BAMBI Annual Report 2019
Published on: September 10, 2020BAMBI enjoyed another great year in 2019. Here is the report and financial summary covering 2019. Please note that this report is from the annual general meeting that was postponed earlier in 2020 due to COVID-19. 2019 was another year of rapid growth for BAMBI with expansion in the Playgroups, Bumps and Babies and Activities teams. We continued to bring you our Bumps & Babies sessions, playgroups including Small World with activities, yard sales, events, activities for older kids, new members coffee mornings, pop-up playgroups, WOMBLES dinners and BAMBI Pattaya activities. We introduced healthy snacks at playgroups and offered special activities at Saturday Playgroups. BAMBI playgroups became more popular than ever. Our new website finally launched in June. With our presence on Facebook and a new website, we are now able to reach more people. Most one-off weekend events remained free to members, providing benefits to members, this included pop-up playgroups, “Pirates and Mermaids” Splash party and the Christmas party at IPC. We counted over 500 members at both the Splash party and Christmas party. In order to appreciate our volunteers and their families, we organized volunteer appreciation events including a treasure hunting lunch at Sweet Poppy and Christmas get-together at the Hyatt Regency. In September 2019, Vice-Chairwoman Emma and Chairwoman Akiko stepped down. The search for a new chairwoman and vice-chairwoman continues. As BAMBI membership continues to grow, we acknowledge and appreciate everyone who has joined BAMBI this year, and everyone who has renewed their membership with us. We thank you for your continued support of BAMBI and look forward to serving you in the upcoming year.
BUMPS AND BABIES2019 was a productive year for Bumps and Babies under the stewardship of Yaz as Bumps and Babies Coordinator, supported by Emma, Lia, Sheena and Anfisa. The team remained stable from last year with five volunteers (three regular and two support members) The Bumps team facilitated a total of 81 sessions in 2019. (Please note that for nine months of the year no attendance stats were recorded for the Small World free play space). Despite the lower number of sessions, the Bumps team welcomed and supported 683 families, a slight decrease on 2018, also reflecting the cessation of Sathorn Bumps which stopped in late 2018. We had 34 Bumps and Babies information sessions for expectant parents in 2019 delivered primarily by Emma and Yaz and had a total of 160 attendees throughout the year, over a mixture of Wednesday and Saturday sessions. Bumps and Babies launched a five-week comprehensive birth preparation program in May which ran twice throughout the year. In the second half of the year there was a significant drop in attendance of Bumps sessions. Most expectant mums are now working until close to their due date, and weekday sessions are less convenient. The decision was taken at the end of 2019 to change Bumps and Babies to a monthly event on weekends. New Moon Postnatal Group The New Moon postnatal group has grown to be the most popular offering of the Bumps Team. In 38 sessions we welcomed 421 families. The sessions were adapted to include alternate weeks of 30-minute baby massage or baby singing (Rhyme Time), both of which were well attended. In addition, we trialled a five-week structured baby bonding course for mothers and newborns, the first group welcomed four new mums but there was insufficient interest to continue. Small World In February of 2019, Small World became a free of charge drop-in unhosted play space due to lack of playgroup leaders. This provided an opportunity for mutual benefit as we were able to then also provide space for the Bangkok Breastfeeding Café, which is under the stewardship of the Doulas of Bangkok. This free support service to new mums was synchronous with BAMBI’s values in supporting breastfeeding and provided an opportunity to keep an established venue for new mums and babies. In October 2019, Small World became a paid playgroup again, under the stewardship of the Bumps Team as the Playgroups team could not resource it. The playgroup was relaunched with special guests including J Clinic offering postpartum recovery exercises and also Music Room La-La-La providing sing-alongs. Of the nine paid sessions in the last quarter of 2019, we welcomed 102 families; the playgroup was just getting established when we stopped for Christmas break. Other Bumps activities:
- 11 Bumps articles published in BAMBI News with contributions from all five BAMBI Bumps volunteers.
