Project Development and Financing

From Burma to Mae Sot – Stories of Myself

As many of you know, the Project produced a delightful and thought-provoking book celebrating the art and personal stories of the children of one of our partner schools in 2012. We would like to share it with school classes, community groups and even leaders and politicians who are interested in learning more about the lives of migrant youth in Thailand. Please let us know if you are interested in hearing about the issues facing the Burmese people and in receiving a copy of this book.

MSEP provides materials for migrant schools

The Mae Sot Education Project began in 2003 when a group of friends in Lennoxville, Quebec decided to create partnerships with three schools for Burmese migrant children in the Mae Sot, Thailand in an effort to assist the growing community of people displaced by ruthless military rule in Burma/Myanmar. They launched a Project Committee and applied for funding to foundations and local organizations and worked with Champlain College-Lennoxville and Bishop's University to recruit youth volunteers.  Over the years, the project has developed partnerships with ten schools or “learning centres” as they are called in Thailand.  Our partners currently include BHSOH, Hsa Mu Htaw, Hle Bee, Parami, Pyo Khinn and Hsa Thoo Ley Learning Centres. Although the situation in Burma is evolving, more than a million Burmese workers and refugees remain in Thailand; their situations unresolved and their security in their homeland still not assured.  Thus support for migrant schools remains important.
As of summer 2016, the Committee has sent twelve small teams of volunteers for six month periods – a total of 53 young people who have grown and contributed to international cooperation through this experience.  Volunteers divide their time between our partner schools and receive ongoing guidance and support from the Project Committee.  About 55% of our budget supports the volunteers who provide English activity leadership and help with whatever partners need (e.g., teaching English to teachers, completing funding applications).  As the Burmese student population grows up, needs have evolved and assistance with teaching in other content areas has become more important. Thanks to generous donors in our community, we have been able to assist partner schools in a variety of ways.   37% of our budget provides some funding to each partner school.  The project has donated materials and money to schools for a variety of needs (a roof, uniforms, lunches and kitchen supplies, transportation, salaries, etc.).  It has also collaborated with other NGOs assisting migrant schools.  Because of the institutional in-kind support received from Bishop’s University and Champlain College–Lennoxville and because all members of the Project Committee are volunteers, we spend very little on administration.
The total cost of sending five volunteers, supporting their work in Thailand, contributing classroom materials and financial resources to partner schools (about $2000 CAD each) and doing publicity and outreach is about $37,000 CAD.  From the beginning, the project has been guided by the philosophy that participation should not be dependent on the volunteers’ financial resources.  Thus fundraising is done collectively by the Project Committee and the volunteers.  Grants from foundations and donations from local organizations and individuals, contributions from Bishop's University and Champlain College – Lennoxville, and fundraising activities initiated by the volunteers all help provide the necessary funding. The project is grateful for all donations, large and small.

Contributions to the project are most welcome, and tax receipts will be issued.

Donations may be made to:
The Champlain Regional College Foundation
(indicate for the Mae Sot Education Project)
or to
The Bishop’s University Foundation
(indicate for the Mae Sot Education Project)
c/o Mary Purkey,
Box 67,
Champlain College - Lennoxville,
Sherbrooke, QC J1M 2A1,