Community Partners International (CPI)'s story began in 1989 when a young American doctor, Ben Brown, visited the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot on the Thailand-Myanmar border to help provide health care for refugees fleeing from decades of civil war in Myanmar. On his return home, he founded Planet Care, a U.S. nonprofit dedicated to supporting health care for refugees from Myanmar in Thailand. He was soon joined by Bob Condon, founder of a Berkeley-based investment firm and CPI Board Emeritus, who helped him to grow the organization.
In 1998, Dr. Tom Lee accompanied his friend Dr. Ben Brown to visit the Thailand-Myanmar border. During this trip, Dr. Lee witnessed the urgent need to support health services for the hundreds of thousands of people caught up in protracted civil conflict in Myanmar. Inspired by Planet Care's example, Dr. Lee founded the U.S. nonprofit the Global Health Access Program (GHAP) with three U.S. colleagues.
Basing operations on Myanmar's eastern border, GHAP worked to strengthen community-based health organizations providing lifesaving health care to conflict-affected communities in eastern Myanmar. GHAP worked with these partners to develop a mobile health care model that could meet the needs of under-served communities dispersed across remote and rugged terrain with little or no transport infrastructure, and often displaced by conflict. This model relied heavily on 'backpack' health workers who could travel on foot between communities providing lifesaving care, and could accompany them even if they were displaced.
In 2008, when Cyclone Nargis devastated Ayeyarwady Region in southwest Myanmar, GHAP established a first staff presence in Myanmar to support cyclone relief efforts.
After many years of close cooperation, GHAP and Planet Care merged in 2006. In 2011, the merged organization changed its name to Community Partners International (CPI).
From 2011, as the political transition opened up greater operating space, CPI gradually expanded its presence in Myanmar to all states and regions. In 2020 and 2021, as COVID-19 pandemic and political turmoil impacted vulnerable communities, CPI continued to sustain core programs while scaling up pandemic and humanitarian response activities across the country.
In November 2017, CPI began supporting humanitarian response efforts in Bangladesh further to the influx of more than 600,000 Rohingya refugees from northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. Since that time, CPI has expanded activities in Bangladesh, supporting local partners to deliver health, humanitarian and development services to vulnerable Bangladeshi communities and Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in several districts across the country.
In 2020 and 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic devastated South and Southeast Asia, Community Partners International grew to serve vulnerable communities in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
COMMUNITY PARTNERS INTERNATIONAL 580 California Street, 16th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA email@example.com +1 510 225 9676 Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 94-3375666