborated a 3-day rescue mission on suspected fishing boats in Saton, Songkhalar, and the Thai/Indonesian sea territory in the Indian Ocean. During the rescue mission, the multilateral team saved 12 Myanmar trafficked victims. Officials of the mission were in direct contact with authorities and FED’s Migrant Team staff, taking part in the mission covertly so as to retain secrecy until the mission was completed.
Ranong Murder Case The four Myanmar migrant workers arrested over the murder of a 17-year-old Myanmar female student in September, claim they were tortured into confessing by Ranong police. According to official statements given to police officers, Moe Zin Aung (19), Zaw Lay (25), Mang Sane (20), and Kyaw Soe Win (18) confessed to taking part in the brutal stabbing of Orawee Sampaotong. The families of the accused believe police unfairly treated and accused the migrants, and thus, the local migrant community leaders requested legal aid assistance from FED. Since then, together with the Myanmar embassy official and Thai Lawyers Council, FED has been assisting with the case including investigation, collecting evidence and necessary court documents; and also transportation costs for the accused and their families.
“Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
Migrant Labor Rights Project The 3-year European Union (EU) in conjunction with CCFD-Terre Solidaire project came to an end in July 2015. The project was developed to provide a better inclusion of Burmese migrants and a better recognition of their rights in Thailand. Approximately 500,000 Burmese migrants in 10 provinces have a better understanding of their rights and received support in accessing legal services. Over the 3 years, milestones and achievements included: 404 Community Leaders engaged in the action 295 Community Leaders trained and empowered to assist migrants 3,359 migrants reached directly in their communities with information, advice, and assistance on migrant-related issues 193 legal cases evaluated by lawyers; 23 became legal cases helping 842 migrants with legal issues and the remaining were assisted as advocacy cases 12 public forums held 23,250 leaflets distributed
Anti-Human Trafficking Project The second-half of 2015 saw the initiation of the Freedom Fund Initiative. The project is aimed at combating human trafficking of Burmese migrants entering Thailand at Mae Sot, Myawaddy and Ranong, Kaw Thaung border-crossings and in the Seafood Industry of Songkhla. The project goal is to provide the Burmese migrant community with the necessary tools, knowledge, and support to overcome their vulnerability to human trafficking, forced labor, exploitation, and achieve legal justice and recovery against any violations. 1,908 migrants assisted 94 individuals receiving legal consultation 97 migrants receiving safe migration training 48 people assisted at shelters 15 victims of trafficking rescued
"Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free." 14th Dalai Lama 22
The Rohingya Crisis For decades, Burmese military regimes and Buddhist extremists have systematically led an ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority group from Rakhine State in western Burma. In recent years violent clashes have left thousands of Rohingya dead and tens of thousands more displaced in refugee camps. Unwanted and unrecognized as citizens in Burma, thousands of Rohingya fled the violence in wooden and often unreliable boats arranged by corrupt brokers in hopes of finding new lives abroad in countries such as Malaysia. However, in many instances the boats are lost at sea or land in Thailand where the Rohingya are either sent back to Burma, or held in detention centers where any hope of a new life and freedom is all but lost. In mid-2015, a group of 51 Rohingya women and children arrived in Khao Lak (Southern Thailand) after fleeing ethnic persecution in Burma. Separated from their husbands and fathers, who were sent to detention centers, they were placed in a shelter run by the Thai Government. FED works with the shelter to offer services for the women and children while they await resettlement.
FED arranged to enrol the Rohingya children at the ULC. The children were at an academic level far below other students of the same age, as many of the children had never attended school before. Furthermore, except for English classes, all courses at the ULC are taught in Burmese, which most of these children do not speak. As a result, FED began teaching special classes to the Rohingya children in the afternoons at the ULC and womenâ€™s shelter. The children continued to integrate with other Burmese students in the morning classes and at lunch, while having the opportunity to learn English with their Rohingya peers in a more comfortable environment in the afternoon. Great progress has been made, as the children are incredibly eager to learn. As of 2015, over 1 million Rohingya were living as refugees outside of Burma, with Thailand as the first stop for many.
Special Projects Sewing & Pattern Making Workshops Workshops at the Rohingya womenâ€™s shelter started with basic hand-sewing lessons. As skills increased, training advanced to taking body measurements so that women could prepare material to make clothes without a pattern. The major obstacle was the lack of Math skills to take measurements, which FED has now identified as a basis for running future sewing workshops. Workshops advanced to Pattern Making and the importance of correct body measurements. Especially important if the women make and sell clothes to earn a living in the future. With very motivated participants, following workshops were advanced to basic shirt design and drawing more complicated designs on material.
Handicrafts Workshop Women at the shelter were taught how to create bracelets and necklaces with the intention to sell. With two specific designs taught, women started experimenting with new designs, which provided an opportunity to express their creativity. The successful handicraft workshop gave women the initiative and eagerness to further create handicrafts on a regular basis, so as to also earn income from their work.
Health Training Women attended health-training workshops, which included personal hygiene sessions and mosquito/Malaria protection. Many women have spent their lives in unhygienic living conditions and vulnerable to many diseases.