- Splash Bash with Bangkok Dolphins with 4 special water playgroups for babies
- Birth Partner Bootcamps for practical advice for birth partners
- Two special pool safety and CPR sessions run in partnership with Bangkok Dolphins with translation to Thai and Burmese for helpers with donations going to a charity fund for an expat family who experienced a tragic water accident.
- The Bumps team continues to cultivate good relationships with both Samitivej and Bumrungrad hospitals to affect positive change for families birthing and accessing pediatric care in Bangkok.
- From September 2019 BAMBI voted to support a partial rental of Antique Café on Friday mornings for Breastfeeding Café to run independently from Small World Playgroup.
2020 plan for Bumps and BabiesThe evolving COVID-19 situation has meant that BAMBI Bumps did not meet at Antique Café since the end of January 2020. Despite this, we kept in touch with the families of the Bumps community and liaised with local hospitals to ensure families birthing in the time of COVID-19 are kept informed of the implications for them and their babies. In May we launched online sessions via the Zoom platform. Online support continued until the BAMBI committee voted to commence in-person sessions.
PLAYGROUPSBy the end of 2019 BAMBI had been running ten steady and popular playgroups in Bangkok:
- British Club Playgroup
- Ekkamai Playgroup (Bright Skies International School)
- Novotots Playgroup (Novotel Sukhumvit 20)
- Sukhumvit 31 Playgroup (First Steps International Pre-School)
- Sawatdi Playgroup (IPC International Kindergarten)
- Let’s Play Playgroup (Seeh Phinong International School)
- Thonglor Playgroup (Bangkok Prep)
- Saturday Nana playgroup
- Riverside playgroup
- Tiny Pandas Playgroup
- Riverside playgroup
- Marionette Playgroup
- Bearing Playgroup (St Andrews 107 International School)
- Little Bird Playgroup (Blue Parrot Cafe)
- Sathorn 10 Playgroup (Baan Plan Toys)
- Small World Sukhumvit ( Antique Cafe)
- Small World Asoke (The Best Beginnings)
- Marionette Playgroup (Marriott soi 24)
2020 plans for Playgroups
- Playgroup Leaders have many tasks not only registration at playgroups but also making and posting monthly financial reports, registering new members and renewing members at home etc. This is a lot of work for leaders who take care of their own kids. Reducing these tasks has been one of our challenges.
- The database and website teams are now creating a new system that helps complete these tasks faster. With this new system, Playgroup Leaders’ workload will be lighter as it automates some of their tasks and reduces the paperwork.
- We will collate our separated manuals into one and cover all tasks Playgroup Leaders need to do. This will make it easier to train new Playgroup leaders.
- The Playgroups Coordinators will continue to support Playgroup Leaders to feel comfortable to run BAMBI playgroups.
ACTIVITIES FOR OLDER CHILDRENBy the end of 2019 BAMBI was organizing five activities for children aged three to five in Bangkok:
- Zumba at RumPuree Dance Studio
- Creative Dance at RumPuree Dance Studio
- Football at Soltilo Familia Soccer pitch
- Yoga at Bambini Villa
- Nature Based Play Activities at Bambini Villa
EVENTSIn January, we supported the first Chocolate Ville Charity Carnival along with the Charities Team to help raise money for refugee charities in the north of Thailand. There were game booths, circus shows, raffle tickets, and activities set up for the whole family to enjoy. In April, we had our annual Splash Party at Wells International Kindergarten for the second time. The theme for the party was the Mermaids and Pirates, and we had treasure hunting activity, foam pool, slip n slide, swimming session by Bangkok Dolphins, mermaids/pirates photo room, storytelling room, and fun performances for everyone to enjoy. Just as the year before, it was a big success with over 500 people attending the event. In October, we supported British Club with their Living in Bangkok event by providing our booth with slime making activity and magic shows for the kids, along with swimming sessions by Bangkok Dolphins. In December, we supported Bumrungrad International Hospital with their Family Christmas event by providing our booth with slime making activity. We also had our Christmas Carnival at IPC International Kindergarten. We had carnival games, train rides, mini carousel rides, fun Christmas activities for the children along with some Christmas shopping choices and great music performances for the whole family. The children also enjoyed taking pictures with Santa Dominic in Santa’s