I want to be a good role model for my family, especially my younger brothers as they don’t seem to think that education is very important in their lives. Among my siblings, I am the only one receiving the education – The youngest brother becomes a monk and stays in the monastery; the second youngest brother went to Bangkok, staying with mom and working for supporting my family. My mom also hasn’t encouraged them to go to school because we need money. It seems like my family believes that we can get to be better off if the more family members work.
My name is Oo [alias]. I was born in January 1999. I have three siblings and I am the eldest. I came to Thailand in 2008 from Karen state, Burma/Myanmar. I lived with my grandmom as my mom went to Bangkok, Thailand in search of work to support my family. It seemed that it was not easy for my mom to send us money regularly, my grandmom was not able to support us anymore. I had to leave my grandmom’s place and was sent to Thailand. Children’s Development Centre (CDC) boarding house accepted me to stay, providing protection and education. Among my siblings, I am the only one receiving the education – The youngest brother becomes a monk and stays in the monastery; the second youngest brother went to Bangkok, staying with mom and working for supporting my family.
I live in CDC boarding house and study at CDC migrant leaning centre. I like to live in the boarding house because I feel secure and have a lot of supportive friends. We are all getting along with well like the family regardless of our different background or ethnicity. They are all nicer to me than my real family. Another good thing about the boarding house is that we stay separately according to gender, which makes me feel more comfortable.
Living in the boarding house is unique. I have a chance to learn useful skills through various vocational training sessions such as sewing, knitting, making cookies and decoration. These skills will be useful in my life. I also have participated in teenager training and child protection training. On behalf of the school, we have a student team, of which I’m a member, that work together with partner organizations. When workshops or activities related to the child protection are held, we are invited to work together and speak with our voice on. During activities, we visit other schools for observation. These kinds of activities build up my confidence and strengthen my public speech and teamwork skills.
I want to be a good role model for my family, especially my younger brothers as they don’t seem to think that education is very important in their lives. Both my younger brothers gave up their studies and one of them is engaged in heavy labour like my mom. My mom also hasn’t encouraged them to go to school because of a low standard of living. It seems like my family believes that we can get to be better off if the more family members work.
I am in 10th grade. My favourite subject at school is mathematics. I prefer practical subject I can apply to many different subjects. I try my best in school. After finishing my study, I want to pursue education further at the university. If possible, I’d like to major in Business studies because I want to become a successful business woman. I think running a business is the best to earn a lot of money. If I become successful, I can support my family and solve my family’s financial issues.
CDC boarding house is one of the boarding houses assisted dry food by Mae Tao Clinic. It is directly supervised and managed by the clinic. There are 167 students living in the CDC boarding house and attending the CDC school.
(We conduct interviews with our students in accordance with the MTC Child Protection Policy. Interviews are conducted by our responsible Child Protection staff who are trained.)
The Child Development Centre has continued to provide education to displaced children from Burma and children of migrant workers living in Thailand. The CDC continues to work on accredited education for CDC students through the Thai Non-Formal Education programme for students from grade 5 to 12. The GED (General Education Development) programme has continued with the BEAM foundation in Chiang Mai for 2016.
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 Karen State is a state of Myanmar. It is bordered by Thailand to the east. Majority of refugees and migrants along the Thai-Burma border are from Karen State.