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Audubon

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Foundation for Education and Development
December 1, 2009

I've visited FED in Thailand twice, and have done some remote editing work. Can't say enough about the integrity of this organization and its founder, and the invaluable work they are doing for a migrant population that otherwise has zero resources and hardly any rights. The conditions in Southern Thailand for Burmese refugees are very difficult; they are not allowed refugee status and therefore have become stateless migrant workers, subject to tremendous rights abuses. Their mobility is also severely restricted. I've witnessed FED staffers' daily interventions in crises (rapes, murders, arrests, deportations), providing legal, health, and educational support for migrants, not to mention food & housing for workers and their children, but also care for an increasing number of orphans. And they really work hard to develop leaders among younger people, giving them work skills and language skills and helping foster cultural understanding between Burmese ethnic groups and also with the Thai community. Hardly any other org is doing this type of work in this area.

Photos

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them funding, increase their P.R.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

witnessing the tremendous respect the staff and its founder show for all colleagues and for the people they serve. It is truly an egalitarian organization, operating on Buddhist principles of harmony and respect.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

deeply committed individuals who have given up salaries and personal commitments to live and volunteer in Phang Nga.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide work permits for more migrant workers, preventing deportation & other abuses; provide more housing for workers and more educational services for children, plus compensation for teachers; provide badly needed trauma counseling & legal services.

Ways to make it better...

I spoke Burmese! Or had been able to stay longer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

their physical distance from major donors and funding bodies. Once you visit, you understand the situation and the important work they are doing. Also: politics. Burma's oppressive regime which is the reason there are refugees/migrants in the first place.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Former volunteer & Some in-person trainings on multimedia/web content; remote editing of web articles.