We urgently need your support to continue our important work on the Thai-Myanmar border!
FilmAid Foundation (Sermpanya) uses the power of film to support public engagement outreach, bringing non-formal education, information and inspiration to thousands of vulnerable people, raising awareness, changing lives and projecting hope for a better future.
Please join me in supporting the FilmAid Foundation (Sermpanya) in Thailand to raise urgent funds so my friend Mary and her refugee and local Thai team can maintain their impactful humanitarian public engagement work on the Thai-Myanmar border.
Your donation will make a huge difference to the lives of 93,000 predominently Karen and Burmese refugees still stuck in 9 refugee camps 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 having serious mental health consequences with many refugees finding drugs and homemade alcohol the only way out.
Through a programme of mobile cinema screenings, your donation will also reach thousands of children of migrant workers, who receive Burmese education in donation-supported Learning Centres along the border, as well as Thai Karen villagers in rural communities, with life changing public engagement campaigns.
FilmAid Foundation (Sermpanya) screens films on issues such as health awareness (TB, malaria, dengue, cholera etc), sustainable agriculture and livelihoods, environmental protection (crucial now when burning fields is a major climate change contributor), mine risk education (mines are still being laid in Myanmar as I write), alcohol and drug abuse, hygiene, nutrition, SGBV, civil documentation and many other important issues.
Since 2009 Mary has been bringing her skills and professional filmmaking
experience, together with invited specialist film industry colleagues,
to provide training in film production skills including photography, lighting, sound
recording, editing, scriptwriting, directing, acting, dubbing, voice over,
animation, motion graphics etc. These skills empower youth and others to find their voice, bring livelihood opportunities and develop self confidence and a sense of hope for the future.
The refugee film-making team have recently completed two new films for the UNHCR, one about Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and the other about the rights of refugees to have legal identity documents. All films are made in local ethnic languages such as Karen and Burmese so they are easily understood and memorable.
The mobile film screenings had to be put on hold whilst the camps were in total lockdown but the team have just restarted screening the SGBV film which is shown alongside the Birth Registration and Covid-19 awareness films (see photos). They are all getting excellent feedback so far! The screenings are followed by a Q&A survey to see how the audience received the film, what they understood and learnt and what gaps remain.
The team in the Mae Sot office have also been conducting various trainings over the past several weeks, including basic and intermediate photography and photo management training and Kobo Toolbox online data collection training facilitated by UNHCR.
You can view Mary's interview with the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Thailand on the challenges that FilmAid Foundation faced during the Covid lockdown via the following link: https://mobile.twitter.com/fccthai/status/1291636631930191872?s=12.
FilmAid Foundation (Sermpanya) makes and screens films which seek to transform the lives of thousands of vulnerable people. For more information please go to their website www.filmaidfoundation.org or follow them on Facebook @FilmAidFoundation or Instagram @filmaidfoundation. Please help enable Mary and her team to continue this really important work.
Donations will be received directed into our PayPal account and can be made through Paypal or via Debit or Credit Card.
Thank you so much for your generous support - it will give a long way to help many people!