Donor Support

Support from foundations, trusts, donor countries and organisations can make a huge difference to our work and we always welcome the opportunity to build successful relationships with new and existing partners. Together we can help provide a better future for the marginalised people of Burma.

Drum Publication Group Information:

Background and Objectives


Project Summary


Project Beneficiaries

Distribution of Drum materials to teachers in Eastern Burmadistribution

Drum Publication Group: Background and Objectives:

Established in 1998, Drum has built a reputation for producing quality, meaningful educational and culturally relevant materials. In the over 12 years Drum has existed, it has published over 200 works in Sgaw Karen and Burmese languages and distributed over 350,000 copies of these free of charge to schools, libraries, center of education and organizations in the effected area.

The Group as an independent is not affiliated with any political organization and stands for racial and sexual equality. The main aims and objectives of the Drum Publication Group are:

•  To preserve and promote the linguistic forms of the Karen and other indigenous peoples of Burma while promoting national, second languages through publishing and disseminating educational materials.

•  To document traditional knowledge, practices and cultural forms of expression of the Karen people.

•  To promote the empowerment of the Karen people to contribute towards maintaining, protecting and developing manifestations of their culture, language and literature.

•  To assist organizations working for the benefit of the Karen people by providing translation and type-setting services.

•  To maintain a documentation center and web site to preserve valuable books and documents relating to Burma and its' indigenous peoples.

An insightful new study into Burma's many ethnic groups' perceptions of the opportunities and challenges, their vision for the future, and how community based organisations such as Drum can support their vision entitled Listening to Voices from Inside: Ethnic People Speak by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (June, 2010), is now available. Among the issues explored are those concerning education and cultural preservation and directly relate to the objectives of the Drum Publication Group. An analysis of this study can be downloaded here

Organization Structure:

The Drum Publication Group is made up entirely of ethnic Karen staff and one expatriate coordinator. Along with the full-time staff, the group maintains teams of volunteer, external editors from the local Karen communities, which assist in editing and proof reading its publications. All lines of responsibility and office procedures are outline in the group's office handbook. All decisions for the design, implementation and evaluation of the project are made by consensus at staff meetings with all members of the group having an equal say in the decision making process. An independent Managerial Advisor is appointed that any member of staff can call in case of dispute, misappropriation or insecurity. Along with brief monthly up-date reports, mid-year and annual reports, Drum provides donors with an annual external audit of the group's accounts. Copies of the organization's office handbook and other relevant documents are available to potencial donors upon request.

Drum Education and Cultural Heritage Outreach, Inc. (Drum ECHO) was established in May 2005 as a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity in America by members of the Drum Publication Group to help facilitategrant applications for itself and other partner indigenous community based organizations working in Thailand. The organization has a board made up of three directors, two of which are members of the Drum Publication Group. Through the adoption of its' corporate bylaws and articles of incorporation, Drum ECHO is structured to meet all legal requirements for the financial and control capacity to receive and manage funds under applicable law. Copies of the organization documents are available upon request.

Project Summary:

Designed and implemented by members of the Karen community with the technical support of an expatriate, the project, through the publication of educational materials, works towards:

1) The preservation and development of Karen education, language and cultural forms of expression.

2) Promoting Burmese as a second, national language to improve communication, understanding and racial tolerance and contribute towards reconciliation and conflict resolution in war torn Burma.

•  The publishing of Sgaw Karen and Burmese language educational materials

Publications will include reference books, health education materials, general reading materials, vocational training materials and teaching aids. These culturally-appropriate works will be used to support the projects of the many CBOs, NGOs and Karen communities working in education, health, adult literacy, income generation, women's empowerment and more. Priority will be given to works written by the target group themselves but may also include some translations or adaptations of English language materials. Emphasis will be given to those works which document traditional knowledge, practices and cultural forms of expression of the Karen people.

•  Karen language development

In cooperation with Karen communities, the continued development of English - Sgaw Karen dictionaries and bilingual glossaries through the standardization of the translation of Karen and English terms.

In cooperation with The Maori Language Commission (a New Zealand Government agency) the group is developing an on-line database to support a worldwide network of native speakers of Sgaw Karen to assist with increasing thenumber and quality of entries in the Drum English - Sgaw Karen Dictionary. This provides the means by which those settled in third countries can continue to contribute towards work benefiting the Karen people.

In addition to the many benefits in the areas of language development, cultural preservation and assistance to other programs this project contributes towards, the success funding of the Drum Publication Group will result in a high quality educational publication of historic valve being produced and distributed to people in dire need for every $2.00 USD it receives.

Project Beneficiaries:

The overall target group is the peoples of Burma wherever they may reside. The specific beneficiaries include:

•  The over 150,000 largely ethnic Karen refugees living in the refugee camps in Thailand, on the Thai / Burmese border including the more than 50,000 nursery to high school students and their 1,800 teachers.

•  The thousands of ethnic Karen migrant workers, the Thai / Karen communities and their children in the affected areas outside the Thai / Burmese border camps and their schools, libraries and teachers.

•  The over 1,000 community schools, 4,000 teachers and 84,000 students of the internally displaced in Karen State, Burma.

•  Community based organizations and their educational projects in such areas as adult literacy, vocational training, early childhood development and women's empowerment.

•  The thousands of recently resettled Karen refugees residing in third countries around the world.

•  NGOs and International Humanitarian organizations working for the benefit of the Karen people through the translation and type-setting service provided.


Distribution to IDP schools in Karen State

With heavy loads walking days and sometimes weeks through mountainous jungle, the Karen community distribute Drum materials to hundreds of schools of the internally displace people in Karen State.

EV school


Distribution of school supplies in Karen State, Burma

inside school

Drum materials in schools in Karen State, Burma

teacher training

Drum materials used in teacher training in Karen State, Burma


Resettlement Centers in Third Countries

The group is working towards making Drum publications available to the thousands of recently resettled Karen refugees in third countries and has provided Karen and Burmese language materials to schools and libraries in New York and Colorado. Via downloading from this web site, many of our publications are also being used across Canada and Sweden.


Resettlement Center in Denver, Colorado

If you would like to find out more about the Drum Publication Group, it's projects and opportunities to help support our work, please contact us: