BFWA receives no government funding. We are a grass-roots organisation and we know how to make a massive difference with a small amount of money. We completely rely on raising funds by selling handicrafts (made by hill tribe people), running street stalls at various markets, organising fundraising events, receiving grants and donations, including our very popular child sponsorship program. Over 97% of all profits from fundraising goes directly to supporting our work in Thailand. Annual membership fees of $30 pa cover our minimal administration costs.

Key areas of expenditure

  • Education - scholarships for secondary school and university, school supplies, Mooditj relationship and sexuality workshops
  • Safe accommodation, nutritious food and essential clothing
  • Health and welfare through funded organised medical clinics
  • Sustainable agriculture such as livestock for the hostels, fishponds for aquaculture, vegetable gardens, rice-growing equipment, water tanks to irrigate crops.
  • Building projects

General Fundraising


We organise several awareness-raising and fundraising events during the year. Last year we held a cocktail party at Perth's Bell Tower, a party at Curtin University, several evenings with our special partner at Grill'd Shafto Lane, and a fundraising party at the Fremantle Sailing Club.

Sale of handicrafts

Our volunteers sell handicrafts (made by hill tribe people) such as the famous wooden ‘croaking’ frogs at various Perth-based local markets, at events, and at public speaking events. Just from buying one item you make an important difference to our work.

Financial donations

Financial donations, large or small are always gratefully appreciated. Every cent is valuable and carefully put to best use. There are many ways to donate.


Grants – we have been successful with many grants for special projects such as a vehicle for Leadership Home and essential services – electricity, water and sanitation.

We are not eligible for many Australian grants because our work is overseas.


Our focus for all hill tribe children is to encourage them to stay at school for as long as possible. We know that this leads to better outcomes for a safe and healthy life. For many of the children in our care this means that they have to either leave their family for 10 months per year to stay at one of our hostels to attend school. Many others have been orphaned because of poverty, poor access to health and HIV AIDS. It is critical that they all have access to safe accommodation, food and access to school.

In addition to providing for the basic necessities for living, BFWA awards numerous education scholarships to secondary and tertiary education.

Paola Ferroni Education Scholarships

Paola and scholarship recipient

Professor Paola Ferroni was the Director of the Centre for International Health at Curtin University in Western Australia. She was an Epidemiologist who dedicated her life to promoting health and preventing disease and disability through research and education, and most of their work was based in Asia.

Paola emphasised the need for educating girls and women as a means to ameliorating poverty and achieving gender equity. Based on the UN statistic that 70% of the world's poverty is born by women and that one on three women has been subjected to some form of sexual aggression, Paola provided both material and emotional support for many women from diverse countries and cultures.

In November 2014, while cycling to her fitness centre, Dr Ferroni was killed, being hit by a driver who was looking at her telephone rather than the road in front of her.

The Paola Ferroni Education Scholarship has been established to honour Paola's work and her philosophy. The scholarships support the education of girls and women in order to provide them with the capacity to make independent decisions, find safe and meaningful employment and become educators to their family and beyond.

Since 2015, more than 50 young women have benefitted from a Paola Ferroni Education Scholarship and many more would value the opportunity to continue their education.

Please look here if you would like to donate to the Paola Ferroni Education Scholarship fund.

“If you educate a man, you educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation”
— Catherine Beecher 1843

medical fund

BFWA runs a separate Medical Fund that is to fund a variety of medical needs. These include emergency medical treatment, vaccinations, annual health and dental check-ups, and a team of medical practitioners to travel to northern Thailand to provide much needed medical attention.

We have a committee member whose focus is on fundraising specific to this medical fund, and we rely on the support of medical practitioners who donate their time. Please look at our Donate page to find how to donate specifically to this fund.