FED was founded in 2000 in Sankalaburi, Kanchanaburi province under the name Grassroots Human Rights Education & Development (GHRE). Soon after the 2004 Tsunami the organization relocated to Phang Nga province to offer emergency assistance to Tsunami-affected Burmese migrants whose needs that had been largely ignored by the Thai government and NGO’s. Since then FED has been addressing the more long term needs of marginalized Burmese migrant workers and their families and has built trust among the disaffected Burmese community. Our staff members work very closely with several Burmese communities living in rubber plantations or fisheries so we never lose sight of issues that are directly affecting them on a day-to-day basis. Our staff members are also predominately of Burmese origin and most have come to Thailand through similar circumstances, which has enabled FED to reach the migrant population on a more personal and intimate level, something larger NGOs are not so easily able to do.
FED now runs 4 main programs: Education; Health; Migrant Development and Women’s Empowerment as well as some emergency relief activities when the need arises. FED’s activities directly support around 8000 migrants. FED also works with partners at the national and regional levels to advocate and lobby for policy change regarding migrant and labor rights.