Grotto. We finished the night with Christmas Caroling and a Tree Lighting Ceremony. Events in 2020 The Splash Party was planned on April 4th at British Club this year, but cancelled due to the spread of the Coronavirus. We would like to plan something else maybe at the end of the summer or in September when everything is back to normal, and everyone can enjoy without any safety/health concerns. We will confirm about the Halloween Party: TBD (late October or early November) and Christmas Party. If we do the Halloween Party, it may be difficult to do a Christmas Party as there is not much time in between to prepare. Yard Sales For the September 2019 Yard Sale, 30 tables were sold out. A total fee of ฿17,500 was transferred to BAMBI from the 30 vendors tables. There were 15 BAMBI members tables and 15 non-members. The income from extra helper fees (฿60 each) + extra table received was ฿800. We received ฿5,160.00 (86 paid and free entrance for BAMBI members) from entrance donations. The income from the swap shop bag donation fee was ฿200. The March Yard sale was canceled due to COVID-19.
Plan for 2020We will wait for the next available date from St. Andrews to host the next Yard Sales for 2020. We also proposed a new venue and strategy for yard sale in 2021. Ideal strategy
- Host one yard sale at a school per year. (Maximum 40 tables)
- Coordinate events with public venue that is not a school once a year
- In return provide a free 1 page ad (or 4x 1/4page equivalent) and social media.
- Donations should be made at the end of the event for trustworthy and professional presentation. With proper signage and ceremony so we can also have the participants who attend the event as our witnesses.
NEW MEMBERS ACTIVITIESNew Members Coffee Morning The regular date of the New Member Coffee Morning last Wednesday of the month has been known to many families. In total, the New Members team organized eight monthly coffee mornings and had 246 families attend in 2019. Following last year, the coffee morning was held at interesting new venues including indoor playgrounds, Playville and Sunny Side-Up and had activities by school teachers and invited guest speakers. Occasionally the venues were too attractive to people, causing more packed playgroups than expected. The main purpose of New Members Coffee Morning was to get to know BAMBI, but this was sometimes not achieved at crowded playgroups. On the other hand, it became a place where it is easy to make new friends and where repeat participants introduce BAMBI to new participants. The New Member Coffee Morning remains an integral part of our relationship with new vendors to attract moms and babies and for new BAMBI members. Pop-up Playgroups The Pop-up team held nine weekend Pop-up playgroups in 2019. We had a range of locations—five in Sukhumvit (Noah BKK, Marriott, St. Andrews 107, AISB, Playville), two in Bang Na (D-prep, Wells), one in Rama 9 (Regent’s) and one in Chaengwattana (Hampton). With last year’s collaboration, we had opportunities to host at different campuses of the schools like Hampton International School (Sathorn) and Wells International School (Thonglor). Having a Pop-up playgroup at international school has been well-known in both hosting schools and young families. A new style of collaboration with Noah 26 tennis school, Playville indoor playground and Marriott Executive Apartment Sukhumvit Park hotel provided parents and children with new choices for where to go on weekends. It was the first ever challenge to organize a Loy Krathong event with the Marriott hotel. The hotel offered not only a krathong making workshop, and floating the krathong in the water at a convention room, but also provided kids’ friendly play stations, and food buffets at the garden in front of the room. The place was packed with 550 people / 178 families and is our highest turnout at a Pop-up playgroup ever.
New Members Plans for 2020The New Members team recognize the value in providing a regular monthly playgroup offering introduction of BAMBI group and of venus. We will try to find fixed venues in Sukhumvit and Sathorn areas so that more people can get to know about BAMBI regularly. We also recognize the value in providing a weekend offering for the BAMBI community and will aim to provide one monthly pop up playgroup throughout 2020, though this will be dependent on volunteer availability and interest from schools to participate in the program. This will complement regular monthly weekend playgroups being held at Storytime Pre-School. To provide playgroups like 2019, we need to recruit new volunteer members to work with us.
