I came to Thailand when I was 10. My parents are farmers and they could not afford my sibling’s education — two of my brothers had to quit school, working in the field to support the family. After the school, I want to continue further study at university. If possible, I’d like to major in education. After that, I want to return my hometown and make a change in the community. Most children in my community cannot finish their studies due to lack of access to education: there is only one post-primary school in my village.
My name is Naw Moo Paw. I was born in August 2003. I have 5 siblings and I am the third of them. It has been 5 years since I came to Thailand.
I am from Hpa Ann, Karen State, Burma/Myanmar. My parents are engaged in rice farming. Farmers in this area are often susceptible to the weather, especially the drought. They cannot harvest on time nor harvest as much as they expect. Thus, the farming in my village is not profitable and my parents were not able to make enough money to support the family. Consequently, two of my siblings had to quit their study and started working in the field with my parents.
As my parents couldn’t afford my education, they sent me to Thailand to be able to go to school. I was 10-year-old. My brother is a health worker at Mae Tao Clinic for years, so he told my parents that I can study at the Children’s Development Centre (CDC) school, which provides education to displaced and marginalized children from Burma. He is married, living with kids, so I cannot stay at his place. Therefore, I live in the CDC boarding house.
I like studying at school because teachers are very supportive and they are truly passionate about teaching and sharing their knowledge with us. I am eager to study because I want to be an educated and valuable person — I think education can help me a lot when I grow up, especially when I look for a good job. My favorite subject is the Burmese language. Although we learn Thai and English, I think it is very important to know my native language.
Life living in the Boarding House
I like living in the boarding house because I have a lot of friends who are kind and friendly. Boarding house master and staff discipline us for being responsible and obedient. We have divided groups that rotate duties: cleaning, cooking, preparing a meal, etc.
In the boarding house, we are given chance to attend practical training, for instance, ‘child protection and adolescent training’, which is provided by MTC. I participated in the training and through this, I learned about child right, safe touch and now I am able to identify what child abuse is.
My future plan after school
After graduating the school, I want to continue further study at university. If possible, I’d love to major in education. After that, I want to return my hometown and make a change in the community. Most children in my community cannot finish their studies due to lack of access to education: there is only one post-primary school in my village. After post-primary, if the children want to continue their study, they have to go to a city and stay in the boarding, which costs a lot and their parents cannot afford it. Meanwhile, some parents don’t see the value of education; they rather their children at an early age to support the family.
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.