Additional English Classes Following 2-hour English lessons held after school daily for 22 Rohingya children at the ULC, English classes continued at the womenâ€™s shelter, and on weekends. Most of the women and children at the shelter attended the sessions and showed remarkable improvement in their English. The English program is beginning to thrive and all refugees at the shelter are excited to continue learning English.
Business Management Workshop
A Business Management training workshop was held for migrant workers in the Phang Nga region. Participants learnt how to write a business proposal so as to request funds for a new venture. Follow-up visits with women in their community confirmed the success of the Business Management training. As a result of the workshop, ten women requested ŕ¸ż5,000 each from Youthlinc and women then contributed ŕ¸ż3,000 each to buy rice and dry snacks, to sell back to the community.
Paris Attacks During the evening of 13th November 2015, the tragic events that unfolded following terrorist attacks rocked Paris, France, and the entire world. The staff and students at FED felt so moved by the events that took place that many wanted to show their solidarity with the people of Paris and France. Messages of peace, love, harmony, and simply showing Paris that the thoughts of the Burmese students were with them, was a wonderful showing of empathy towards their fellow human beings.
The Burma Project Now in its second year of operations in Burma and with the new office in Loikaw, FED has focused on a variety of projects. The main emphasis is on peace-building training in Karenni (Kayah) State. This involved many consultations with Civil Society Organizations (CSO) members coupled with multiple Non-State Actors (NSA) engagements, in order to focus on the ceasefire within the region. Many workshops and training sessions were held that primarily targeted students and youth. FEDâ€™s projects in Burma have benefitted from continued collaboration within local communities, and also ceasefire groups and the government. This ongoing collaboration is crucial to the ongoing success of the project.
Burma Flood Disaster Torrential rainfall in late July led to widespread flooding, landslides, destruction of entire communities, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Burmese citizens. The hardest hit areas were the north, western, and central regions of Myanmar. Nearly half a million acres of farmland was damaged, much of it beyond recovery for this year's harvest. Many migrants in Thailand are originally from these devastated communities where their family and friends were deeply impacted by the disaster. In response, FED rallied its vast network of Community Leaders in 4 Thai provinces to lead a widespread fundraising and relief supplies collection campaign within migrant communities. Over ŕ¸ż155,000 was collected as well as multiple truckloads of supplies such as clothing, food, cooking utensils, drinking water, and more. FED staff then organized a boat from the Ranong Shipyards to send the flood relief contributions on the 3-day journey by sea to Yangon. The supplies were then donated to the Free Funeral Services Society and the 7-Day Hero Foundation for distribution to citizens affected by the disaster.
The Mae Sot Established in 2009, the FED Mae Sot field office works primarily on advocacy for migrant workers and their families, in conjunction with human rights and healthcare education. Mae Sot (Thailand) borders Myawaddy (Burma), which acts as one of the region’s major border crossings and an economic center. For several decades, large numbers of Burmese refugees and migrants have crossed into Thailand to escape civil conflict and to pursue better work opportunities in the area. An estimate of Burmese migrants and refugees currently living in the Mae Sot area is between 200,000 – 300,000 people. The Mae Sot office works on 5 main Projects in the region: Migrant Adolescents Health Project; Safe School Project; Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR); Children on the Move (COM); and an Anti-Human Trafficking Safe Migration Project. All projects fall under the FED’s Migrant Development, Education, and Health Programs.
Koh Tao Murder Case FED is providing legal aid services for the defence and also humanitarian assistance during the imprisonment of the 22-year old Myanmar migrants Wai Phyo (Win Zaw Htun) and Zaw Lin. In 2015, the migrants were prosecuted and received the Death Penalty for the brutal murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao Island (Thailand) in Sept 2014. The appeal process for the accused has been extended three times. The defence team from the Thai Lawyers Council together with FED, Burmese Embassy officials, NGOs, and a number of domestic and foreign forensic experts are currently working on the appeal. FED has been involved in the Koh Tao murder case since Oct 2014, soon after the arrest of the two Burmese migrants. Many people in the local and international communities, and FED believe that the accused are scapegoats in this case. The Myanmar Embassy set up FED’s role as a special representative committee member for this case. Working together with other partners, FED learned from the accused and witnesses that the accused were tortured and threatened into confessing to the murders before being committed and imprisoned. This case will continue well into 2016.
The Moken In 2015, the Eco Tourism project continued in the Tapla Moken community with the primary focus of training 20 community members on financial management. A handicraft workshop was held for 6 children and 3 adults where traditional methods of weaving with reeds and bamboo were taught. Products made with traditional designs included mats, baskets, and hats to sell to tourists. Traditional designs hand painted on clothing was also created for the tourist market.
Community elders created traditional toys and games and gave these to the children so as to transfer their cultural history and traditions to the next generation. A personal hygiene 2-day workshop was held at two Moken communities including Ko Nok for about 100 children and youth. FED continued with the sponsorship of 4 boys and 6 girls in the Thai Vocational Tourism and Hospitality School to empower students to achieve better job opportunities in the future.