BAMBI NEWSEleven issues (July/August a joint issue) of BAMBI News were published and distributed to members and supporting organisations such as playgroup venues. 130 articles were written by 100 individuals who donated their time and expertise to write articles of interest for our members. They covered topics about parenting, child development, special needs, single parenting, personal accounts from mothers and fathers, adoption, mental health, crafts, education, Thai language and culture, expat life, and pre- and post-natal support. We also collaborated with the dad’s network to encourage more fathers to share their stories and parenting experience. We had numerous photo features, book reviews, kid’s corner, interviews, and content to support and inform members. Mao Sano and Azusa Uchida produced a diverse range of covers for the eleven issues. Each month the team source and edit 48 pages of editorial content. In 2019 we retained 70% of our team while facing two changes in both Editor and Deputy Editor. Rina Wongpanich and Francine Kaye Acelar stepped up to become the current Editor and Deputy Editor, respectively. In total, three volunteers left the team, and three new members were welcomed. Our Japanese Editors are helping us to provide articles to our Japanese members as well as regularly uploading individual articles on the new website. The team received WordPress training from former Editor Ema Naito. Ema has also led an initiative to preserve our archives by uploading several years’ worth of articles to the website. Readers now have access to hundreds of articles along with PDFs of past issues. We publish all PDFs on the website, and members can elect (via their membership settings on the website) to read the magazine online if they prefer not to receive a hard copy. The website statistics show us that BAMBI News content is being viewed and shared by members and writers well beyond the month of its publication, with almost 1000 views of the individual articles per month.
BAMBI News Plans for 2020We will connect more with readers, share articles on social media, and encourage reader feedback to help us deliver more diverse yet inclusive content. We want to investigate options to improve the online magazine viewing experience for members by possibly having a dynamic online viewer. We will continue to provide more development opportunities for current team members who wish to expand their skills and recruit additional assistant editors to support the workload.
MEDIA ACTIVITIESThe Media coordinator role was vacant for most of the year and our then Vice Chair Emma stepped in to ensure BAMBI Facebook page and messenger continues to be a useful communication tool. The role was filled in late October 2019. Facebook continued to be the principle tool for communicating BAMBI cancellations, notices, events and meetups for the first half of 2019. Since the website’s relaunch in the middle of the year, our Media Coordinator has worked to direct more traffic towards it. Every event on Facebook is cross linked, and posts and comments are linked whenever possible. At the end of 2019 BAMBI’s Facebook page had 10,047 ‘likes’ and 10,466 followers. Eight admins/editors from among the committee members help update Facebook and answer Facebook messenger. BAMBI continues to use paid advertisements on Facebook to get the word out about selected BAMBI events such as Yard Sales, Splash Party and Christmas Party. We continue to receive numerous messages on Facebook messenger. In an effort to manage the workload the Media Coordinator categorized the messages as emergency or not. Emergencies are answered straight away and others are answered within 36 hours. BAMBI continues to maintain our policy of only posting BAMBI’s activities and events on our main page on Facebook. However BAMBI has a community page where interested third parties can post. The Media coordinator approves posts for the community page. The BAMBI e-newsletter wasn’t sent out in 2019 as the Media coordinator role was vacant for most of the year.
MEMBERSHIP AND DATABASEThe number of active BAMBI members at the end of December 2019 was 1,118 (end of December 2018: 1182 active members). 70% were first-time members and 30% were renewing members. This 70:30 ratio is consistent with that of 2018 and previous years. The launch of the new website in mid-2019 greatly streamlined the membership registration processes for all involved. These welcome changes have allowed the Database tasks to be returned to one Database Coordinator for even greater efficiency and reliability.
