PUB's Founders - Cathy and David

History of PUB's Work

Project Umbrella Burma supports, aids and builds many projects along the Thai-Burma Border. Our main work is with education and healthcare, through the Mae Tao Clinic and the Kaw Tha Blay Learning Centre.

Mae Tao Clinic

Run by renowned Dr. Cynthia Maung, the Mae Tao Clinic is a "complex and fragile" centre to treat Burmese people who have no access to healthcare. Burmese medics and visiting foreign doctors treat people who make the trip across the border from Burma, as well as Burmese migrant workers in Thailand. The Mae Tao Clinic has grown enormously since 1988, providing a range of healthcare, but continues to be dependent on foreign aid and vulnerable to the changing currents of the area. Dr. David Downham performed surgeries and taught medics in the Trauma Department for half of each year since 2001. Close connections to medics continue, and PUB continues to support the Clinic with funds.

Kaw Tha Blay Learning Centre

Karen students from refugee camps or from inside Karen State, Burma, study for two years after completing Grade Ten. The school is run by director Kshakalu and Karen teachers who live at the school with the students. Volunteer teachers are also essential for English and exposure to other valuable subjects. The five main classes at Kaw Tha Blay are Community Health, Computers, Thai, English, and Math. Students learn leadership through special projects, the traditional Done dance, and a strong agricultural program. Our approximately 65 students live in dormitories (two for girls and two for boys). They take classes from 8-3, study for one hour each morning and two hours each night, complete rotating chore duties, play sports, and work together on farming and building. We’re very lucky to have quite reliable satellite internet, a rare opportunity for our students. Computer skills, along with their other learning and experience, make our graduates some of the most educated and knowledgeable youth, with valuable skills for their people. They are focussed on working hard to improve the future of their nation.

Kaw Tha Blay Hostel

Kaw Tha Blay Learning Centre was born in 2005, when a large group of students at the Kaw Tha Blay Hostel in Mae La Refugee Camp graduated from high school, and needed a safe place to spend more time learning. The Hostel still supports around 30 students as they study through school in Mae Lah camp. As they grow up and continue their studies at Kaw Tha Blay Learning Centre, our focus has turned more and more there. It is amazing the difference we have seen in these children, watching them grow up with confidence and hope to be leaders for the Karen people. Recently, the last of the first group who were at the Hostel from the beginning, graduated from Kaw Tha Blay Learning Centre as strong leaders.