Hello from Southern Thailand,
I am down here visiting with the education projects we support for Burmese migrants in this area. Very interesting here and these programs are well established with good staffing.
I was also in Burma for about 10 days visiting programs there. Many changes in-country, but mainly in Rangoon. More about my trip after I return to the States.
For now, I want to alert you to a story about Partners Asia on the NPR blog Humanosphere, including an interview with Partners Asia’s Executive Director Therese Caouette. Hope you can take a few minutes to give it a full read.
Here’s a quick excerpt, NPR’s Tom Paulson writes:
[I]t is the weird, difficult and sometimes dangerous nature of trying to help people in this nation that has led Partners Asia to adopt a strategy that I believe the entire aid and development community — working anywhere in the world, under any conditions — probably should consider adopting as well. “You can’t accomplish real change without building up civil society,” said Therese Caouette, executive director of Partners Asia. “And the best way to build up civil society is from the ground up, helping people help themselves.” Almost everybody in the aid and development community says this kind of thing, of course. It’s a cliché — helping people help themselves. But as I listened to Caouette, it became clear that Partners Asia actually had no choice. This was not the standard aid organization giving lip service to an ideal seldom practiced in reality.
ALSO: Therese will be helping launch the Seattle Art Museum’s 10-week lecture series on Burma starting on September 22, 2012. If you’re in the Seattle Area, try to check it out.