Upcoming Projects 2013
The main project in 2012 was the completion of the Teacher Trainer's Dorm which will house up to 120 students. In November Calvary United Church raised most of the funds to build the kitchen and dining room for these students.
All of the tables and chairs were shipped by our partners in Victoria, B.C., Compassionate Resource Warehouse. They have shipped a total of 4 containers this year, the most loads we have handled in one year. Hundreds of families were helped with relief supplies, clinics received medical supplies and remote students were supplied with dry food.
We are currently working on a Safe House for 30 girls at risk of sexual exploitation. The SIAST Students from Moose Jaw Campus raised funds to do site preparation, build a kitchen/ dining room / laundry drying area. They also built a gazebo and garden area in memory of a fellow student that died in a car accident. We will start on the dorm construction in January with the library and the caregivers residence to follow. This project will be completed by July 20131-306-764-3485 or email him at: lapril @sasktel.net if you are interested in joining us.
The political situation continues to change in Myanmar with positive changes on the horizon. The actual conditions for the refugees and migrants has not changed significantly, however we need to prepare for the future if positive changes continue. Global Neighbors has applied for charity status in Myanmar. Approval should be granted by January 2013. We will continue to be of assistance to the migrants and refugees along the border, however we will start planning some work inside Myanmar in 2013. Our approach will be cautious, working on experimental projects, to begin with. There are several organizations that have requested partnerships once we are approved to work in Myanmar. The needs are so overwhelming with requests coming from all sectors. I met with a doctor in Myanmar and she told me that medical treatment was almost non existent in many communities. She had seen a patient the day before with stage 4 cervical cancer, she didn’t even have pain medication.
We still have openings for our February Work Tour which goes from Feb 7-21st. Contact Luc at 306-961-3799 or 306-763-3884.
Please keep us in mind for your charitable contributions when you do your year end tax planning.
We have a Youtube promotional video if you are interested in sharing our organization with your friends at:
Please Check our website for more information and contact information if you have any questions or would like someone to give a presentation to your group.
We will send a letter with more pictures with your 2012 tax receipt.
Thanks for your support!
www.gnci.ca You can contribute by cheque or online at www.canadahelps.org
Fire Destroys School (December 28,2012)
A fire on December 22, 2012 destroyed a Migrant near the town of Mae Sot in Thailand. The Sophia Learning Center was destroyed in the fire as well as many Migrant homes. From the 292 families that were living near by only 63 families remain. Global Neighbors was asked to help with supplies and were there within a couple days. Among these supplies were clothing, dryfoods and blankets. See pictures below when the delivery was made.
DONATIONS FROM CANADA AT USE IN THAILAND (Sept 2012)
NEW TPC TEACHING CENTER AND DORMITORY BUILDINGS
In February 2011 discussions began with three other NGO`s (Non Government Organizations) in Mae Sot regarding the building of a training facility on our farm. It is the most exciting project to date. Global Neighbors is in charge of constructing the building and the other NGO`s are in charge of programming. Construction of the ``TPC`` building began in June 2011 and was completed mid January 2012. There are already 46 students in the program. We held the grand opening on Feb. 20, 2012.
It is an exciting program, as the students that comprise the student body are from multiple ethnic groups within Burma. In the past, some of their ancestors have been warring against each other. Here they begin to work together, live together, study together, and dance together. It has developed a realization that there are more similarities than differences, and it is this realization that will be needed to rebuild a peaceful Burma.
The TPC students will become Teacher Trainers in Karen state, Burma. They will backpack into the various villages - - some traveling as many as 10 days - - to deliver school supplies and also to equip the 4,700 teachers to become better instructors to over 100,000 students. Many of the teachers in the remote areas have no formal training. There will be immediate benefits for the students.
In Feb. 2012 the construction began on the dorm building that will house the teacher trainers. We have enough funds to build half of the structure. Your support in completing this project would be appreciated. You can donate through Canada Helps :
Or send a cheque to:
Global Neighbors Canada
RR#5 Site 21 Box 30
Prince Albert, Sask
Trip gives student new perspective on life
By Matthew Liebenberg
A recent trip to Thailand gave Kacey Palidwar a close-up view of the daily struggles of life in another country.
While born and raised in Nipawin, she is currently a student in the Architectural Technologies program at the SIAST Palliser campus in Moose Jaw. In December 2010 she participated in a two-week trip by 15 students to Thailand to help rebuild a school and teach computer skills at another school. They also delivered supplies to children at different schools and visited a refugee camp.
