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Project Umbrella Burma ©2007                                  Contact Us at  dcdownham@tttmaxnet.com
Top photo The future site of the college November, 2005. The college building was constructed and up and running by 2006.
Building the college. everyone helped.
The grand opening of the college 2006
Class in session with Cathy observing

Proud day as first set of confident
graduates receive diplomas.

By 2005 22 of the children who had been the pioneer's of Kaw Tha Blay Hostel, had successfully completed grade ten. In the camps there are very few educational opportunities available beyond the 10th standard. The only other options for these young were illegal migrant work, return to constant danger, bare subsistence and forced labour at home or become warehoused without family in the refugee camp. Kshakalu and Cathy wrote a proposal for a Junior Technical College and it was immediately accepted by a new young NGO they began the college. When this group faltered in late August 2005, PUB felt ready to take on the College Project. On March 18th 2007, the Kaw Tha Blay Junior College graduated its first 18 students. Within months they all had jobs becoming young leaders working with their people.

In 2008 we are hoping to graduate 16 students (final exam results pending). The college has moved from it's location in Karen State gradually over the past year and is now quietly integrating into a Thai/ Karen Village in Thailand. Our students have been accepted by the village Head man and the Head man of the seven villages of our district. If the recent instability on the border ceases and the Burmese Government troops withdraw, we will return to the original Karen State site which has space for sports, the river, our gardens and natural jungle all around and keep the Thai site for opportunities for the students to learn from foreign volunteers.