Plans for 2020We will streamline the registration process at every BAMBI activity, playgroup and event. We will support the environment by reducing paper usage in the following areas:
- Paperless registration
- The chance to opt-out of receiving a printed copy of the BAMBI News magazine
MEMBER BENEFITSIn 2019, the list of members’ discounts became longer and our members were able to enjoy the special offers from many restaurants, schools and businesses more. In 2020, the list has been under review and will be renewed with more offers for members to benefit from.
WOMBLESWOMBLES dinners had successfully offered relaxed opportunities for our members to meet and network with other busy parents in Bangkok in 2019. BAMBI ran a fundraiser in June for Esperanca Foundation to support Maesot refugees. We have raised and donated ฿30,000. Over 35 members gathered and enjoyed Spanish food and music at Barcelona Gaudi restaurant. WOMBLES welcomed a new coordinator in June and continued until November 2019 when the committee voted to stop monthly WOMBLES and plan charity fundraising dinners instead.
ME-TIMEMe Time was launched in 2018 to give the opportunity for parents to socialize while exploring new skills and creativity through various workshops during school hours. In 2019, BAMBI offered the following workshops successfully:
- Soap Making Workshop @ Bangkok Soap Opera
- Terrarium Making Workshop @ Tiny Tree
- Cocktail Making Workshop @ Revolucion Cocktail – Blue Parrot in Sathorn
- Me Time Charity Sensory Book Workshop @ Barcelona Gaudi
- Me Time Roll & Release Therapy Ball Workshop @ IPC
- Me Time Charity Sensory Book Workshop @ Barcelona Gaudi
- Me Time Balletone Exercise Workshop @ BAMBiNi ViLLA
WEBSITEWe launched our new website in June 2019 with a user-friendly interface and attractive design. There is an up-to-date color-coded calendar and blog-style magazine section with access to all past magazine issues. We set up new processes for a new database, registration and renewals, and Contact Us form. We trained all users in the magazine, playgroup, activities, events, and Bumps teams. Fixing bugs and improvement is an ongoing process. Plans for 2020 We have a new website vendor, Quidlab, who was the developer of our first website. They are perfectly capable of giving the support BAMBI needs given they know our organization very well. There is a new search function for the playgroup leaders to help them solve any discrepancy regarding membership and expiry information in situ. There will be a new Finance-Events-PGs signing app to streamline our workflows in the areas of playgroups, event registration and finances to reduce paperwork and be more efficient in our processes. Online payments paid and invoiced by Quidlab: email server, hosting, mailchimp, mandrill, wordpress. We got a new magazine opt in/out function for members to decide if they want to receive a printed copy or access the digital version. We will find a new email platform to accommodate the complexity of our communication requirements. Bluehost is not user friendly and requires us to use gmail as a front email system having to double all our email accounts.
CHARITIES SUPPORTED IN 2019We supported 11 organizations’ projects and events with financial donations. A total of ฿606,646 was spent.
- Baan Dek Foundation / Tchin Tcho Nursery
- Central Thailand Mission
- Friends of Thai Daughters
- Terres Karens / Giving Tree
- Phuket Has Been Good To Us / Coconut Club
- Roy Rak
- ESTiN / Annual Charity Luncheon in March
- Esperança Football Academy / Football Camp
- Baby Carrier Project
- Learning Resources Community Fair on 1st June
- Always Reading Caravan (ARC)
BAMBI Financial Summary 2019
|Unit: Thai Baht||2018||2019||% change|
|Gross Income (A)||2,735,394||2,558,944||-6%|
|NET SURPLUS (A-B) *||-51,463||-680,200||1222%|
|Net Surplus (Expense) Classification – excluding Charities|
|PG attendance (no. of families)||10,061||10,423||4%|
|Committee/ BAMBI Expense||-630,496||-866,711||37%|
|* Net Surplus does not include charities contributions|
The views expressed in the articles in this magazine are not necessarily those of BAMBI committee members and we assume no responsibility for them or their effects. BAMBI News welcomes volunteer contributors to our magazine. Please contact email@example.com.