Past Programs

Over the years, Burma Border Projects has run and supported a wide variety of programs in both the mental health and education fields. Here is a brief summary of some of the programs we have run in our work with Burmese Refugees in Thailand.

Mental Health Assessment Project (MHAP) (2010 – 2012)

The MHAP was a collaborative research project led by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, funded by the USAID Victims of Torture Fund and carried out in partnership with Burma Border Projects, the Mae Tao Clinic, Social Action for Women, and the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. The aim of the research was to improve mental health services to survivors of torture and trauma using evidenced-based approaches. Burma Border Projects supported the overall management of the project in Mae Sot through support in administration, finances, and logistics.

Reproductive Health Initiatives (2008 – 2012)

During these four years, BBP worked with a team of researchers, consultants, and volunteers on several initiatives to improve overall access to reproductive health services for Burmese migrants. These initiatives focused on both adolescent and adult women.

Reproductive HealthFor adolescent girls and women, the ongoing conflicts in Burma created a lack of knowledge and access to women’s healthcare. We teamed up with other organizations to launch the ARHN Youth Center to provide access to adolescent reproductive health.

In 2010, BBP’s reproductive health team partnered with Ibis Reproductive Health and the Global Health Access Program to conduct an assessment of unmet reproductive health needs among migrants, displaced persons, and refugees from Burma living in Thailand. You can read the full report here: Separated by borders, united in need: An assessment of reproductive health on the Thailand-Burma border.

Beyond these initiatives, Burma Border Projects has long dedicated itself to improving access to women’s reproductive health services. These initiatives include:
• 2011: BBP began a one-year multi-methods project in Mae Sot to address barriers to IUD utilization among post-abortion care clients at Mae Tao Clinic
• 2011: BBP worked with UN Agencies to improve reproductive health services in Mae Hong Son and Tak Provinces.
• A four-year project with Mae Tao Clinic and Mae Sot Hospital to protect undocumented women from unsafe abortion practices.
• BBP initiated a program to support local groups working to improve reproductive health along the Thailand – Burma border. From 2008 to 2012 we raised more than $75,000 for community-based organizations.

Karen Women’s Organization (KWO)

Beginning in 1999, Burma Border Projects began working with the KWO to finance the construction of a “boarding house” orphanage at the Mae La Camp, the largest refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. After construction was completed, BBP continued to support the orphanage thanks to funds from the B.K. Kee Foundation. BBP concluded its work with this orphanage in 2008.

Social Action for Women (SAW)

From 2000 to 2008, BBP supported SAW in the operations of its schools along the Thai-Burma Border. With a grant from the Worcester (MA) Rotary Club, we helped SAW construct and begin operations of its first high school.

From 2012 to 2013, BBP supported SAW to strengthen the skills of its Child Crisis Center (CCC) with funding from Children on the Edge (COTE). CCC provides for the basic needs of Burmese children who have been abandoned or whose parents are unable to care for them. The ultimate goal is reintegration, but when this is not possible, CCC is able to house up to 70 children at one time. BBP helped to build staff knowledge about child abuse, trauma, and the skills necessary to work with at-risk children.

One Dream One World

One Dream One World provides education, child care, and support to displaced children in Mae Sot. Since 2008, they have worked to provide educational opportunities to street kids, to improve living standards, health conditions, and educational standards of these children, and to restore and cultivate a healing environment for them, and lastly to prevent these children from being exploited or subjected to human trafficking. BBP was for many years the main source of funding for this initiative.

Youth Connect

Youth Connect works with young men and women in Mae Sot to achieve safe, productive, and independent lives through technical training, apprenticeships, and career services. From 2011 to 2013, BBP worked with Youth Connect to develop a life skills curriculum to provide youth with the confidence and emotional capital to build healthy professional and social lives.