With a year of successful company events under our belt, we are proud to announce that our community of employees, friends and our corporate partners have helped raise over $20,000 in support of Global Neighbors Canada in 2017! 100% of these proceeds funded the construction of a new dormitory for students at the Taw Nor Highschool in Myanmar!

The Dooplaya region of Myanmar has a population the size of Surrey (520,000) but only has one high school (while Surrey has 120). As a result, the existing dormitory was extremely overcrowded and many students were forced into labour camps rather than attending school. The construction of the dormitory doubled the capacity of student boarding and has provided the children of Dooplaya the opportunity of an education and a better life for generations to come.

As part of our campaign to spread awareness, Omega and Broadway sponsored a grand prize trip give-away to the employee that helped spread awareness and raised the most funds towards the cause. Christopher Armour was our lucky winner who joined Global Neighbors Canada along with Marina de Pina-Jenkins (our office coordinator and eco-blogger @blackberrytrees) on this life changing trip.

Pictured below Christopher Armour (third from the right) and Marina de Pina-Jenkins (to Chris’ left) at the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the new dormitory at Thaw Nor High School in November of 2017.

We caught up with Chris to hear about his experience on this volunteer trip with Global Neighbors Canada. See our short Q&A below:

Q. What stood out in your mind as far as observing a tangible impact on the community resulting from Broadway & Omega’s contribution?
A. Our contribution to the program was to construct a portion of the dormitory at the school, I got to see first-hand where the money we raised went. This school is on the banks of the river, in the middle of the jungle. Most kids walked or biked 4 hours EACH WAY to get to and from school every single day. (Madness, I know!) So it was proposed to build a dormitory where the students could stay at school during the week and not be put in danger of kidnapping, Injury, or getting lost. Seeing how happy these kids were that we were there was extremely heartwarming. The fact that we as westerners donated our own time and money to a cause across the other side of the planet was huge to them. I’ve personally never felt so appreciated in my life. Not only did we build a dormitory, but we have helped these young people create a better environment to learn, grow, and make themselves, and their community stronger.

Q. What is your perception of charity/donations and how impactful they are now, as compared to prior to the trip?
A. My perception of charity drastically changed throughout the duration of the trip. Before I thought that the money collected through charity was dispersed throughout a program where it paid salaries of western employees and made very little impact in the communities it was intended to support. But after living with the Global Neighbors Canada during the 2-week trip and talking to the founders and board members I got a real sense of accomplishment knowing that my money was being used directly towards the cause they advertised – specifically the dormitory. Once you actually see where the money goes and even get dirty and help out the cause directly, the feeling of accomplishment shows itself in full. One word I kept hearing was “appreciation”. These people appreciated us being there and our donations, and I appreciated seeing that they use our donations right where it makes the most impact.

Q. When you started your apprenticeship in the trade, did you expect that it could open experiences such as this one?
A. When I started my apprenticeship, I had no idea that I would be able to become involved with something like this. I had always hoped my career would take me far and even possibly abroad someday, but never dreamed of being involved in a project like this. Someone like myself who never thought they would step foot in a country like Myanmar or be involved in a charity mission, now is finding ways to go back and help: How to make an impact personally and professionally? How to extend the relationships I made and continue them for years to come? I could talk for hours about my experiences but it just wouldn’t do the experience full justice. It has totally changed my outlook on the planet, my life, and the way I carry myself as a human.

Pictured below: grand prize trip winner, Christopher Armour, experiencing the sights of Myanmar.

Congratulations and THANK YOU to our team members at Omega and Broadway for joining us in our goal to make a difference in the lives of many, we should all be very proud of this accomplishment that we’ve been able to make collectively. We had a great time in support of this very impactful cause by way of hosting several family events and getting to know each of you better! We’d like to take the opportunity to extend a special thank-you to the following people for their extraordinary efforts in making this campaign a success:

  • Marina Jenkins for your enthusiasm and dedication to this campaign! We couldn’t have done it without you and wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
  • Bill MacPherson for energetically championing this cause to your network and helping us to spread the word, you were missed on the trip!
  • Christopher Armour for being an excellent ambassador representing our companies on the volunteer trip and for your dedication to help others!

And last but certainly not least, we’d like to thank our partners in the industry for their enthusiastic support and participation in this campaign. We cannot tell you how much we, those in our community, and the broader community of the Dooplaya Region appreciate your support. Whether it be donating your time and energy to sponsor and attend our company events, helping us to spread awareness of these global issues amongst your network, and/or monetary donations – you blew us away with your kindness and generosity!

So a hundred times, thank you to:

Corix Water Products
Aarc West Mechanical Insulation
Emco BC Heating and Plumbing
Noble BC
Johnson Barrow
Tight 5 Contracting
JSA Sales
Olympic International
Ambient Dynamics
Air System Supplies
Eco Energy Concepts
DDK Ventilation Products
Rize Alliance
Andrew Sheret
Vancouver eFasteners Tools & Supply
ASTTBC Technology Professionals
Cape Construction
Owen Bird
Larco Investments
Townline Group of Companies
KD Engineering
Marina de Pina-Jenkins @blackberrytrees