21 May 2008
Dear Family and Friends
Most of you will know that soon after the tsunami of December 2004, I joined with two of my friends to raise funds for the communities in southern Thailand. Immediately after the tsunami and for the next three years, as Helping Hands Pattaya, we achieved many great things, including self- sustaining lunch farms in seven schools; daily school lunches for children in eight schools; child sponsorships and provision of milk for babies and children to the age of five years.
Of the three of us, Rosanne is the only one still living in Thailand – Bronwyn has relocated to Melbourne, Australia and I am living in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Women with a Mission came about after we realised we needed a name that reflected our new locations, continued collaboration and our plans for the future!
We are each devoted to being citizens of the global community, without cultural or religious boundaries. As a private group, WWM is able to reach those that cannot be assisted by organisations with strict guidelines. We are able to co-ordinate with a wide variety of organisations.
We have had a commitment to the people of Burma for some time and in February of this year we visited the border town of Mae Sot in Northern Thailand. Thailand is home to an estimated two million migrants escaping 50 years of internal conflict within their country and living in dire poverty in refugee camps throughout the border regions. Many of them are orphaned children and teenagers sent by their parents from Burma in the hope they will live in safety and receive an education in the schools established by the Burmese community.
The need for aid is great in Mae Sot. Prior to Cyclone Nagis in Burma on May 2, we had committed to fundraising for a commercial photocopier, which would enable distribution of teaching materials to the schools and learning centres as part of our plan to establish a consistent curriculum.
It is still our intention to provide the photocopier – the cost is THB224,700 (approximately AUD7,400). We have chosen to purchase this machine as it can be purchased and serviced locally and will provide further financial support for the local community.
We maintain our commitment to assist the people of Burma, especially in this great time of need. We have contacts that have been able to enter Burma to distribute funds, clothing and basic food necessities, collected in the past two weeks. Should you wish to contribute towards this immediate cause, we are able to assist.
We are committed to being financially accountable and use the funds received only for the purpose requested. We do not utilise any of the funds for our expenses, in fact donating these ourselves. In places where we donate our time and resources, we respect the autonomy of local communities, encouraging people to develop their own development processes.
Your support of our efforts to assist the people of Burma is greatly appreciated and donors will receive detailed information on the use of their funds if required. I look forward to hearing from you individually – even if it’s just for more information or updates on our progress.
for Bronwyn, Rosanne and Kylie