Partner Profile:

BEAM THAILAND

What I See

There are over 200,000 kids out of school in Thailand, but we know that solving this problem requires work beyond education reform.

Their families are among the country’s 3 million migrants from Myanmar, where decades of civil war and military rule have made it difficult for people to survive, hold onto their land, and fill their rice bowls.

How do they cope? Many cross the border to Thailand in search of a better life.

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We have made this journey too, starting from remote villages where everyone knows someone who has left home to find work, to Thai cities where we became invisible workers before finding our voice.

BEAM tries to be the bridge between people who have been left behind on both sides of this border, and to help them learn, live and lead their way to a future with dignity.

What I’m Proud Of

We are very proud of many people and many things:

1000 migrant children each year given standardized testing to continue their schooling

400 graduates we have each year from our vocational training program in Thailand and Myanmar

41 university graduates supported by BEAM in Thailand

70 local partner organizations we have in our network across Myanmar and Thailand

10 years we have been working as an organization

7 years spent lobbying the Thai and Myanmar governments until they formed a working group to allow migrant children to attend any school

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6 social enterprises by our graduates that we support in remote areas—all but one are run by women

3 educational policies developed by us that have become law in Thailand and Myanmar

4 generations impacted when we deliver vocational training to one woman

I Feel Happy When

We are most satisfied when we are breaking through the ceilings meant to restrict us.

When we bring migrant schoolteachers to government meetings—and when they speak out and demand policy changes—we know that we are raising voices from the grassroots to the highest levels of decision-making.

We pushed to re-open migrant schools that had been closed by the government, but international aid agencies told us that we were “too small” to lead such a major effort. It was not true.

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When no one else stepped up, we did. We relied on our networks and relationships to make progress, rather than being discouraged by our lack of resources compared to big NGOs.

And now the schools that were closed are on track to open once again. It was a chance to prove our motto, that little communities can have a big impact.

What’s Surprising Is

Our broad vision means that we don’t only work in one sector: we are at the intersection of education, policy change, social enterprise, and community development.

You can just as easily find us teaching a college prep program for migrant teenagers in northern Thailand as running a livelihoods training in a remote village in Myanmar.

Or fighting policy battles in parliament so that migrant children have access to education wherever they go.

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That’s why we value flexible support, so that we can distribute funds to the areas of our work that need it most.

A Direct Grant

We received a $15,000 unrestricted grant from Move92 to develop a mobile phone application that would make our training accessible online and share information about legal developments affecting migrant workers.

We were able to hire a local woman from our community who was also a BEAM alumnus and IT graduate to develop the first phase of the application.

We want to transform our mobile app into an interactive learning platform, so that as education increasingly goes online, we can ensure migrant communities are not left behind.

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But we are also accepting funds for a range of other initiatives that we are happy to discuss with potential supporters.

We want to launch a training for 1,000 migrant teachers that would give them necessary legal certification to them to keep their schools open.

And among our vocational program graduates, we have more than 10 social enterprise proposals in rural communities in Myanmar that are awaiting funds.

We are interested in building a long-term relationship with a grantmaker who is open to learning about the unique context in which we operate. We see this person as our development partner, helping us increase our financial resources share in new successes in our work.

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