What are we fund raising for? The real answers!

Mrs Thompson wrote:
This is a copy of the intial letter that started the whole fund raising idea. The black type is questions I put to Estelle at Studio Xang and her husband Salai who is director of Sunrise School. 
 The blue type is their answers.
Its interesting to see how the camps and Sunrise School are organised and run and how we can help.

Hi Gilly,
Here’s some answers/suggestions.

1. Fund raising for Salai’s school - what does he need - could we raise money for him to buy shoes? clothes? basics?
The money will be used for:
·         Food (meat and fish). Students need nutritious foods which are not provided enough in refugee rations.

·         Maintenance of generator and petrol (generator means we can have light for studying in the evening, and use computers. At present only 2 hours electricity per night, and 1 hour in day time for computer class.)

·         Renovating classrooms and boarder students dormitories, dining room, need yearly renovation because all buildings are made of Bamboo and thatched with leaves.
·         Stationary - note books, pencils, A4 paper, text books and exercise books.

·         School uniforms

2. Could we twin school? Make his our charity school?
Yes that would be great. What are the requirements to twin the 2 schools together?
3. Raise money for Studio Xang  to have a video camera? Record kids/life and swop films on You Tube?

 Yes, this would help. Cameras are between 15,000-20,000B. For decent quality. A cheap one would be 10,000-15,000B. I will look into it more with Australian volunteer.

4. Make a joint blog exploring what happens at your school? our school?

 A blog is a good idea but our kids don’t yet have the knowledge to use computers. In Maesot we only have 1 computer for office. In Chiang Mai we teach on site so there are no computers. Studio Xang has a website and we could have a link to a blog where your school and us upload the exchanges of the Picture pal project. We’ll need a bit of training before we can do this, but I can organize it as part of capacity building. I can print off your blog pages to show my students and upload images and information as I collect it.


5. Could we send schemes of work/resources in different subjects to help the lessons?
This would be good but might be more effective after training from your teachers. Otherwise, teachers here (in Mae La Oon) will not know how to use the material. I am saying this from experience. Anything that is written and distributed without introduction and explanation doesn’t tend to be used. 

6. I have got members of staff trained to teach English willing to come over and teach although this would need a lot of thinking of - not going to happen straight away.

 This would be really great. Think about teaching English to teachers too, this way they can support students more and be more confident to use teaching materials in English, as you mentioned above.

7. Sponser indivdual students? orphans?
Usually it is difficult to do sponsoring because when you start to sponsor a child, it is a long term engagement and most people see it as short term or expect to see results, get letters etc. Sponsoring the school, the students association, the boarders would benefit more.  Some families have more resources than others. Usually if the father has passed away, it is hard for the mother to find enough income. Already there are very few ways to get an income in the camp. Salai usually takes kids who are in need of parent and material support under his wing. So if he has someone, he could let you know. Hence, we have a lot of nieces and nephews!

8. Need ideas about what you need and think would help - link to these to tangiable sense of money over here for example how much is a pair of shoes? Very little I expect but enough that my students could think its something they are doing in a pratical way, not money to an idea that seems to big to achieve. 

Note: 49b = £1.00

Note books: one dozen, 150B
Proper Shoes: 200B
Flip Flops: 20-80B
Trousers: 150-200B
Sarong: 80-100B
Uniform: 500B (shirt and sarong)
Shoulder Bag: 150B
1kg of meat: 80-150B
1kg of fish: 90-100B
1 kg Rice: 25B
1kg of fish paste: around 35B
1kg of beans: around 50B
1kg of sugar: 26B
1liter of gaz for generator: 39B
Transportation from camp to Maesariang (nearest town): one person 150B, one car 4000B-5000B one way, camp pass 1000B
Salary of teacher per month at YNO school: 1000B
Average necessary expenses for a family per month (no extras, just essentials): 500B 
If person works as carrier inside camp or secretly outside, they earn 20B-50b per day.

9. Theres also the question of how we get the money to you, I didnt realise this but because in this country it would be seen as public funds we would need receipts for any direct cash transfers - maybe this could go through your studio xang etc.

 Okay, we can provide receipts. Sunrise Schools bank account is in my name (because Burmese cannot open bank account). Studio Xang has an account named Studio Xang. Some funders refuse to send money to accounts with people’s name, they want organization name. So whichever way suits you we can do. Studio Xang can receive and forward to Sunrise, we would send you the statements from the bank plus receipts from Sunrise.

 I will start this month at home, talking to staff and kids. The Picture pals task have been translated into Burmese. I’ll do a training with teacher to gather materials and info for the kids. I will forward any suggestions people have from there.

This is such a great project.
I also want to give you some Burmese people to contacts in England, who could be useful for you and the students/ school.  I could write to these people and introduce you an the project . There is only P. Khoo Twe who I don’t know personally, but he helped one of my nieces while she was studying in the UK so I could ask her to put you in touch.
Win Naing Oo, BBC world service (Burma),  very friendly and informed.
Pascal Khoo Tweh, Cambridge or oxford,  writer and very friendly person. I recommend his book ‘the land of green ghosts’
So thats all the information so far and I read this book and it is fanastic and gives a really clear picture of how the whole situation has arouse.

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