"I'd want to say it changed my life, but that is so cliched," she said. "It definitely opened my eyes to what I only thought existed in movies."
As a result of their busy schedule during the trip and everything she experienced, Palidwar said it took her a while to make sense of it all.
"It really took like a week after I got home to understand it all and put it all together," she mentioned. "I definitely have a different perspective on the world, how we live our lives over here and what other countries are going through and experiencing."
This was the second trip by SIAST students to the town of Mae Sot in western Thailand. Due to its location on the border with Myanmar (Burma), the town has a large population of Burmese migrants and refugees. The previous trip in December 2009 resulted in the creation of the group Global Students Helping Students, which is coordinated by SIAST Architectural Technologies Instructor Reg Forbes.
The intention is that students will undertake an annual trip to Thailand to use their skills to the benefit of others. The activities of Global Students Helping Students are carried out in close cooperation with Global Neighbors Canada Inc., an organization working with orphaned and displaced children in Mae Sot.
Prior to their trip, Palidwar and her fellow students raised $15,000 towards the reconstruction of Hlee Bee School, which accommodates about 200 children.
"The previous one was flooded out, it pretty much just fell right over because it was made of bamboo," she explained. "If we hadn't intervened they would have no school at this point."
The new building is a more sturdy concrete and steel structure. The construction work was already completed when they arrived, but the students assisted with the finishing touches. They painted the walls, built desks for the computer lab and set up the six computers they donated to the school.
"We got to meet all the kids and the teachers, it was a really good experience," she said.
The students used the additional money they raised before their trip to buy cameras for a school in the Mae La refugee camp. Each student also brought along a suitcase full of items such as food, clothing, soap, towels and sheets for distribution.
"At most of these schools the kids were orphans, so they don't have a whole lot," she said.
They did distributions at Shwe Tha Zin Learning Centre, Ah Yone Oo School, Sky Blue School and New Light School, which was the school built by the previous student group in 2009. They also visited Wide Horizons, a post secondary school, and Agape Orphanage and Learning Centre, which is very close to the Burma-Thailand border.
At Hsa Thoo Lei School and Orphanage the students taught their technical programs in two sessions to the Grade 11 and 12 learners. They showed them how to draw a basic floor plan in AutoCAD, how to import it into Google Sketch Up and how to create a 3-D rendering from that. The local students also learned how to use some aesthetic techniques in Photoshop.
Despite knowing a fair amount of English, Palidwar said it was still a challenge to communicate with the Thai students.
"It did not hinder their excitement to learn," she noted. "The best part of this experience was when the kids yelled out 'Teacher, teacher! Will you help?' We got a lot of satisfaction out of teaching these kids some technical skills that will put them ahead in the work force."
At the Mae La refugee camp they visited Henry's School and Arthur's Orphanage. According to Palidwar there are about 45,000 registered Burmese refugees in the camp, but a similar number that is not registered.
"It was supposed to be a temporary camp, but now it has been there for over 20 years," she said. "There's a lot of people in a small space and only so many are registered, so a lot of them are considered ghost citizens."
Witnessing people's struggle to survive has changed her views about her own lifestyle and life in Canada in general.
"I found it hard to enjoy the things I normally enjoy and to just get back into my life from beforehand," she said. "We just have it so good in Canada that you never think that there's anything worse out there. … We're very, very lucky to live in the free country that we have."
November 30, 2010
Recent letter from Paw Ray in Mae Sot, Thailand (On the Thai/Burma border)
The Situation along the Thai border and inside Burma is getting worse each day and there is fighting in many areas – causing people to go into hiding and may to cross into Thailand to find safety.
This morning I visited Pa Lu (on the Thai side) and found a makeshift refugee camp of more than 1,500 people from Burma seeking shelter in a Thai monastery at Mae Kon Kean (and this is only one of many such sites) I talked with many people there and some IDP head teachers have called to say that the situation inside Burma is very bad. Many of the IDP schools we assist are in this area and some of their teachers and students are already at the monastery. Food and other emergency care is being supplied but we would like (and teachers have asked) that they can continue to teach children at the monastery – as they are not permitted to leave by Thai authorities.
At this time we are concerned about our teachers and students who remain inside Burma as well as those who has already crossed over, and we would like to get together an emergency fund to meet the different costs that may come up to continue teaching and/ or keep people safe.
If you can help us to get some fund together please make contact with us as soon as possible.
Paw Ray (BMWEC)
(You can make your donations to this cause through Global Neighbors Canada Inc.)