It has been a very successful year for UnionAID. We have established new projects in India, Sri Lanka, and the Thai-Burma border, and we are working on possible projects in Vanuatu and Samoa.
It is exciting that the new projects have been able to build on our earlier training and capacity building to now develop cooperatives and micro-enterprises in Tamil Nadu, and skills development of Burmese migrant families in Mae Sot. These are innovative projects led by our very competent and resourceful project partners. It is great that we are also able to fund 20 scholarships to provide vocational skills to young people graduating from the Federation of Trade Unions of Burma High School in Mae Sot.
A new project in 2012 in Eastern Sri Lanka will assist Tamil women, in garment factories being established in areas previously affected by the civil war, to establish a support centre and organise as a union. These factories are in Free Trade Zones where working conditions are tough. Our partner there is very excited about the potential benefits from this project.
These projects have to be funded of course and, through some very hard work by our team of volunteers, and a steadily increasing number of Kiwi Solidarity Members making monthly donations, we have been successful in almost doubling our funds raised this year. This has also meant that we are well on track to be able to take up the generous $1 for $1 commitment from Gareth Morgan for our Tamil Nadu project.
So a very warm thanks to all our volunteers and supporters. As you can see from the stories in this newsletter, your contributions are making a real difference.
Executive Chair, UnionAID