The Sermpanya Foundation needs your help!
Please join me in supporting the Sermpanya Foundation to raise urgent funds so my friend and collaborator, the director Mary Soan, along with her refugee and local Thai team can maintain their humanitarian work on the Thai-Myanmar border.
Sermpanya, which means 'sharing wisdom, encouraging knowledge' in Sanskit, works at the grassroots level by using a community-based approach, provides refugees, migrants and other vulnerable populations with accessible education and information concerning their health, their safety, their rights, and raises awareness of issues which will protect and help improve their lives. Through video and digital media campaigns created and disseminated in collaboration with NGO's and refugee communities, the programme has been able to reach the 93,000 - 150,000 refugees residing in the camps over the past 9 years, as well as over 10,000 students in over 42 Migrant Learning Centres on the Thai Myanmar border and over 6,000 villagers living in Thai/Karen villages and in rural Karen State in Myanmar. They have reached aggregate audiences of over 800,000 people with well over 4,000 mobile screenings. Media Training courses empower refugees to learn film related skills which allow them to create films with stories in their own voice and culture which are then shared with their communities to raise awareness and provide education on important topics which bring benefit to their lives and much needed hope as they face the future.
Mary, together with her film industry colleagues, has been providing training in film production skills including photography, lighting, sound recording, editing, scriptwriting, directing, acting, dubbing, voice over, animation and motion graphics, which empowers refugees to find their own voice, brings livelihood opportunities and allows them to develop self confidence and a sense of hope for the future.
Now with several promised funds becoming unavailable due to the pandemic, the Sermpanya Foundation needs urgent support. Having been involved personally for 8 years with the organisation and having spent time in the camps with Mary and the team, I know first hand the difference your donation will make to the lives of thousands of refugees, migrants and rural villagers along the Thai-Myanmar border. Some of the refugees have been there for over 30 years and it is still not safe for them to return home. The hopelessness of the situation is also having serious mental health consequences.
I ask you to please give what you can - every dollar makes a difference - small donations from a lot of people can help hundreds of thousands of people living vulnerable lives.
For more information please go to www.sermpanya.org.