2015 Revenue – ฿ 26,324,924
European Union Private
2015 Expenditure - ฿ 21,877,535
Educanon Health 2%
Migrant Develoment Moken Project Operanng Costs
*As our Fiscal Year is different to our Donors’ Fiscal Year, this accounts for the discrepancy in expenditure.
Thank You! We thank you for taking the time to read this Annual Report and hope it gives you a greater sense of FEDâ€™s work and accomplishments in 2015. Such accomplishments could not be achieved without the invaluable support of individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments, globally. Your support helps us to provide a safer and more equitable environment for underprivileged Burmese migrant workers, whilst providing education and development opportunities for their children and families.
Your assistance facilitates critical ongoing support for the Burmese migrant communities by promoting human rights and helping migrant families access basic services such as healthcare, education, and legal aid in Thailand. On behalf of our Burmese community, we would like to thank you - our supporters - for your generous contributions and continuing support!
Social Media Help us raise awareness by following our activities and spreading the word! Like us on Facebook, post, and tweet to help draw attention to the cause of Burmese migrants.
Volunteer with FED Wonderful contributions from our past and current volunteers in FEDâ€™s three main programs in Thailand include: Education, Health, and Migrant development (including the Women Empowerment Program). In 2015, 18 volunteers from the US, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Australia, and Canada helped FED. Volunteers provide a wide range of skills and amazing work with teaching and Information Technology; youth activities; administration and project management; grant and report writing; and much more. If you would like to volunteer, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org http://ghre.org/jobs
Donating? With your donation, FED can continue to provide migrant children's education; comprehensive health care for children and migrant communities; women's empowerment; and promote human rights among migrant communities. Our Board, staff, and the Burmese community are very thankful for your kindness. Donations made through our US affiliate are tax deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States of America.
Contribute securely online: U.S. Donations - http://www.ghrefed.org Thailand Donations - http://www.ghre.org/en/ Global Giving - http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/burmese-migrant-children-go-to-school/
Mail checks to: Foundation for Education and Development C/O Sandra Randon 46 W Julian Street, Suite 433 San Jose, CA 95110, USA
If you would like to contribute directly to FED, call: USA +1 646 470 1889 Thailand +66 76 486 351
Be an Agent of Change We are very grateful for what we have been able to accomplish this year for the Burmese migrant community. Although we know that we have much more to do in the future, we cannot achieve this without your help!
provides art supplies for 1 child for 1 year
provides lunch for an entire classroom for 1 day
provides education for 1 child for 1 month
provides health checkups and medical attention to 25 children for 1 month
provides transportation for 25 children for 1 month
provides lunch for 1 child for 1 year
provides 1 teacherâ€™s salary for 1 month
provides the salary of 1 Native English teacher for 1 month
provides drinking water for the entire school for 1 year
provides transportation for 250 children from remote areas for 6 months
provides a water tower for the school
provides a football field
provides a computer lab and a library
funds the entire English curriculum for 1 year
provides a new school bus
allows FED to build an office on the school property to avoid high rental costs
provides a vocational program for youth no longer in school
â€œBy helping others, you will learn how to help yourselves.â€? Aung San Suu Kyi 33
FED has many donors that are not listed above, which also contribute to our cause. We would also like to extend a warm thank you to these donors.
â€œThe rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.â€? John F. Kennedy 34
This document has been produced with the financial assistance of CCFD-Terre Solidaire. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the Foundation for Education and Development/CCFD-Terre Solidaire, and can under no circumstance be regarded as reflecting the position of CCFD-Terre Solidaire.
Provided with the financial support of CCFD-Terre Solidaire
Contributors: Nilla Palmer, Neil Lintern, and Mark Del Greco Edited by: Neil Lintern, Nilla Palmer, Mark Del Greco, and Philippe van Gammeren Photography: FED thanks everyone that contributed photos for our Annual Report
Foundation for Education and Development Turning Rights into Realities
FED Thailand 20 Moo 4 Khuk Khak, Takuapa Phang Nga Thailand 82220 +66 (0) 76 486 351 www.ghre.org
Published April 2016
FED Thailand 144/9 Soi Abac, Soi 2 Ramkhamhaeng 24 Hua Mak, Bang Kapi Bangkok Thailand 10240 +66 (0) 94 878 0212 www.ghre.org
FED Thailand 9/214 lntarakeeree Rd Mae Sot, Tak Province Thailand 63110 +66 (0) 61 304 8605 www.ghre.org
FED Myanmar No. 37/12 Thazin St 9 Quarter, Hlaing Yadanar Housing Hlaing Township Yangon Myanmar 11181 +95 (9) 2613 24294 www.ghre.org
FED Myanmar 67 Bo Yowe St Naung Yan Kha Loikaw Kayah State Myanmar 20101 +95 (9) 2541 50436 www.ghre.org
FED is working to promote education, human rights, and the development of safe, working environment for Burmese migrants and their families...
Published on May 1, 2016
FED is working to promote education, human rights, and the development of safe, working environment for Burmese migrants and their families...