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 2014, 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

November 2015

Emmanuel School is a small primary school in Mae La refugee camp. The camp which has a population of 40,283 (August 2015 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. It originally became crucial to integrating new, often traumatized, 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 across the border within Karen State. Since January 2012 peace negotiations with the Burma Army have been ongoing. Now with the NLD’s landslide victory there is a hope of peace and a federal government.

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Karenni Bible College

Mae Surin Fire

November 2015

H4FA has supported this small Bible College in Ban 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 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. Yet again a fire hit the camp 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, the Thai Baptist Church all contributed to rebuilding the Bible College and replacing their lost equipment. The new Bible College was opened on the 2nd July 13 and despite the trials of losing so much, and the sheer hard work of rebuilding, the staff and students have been very happy with the new buildings. Now despite the threat of camp closure the Bible School has taken on new students, there are 36 currently and extra teaching staff, now 12, and is becoming once again full of life and source of comfort and support to the camp population of over 2,727 (Aug.15).

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Care Villa

Care Villa is home to a group of 13 land-mine victims. On our last visit there one resident, Paul, had learnt to play the violin and he sung “On Christ the solid Rock I Stand” for us. This was also sung by Major Hugh Seagrim and his men before the Japanese ordered them as prisoners to dig their own graves in Rangoon, September 1944.

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.

PSRB’s donation this year of £1,000 from the Awareness Trust has been used to repair the roof, to buy extra nutritional food to supplement camp rations and to pay for Christmas celebrations; singing competitions and Bible quizzes, games and meals.

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