H4FA, previously known as Projects to Support Refugees from Burma, does what it says; for the last 18 years backing and seeing through projects from school-building to self-help weaving groups among refugees from Burma. You can read our latest report from January 2016, here.

On this website we highlight the four main projects we support. Additionally H4FA makes generous annual donations to impoverished primary school teachers in Karenni State and sponsorship for individual adult students. We also make one off payments in emergency situations.

In 2015 the name of the charity was changed to Help 4 Forgotten Allies (H4FA).  All references to Projects To Support Refugees From Burma (PSRB) can be taken to mean H4FA.  The aims and supported projects of the charity are unchanged.

Help for WWII Veterans

Each year we provide a small grant to a dwindling band of veterans and widows from World War II. These old soldiers were amongst Britain’s most loyal allies in the war against Japan (1942-45). Now elderly and enduring extreme poverty, they are stranded in crowded refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border or struggling in Burma/Mayanmar, where for many years they were seen as enemies of the state. These grants can make all the difference between pure subsistence and getting a few "comforts" such as medicines, vegetables, or clothing.

 

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Emmanuel School

October 28th 2016


Emmanuel School is a small primary school in Mae La refugee camp. The camp which has a population of 38,559 (August 2016 figure) is the largest of nine camps strung along the Thai-Burma border. It is about 40 km from the town of Mae Sot on the Thai side of the “Friendship Bridge” over the river from Burma/Myanmar.

The school is nominally Anglican, but is open to children of all religions and includes Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and Animists. It originally became crucial to integrating new, often traumatised, arrivals from the war zones on the other side of the border. For some of these “internally displaced persons”, this was their first experience of formal education, something prized by the Karen. The school grew from a Sunday school attached to Emmanuel Church, into a primary school to accommodate the overflow from existing camp schools of the new arrivals. This was at a time of an escalation of the civil war within Karen State. Since January 2012 peace negotiations with the Burma Army have been ongoing. With the NLD’s landslide victory of 2015 and the recent “Panglong” conference there is hope of peace and a federal government. However despite these hopes, fighting recently broke out back home in Karen State between the Burma Frontier Guard Force and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army in September 2016 and many civilians fled.

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Karenni Bible College

October 28th 2016

Background

H4FA has supported this small Bible College in Ban Mae Surin, Karenni Refugee Camp on the Thai Burma border since 2001. Sadly it was completely destroyed by fire in March 2013. A third of the entire camp was burnt down killing 37 camp residents including a member of the Bible School’s committee, and injuring over 200. Over 400 homes were destroyed. A fire hit the camp again in March 2015 but this time did not affect the College. H4FA sent £400 towards the needs of these latest fire victims. H4FA, Karenaid (a Finnish Church) and the Thai Baptist Church all contributed to rebuilding the Bible College and replacing the lost equipment. The new Bible College was opened on the 2nd July 2013 and despite the trials of losing so much, and the sheer hard work of rebuilding, the staff and students have been very happy in the new buildings. Now, despite the threat of camp closure, the Bible School has taken on new students. There are currently 47 students and 12 teaching staff and the college has become full of life once again and a source of comfort and support to the camp population of over 2,550.

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Care Villa

October 28th 2016


Care Villa is home to a group of 11 male land-mine victims in Mae La refugee camp. The men at Care Villa spend their lives disabled by blindness and immobility, and sit under a hot tin roof with little to do. For the most part they are ex Karen soldiers and lost their sight while attempting to defuse land-mines, or lost their legs by stepping on one. Most have lived at Care Villa for many years.

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