In 2005, Burmese army attacked my village, burning down villagers’ houses and firing guns. We had to flee and hide from them because if they caught us, we would have been killed. My parents sent me to Children’s Development Centre boarding house in order for me to be able to go to school and stay in the safe place.
In the boarding house, I was given a task as a boarding house monitor. I’ve been trying to become a good role model to other boarding house friends. During summer vacation, instead of going back home, I attended vocational training, learned how to sew and make cookies. I’ve been sharing these skills with my friends in the boarding house.
My name is Hser Htoo Htoo Eh. I was born on 8th December 1996 in Hpapun township, Karen State in Burma/Myanmar. I have seven siblings and am the oldest. When there was a terrible civil war between Karen armed group and Burma army in 2005, Burmese army attacked my village, burning down villagers’ houses and firing guns. We had to flee and hide from them because if they caught us, we would have been killed. Under the circumstance, of course, there was no safe place to study. So, my mom sent me to Thailand where my relatives live and I stayed with them for over one year. But they decided to go back to Burma in 2007. Before they went back to Burma they sent me to Children’s Development Centre (CDC) boarding house in order for me to be able to go to school and study.
I still have contact with my family. They are in the Mae La Oon Refugee Camp. They left Burma in 2010. I heard that my dad is engaged and working in water sanitation program and my mom is working in the management section in the camp.
Life in the boarding house
I have been living in the boarding house for almost 10 years and my sister stays in the boarding house as well. I am in grade 12 at the CDC school this year and this is my last year. I love living here because it is safe and I am able to study. Moreover, I believe myself that while staying here I became well-disciplined and more punctual. I’ve also improved skill in teamwork and now I am able to work together with others more productively. I was able to build up my leadership skill and self-confidence as well. I usually spend my time on various activities that I could learn skill and experience. During the summer break, normally I don’t go back home like other peers instead, I stay in the boarding house and attend vocational training that I learned how to sew and make cookies. Sometimes, I had a number of chances to share these skills with younger peers. In the boarding house, I was given a task as a boarding house monitor. I’ve been trying to become a good role model to other peers, especially to younger friends.
My education and school
I like my school so much because teachers are really nice and the school facility is spacious. At school, my favourite subject is Community Development. I have learned many things that are practical so that I can apply for the future job, from the subject. To me, education is more important than anything. After graduation, I want to join school programs where I can improve my English skill in order to be able to go to university. My dream is to become a humanitarian worker so that I can go to remote areas, where lack education facilities, support the community.
Dry Food Program
Dry Food Program is very important not only for me but for other children living in the boarding house. Thanks to this program we are able to study and stay in a safe place. We feel protected. If the program did not exist, children would have faced numerous problems. There are some orphan children in the boarding house and I think they would have become more hopeless in their future without any support. Imagine if they had no support, they would not be able to go to school and stay in a safe place that could make them more vulnerable. I’d be very grateful if donors could continue supporting these vulnerable children living in the boarding house. Also, I’d like to thank donors for their generous contribution and support.
(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.)
Children living in the CDC boarding houses and the Bamboo Children’s Home continue to receive support from MTC, allowing them to have a safe space to live and access education. The Dry Food Program continues to provide a safe living environment and provides basic dry food supplies to children living in 23 boarding houses including three months of emergency support across migrant and IDP areas.
 Hpapun Township is a township of Hpapun District in the Karen State of Myanmar. It lies on the border of Thailand across the Salween River (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hpapun_Township).
 Mae La Oon camp is located in Mae Hong Son province, Thailand. According to The Border Consortium (TBC), there is around 11,700 population living in the camp (TBC: http://www.theborderconsortium.org/where-we-work/camps-in-thailand/mae-la-oon-camp/).