Meet the Staff


Lora Friedrich, MSW, LISW, PhD., Director of Mental Health and Psychosocial Programs

Lora first came to Thailand as12985602_10207847095467583_8200919573508803284_n a Peace Corps volunteer and that experience laid the groundwork for her development as an accomplished human rights advocate with expertise in research, program development, direct services, and classroom facilitation in the non-profit sector, higher education, and social work arena. Lora’s early career focused on working with young adults living with mental illness and children who had been physically and sexually assaulted. The last 20 years have been spent at Simpson College in Indianola, IA where Lora was honored for her leadership on campus and her teaching. Lora has a reputation for coordinating study abroad programs in Thailand as well as advocating for human rights issues related to orphanages and children living with HIV and Aids. Lora earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Huntington University, a Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD from the Ohio State University. Lora is also a Licensed Independent (Clinical) Social Worker.

Naw Lar Paw, Psychosocial Programs Coordinator

996841_535311609861744_818382437_nNaw Lar Paw came from Karen State, Myanmar (Burma). She finished Nursing and midwifery school in Hpa-an under the Ministry of Health Department Myanmar in May 2006. After her graduation, She worked at Byar Date Pan clinic in Hpa-an as a clinical nurse for 1 year. In November 2007, she moved to the Thai-Burma border and started working at the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) as a medic. At SMRU her duties were to take care of patients, perform full physical and clinical examination, give counseling to the patients about certain illnesses, and initiate management plans.  She was also involved in mentoring several junior medics. In August 2012, she began working at the American Refugee Committee International as a Gender Based Violence project manager based in Umphang, Thailand. Her role was to provide ongoing leadership, training, and guidance to ARC camp-based staff, SGBV Committee members, and other partners and key stakeholders for GBV prevention and responses. Lar Paw is interested in working for women, children and people with mental disabilities who are vulnerable and are often discriminated against by the community. She would like to actively be involved in advocating for their needs.

HAY MAR SAN, Senior Child Protection Case Manager

STAFF hay-mar-sanHay Mar San is BBP’s Senior Child Protection Case Manager from Karen State.  While studying  in Dagon, she volunteered for a year as a community health worker for Save The Children and found the experience interesting and challenging.  In 2005, she began working  in a refugee camp as a psychosocial worker for Aid Medical Internacional.  In December of 2011 she began her work with BBP. Hay Mar San provides mentorship and counseling to at-risk individuals identified within the community and is responsible for the management of emergency child protection cases. As a talented and experienced trainer, Hay Mar San leads the psychosocial workshops provided by BBP in the greater Mae Sot area and surrounding refugee camps.

Than Than Oo, Child and Youth Psychosocial Officer

STAFF hay-mar-san

Than Than Oo comes from Karen state in Burma. She recently earned a B.A. in English from Kaw Thoo Lei College of Leadership Management and Training College (LMTC) at Mae La Refugee Camp. Her studies were focused on teaching and project implementation, creating training proposals to teach internally displaced people inside Karen state and on the Thai-Burma border about leadership and empowerment. This is where she became interested in working with the displaced Burmese community, and joined BBP in June of 2014. She yearned to improve her social work skills and to get a better understanding of NGO work. As the Psychosocial Programs Officer, Than Than Oo has been able to further understand and to learn about social work , particularly in the areas of psychosocial play, child abuse, mental health, stress & trauma, grief & loss, sexual abuse, gender based violence and counseling. She currently leads psychosocial play therapy delivered by BBP at safe houses on the Thai-Burma border.

MICHAEL FORHAN, BBP Founder and Executive Director

SAM_3844Michael Forhan has spent much of his life working in the international arena. He successfully established two companies in Rangoon, Burma from 1994 to 1997. Prior to his time in Burma, Michael had built a career for himself in the international educational travel industry. In the summer of 1998, Michael traveled to the Thai-Burma border, where he met Dr. Cynthia Maung for the first time and received her permission to feature her in a documentary film. Meeting Dr. Cynthia, coupled with his growing awareness of the enormous needs of the Burmese refugees and migrant workers living along the Thai-Burma border, inspired Michael to enlist the support of several Boston-area trauma therapists to establish Burma Border Projects, Inc. as a tax-exempt, charitable organization in May 2000. At the time of assuming the role of Executive Director of BBP, Michael was Director of Special Projects in the Northeast and in Asia for NASA’s Center for Technology Commercialization in Westborough, MA. He presently serves as Director of Corporate Development for Passports, Inc., a Massachusetts-based international educational travel company.


During a visit by founding board member, Dr. Kathleen Allen.