Mae Tao Clinic cannot deal with the issues associated with Child Protection alone, so we work closely with partner organisations to ensure the best possible care is taken of children on the border.
Committee for the Protection and Promotion of Child Rights
A major issue for migrant children is statelessness. In some countries, migrant children are migrant with identity in their home countries. The situation is more complicated when children do not have identity in any country, which denies them access to the Thai education system in this case. Committee for the Protection and Promotion of Child Rights (CPPCR) created an innovative program to create delivery certificates and birth records. This work has been done in the true spirit of public-private partnership, with the Thai government, community based organizations, and MTC.
Join the CPPCR facebook page here.
Coordinating Team for the Displaced Children’s Education
The Coordinating Team for the Displaced Children’s Education (CTDCE) was formed to intervene in the current crisis of education and protection for Burmese children in September 2007. The team is comprised of Burmese community leaders, teachers and health workers who are committed to assist displaced children. MTC has been involved with CTDCE for the Emergency Dry Food Program, securing emergency food supplies for boarding facilities, as well as developing Child Protection policies and Standards of Care for boarding facilities.
Burmese Migrant Workers Education Committee
Starting about ten years ago, community based organizations started to collaborate and work together along the border areas. The Burmese Migrant Workers Education Committee (BMWEC) is a reflection of that strong community engagement, an umbrella organisation of 45 schools. Each school is represented by their headmaster in BMWEC, giving a voice to all in the community.
BMWEC continues to work to strengthen both education as well as overall situation of migrant and IDP children. One example is a pilot project with the Thai Ministry of Education, which aims for providing accreditation of migrant schools by the Thai government. Other important areas include advocacy and the creation of a child protection policy.
Karen Department of Health and Welfare
When villages in Karen State were attacked or natural disasters occurred, the Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW) has provided relief inside Burma. KDHW has worked in partnership with MTC since the early years, for example conducting the first midwife training for mobile medics. In Dooplaya district, KDHW established a civil clinic, has been an MTC civil clinic partner in other areas, and works in Burma through its own Mobile Medical Teams.
The first formal training conducted by MTC was a midwife course taught in collaboration with BMA and KDHW. Naw Ree was the first trainee participant and still works in MTC’s reproductive health department today. This training was conducted in Ah Zin Village (Dooplaya district) in 1992 at Paw Taw Moo Hospital with 50 participants. Since that time, KDHW worked in collaboration on relief programs, such as the flood in 1993 in Kyaik Dom. When Ah Zin village was attacked by Burmese military in 1994, MTC and KDHW joined forces to assist. KDHW worked with MTC to set up mobile medical teams and clinics which are described in more detail in subsequent chapters of this book.
KDHW has been a key partner of MTC in supporting IDP populations inside Burma. In 1996, MTC and KDHW organized the first Health Information Management Seminar in Karen state. This seminar covered service delivery methods, establishing standards of care, and fostering community participation. KDHW invited CBOs and INGOs to coordinate health programs in Karen state.
Human Rights Education Institute of Burma
Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB) was established with the mission to empower people through human rights education to engage in social transformation and promote a culture of human rights for all. HREIB has worked in partnership with MTC through training and facilitation. HREIB has conducted training on child rights and human rights, with emphasis to “train the trainer” in the community migrant schools. HREIB also played an important role in the participative process of creating a child protection policy by providing facilitation of the process with many community based organizations. HREIB also tirelessly campaigns for child and human rights.
Brackett Refugee Education Fund
Although the Brackett Refugee Education Fund (Brackett) was founded in 1997, the staff had been personally involved in the clinic since January 1992. For example, Brackett produced the first annual report of the clinic in 1995, and provided English language and computer training for staff. One Brackett staff member recalls, “At that time it was a very small, poor place. I can remember bringing a small bag of oranges to share with the people”. After Brackett was founded, they started the school for Dr. Cynthia’s children and children of the staff. Brackett is understandably proud of this accomplishment – the original school has evolved to be the CDC today, with 1,000 students, from kindergarten through to Grade 12. Today, Brackett continues to provide support for schools, medics, scholarships and other areas of need for the internally displaced populations in Burma.
Social Action for Women
Social Action for Women (SAW) was founded in June 25, 2000 to assist displaced women from Burma who are in crisis situations after having fled to Mae Sot, Thailand. SAW is based in Mae Sot and was established to support women facing difficulties through the provision of shelter, health education, rights awareness, counselling, and vocational training for unskilled women.
In addition to working in partnership on health education, SAW steps in to assist when babies are abandoned at the clinic. SAW arranges for safe accommodation and care for these children in their facilities.