I am Chit San Lay. I don’t remember what kind of disease my dad had but he passed away when I was 7 or 8 years old. Since then my grandmom and aunt looked after me until I was in grade 7 and I crossed the Thai-Burma border to access to education. I want to become either a health worker or a teacher after finish my studies. I think health worker and teacher are indispensable and integral to my community. So, I’d love to be the one who can contribute to and care for the community.
My name is Chit San Lay. I was born in January 2002 in Karen state, Burma. When I was about 7 or 8 years old, my dad passed away. I don’t remember what kind of disease he had. A few years later, my mom left me with my grandmom and aunt. She went to Bangkok in search of work. Until I was in grade 7, I lived with my grandmom and aunt. After that, I crossed the Thai-Burma border to attend the secondary school in Umpiem camp. I knew there was an education opportunity there because my cousin was studying there. I was given the educational opportunity and protected at the Bamboo Children’s House (BCH) for 2 years.
BCH was eventually integrated into other boarding houses in Mae Sot area, so I had to decide which boarding house I want to move. I chose Children’s Development Centre (CDC) boarding house. In the beginning, frankly speaking, I was not happy as I didn’t have any friends and feel comfortable in the new environment. Nevertheless, now I made a lot of friends so everything became better.
All students living in the boarding house become as like brothers. Also, I can learn how to interact with others better and improve teamwork skill.
Although it is not a lot and often, my mom regularly send me some allowances. I don’t ask her for that because I don’t want to become a burden to her.
There is more access to education and opportunities for children from Burma in Thailand through Migrant Learning Centres. While I was learning in Thailand I was able to improve my critical thinking skill regarding various issues.
I am currently in grade 9 at CDC school. I like the school because all teachers are good in classes, school management team is supportive, responsive and well-organised, and the space of school is big enough for various activities. In addition, the school provides enough and appropriate teaching materials and uses effective teaching methods for classes.
If possible, I want to continue my further education, although I am not sure which major I’d like to choose yet. I still have time to consider it.
I want to become either a health worker or a teacher after finish all my studies. I think health worker and teacher are indispensable and integral to my community. So, I’d love to be the one who can contribute to and care for the community. There is only one primary school in my village so most of the children who want to continue their secondary education need to go to the town, staying in a dormitory, which is costly and many parents cannot afford.
Dry Food Programme
The programme provides children, including me access to education and protection. So I’d love to thank all donors who support us for many years.
CDC boarding house is one of the boarding houses directly supervised and managed by Mae Tao Clinic through dry food programme. 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.)
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The Children’s Development Centre (CDC) has continued to provide education to displaced children from Burma. In the academic year 2017-2018, 880 students are enrolled. CDC works on accredited education for its students through the Thai Non-Formal Education (NFE) programme, currently followed by 114 students. The NFE programme enables CDC students with interest in Thai language to access accredited education. A second pathway to accredited education is the Pre-General Education Development (Pre-GED) programme, in cooperation with BEAM Education Foundation and Thabyay Education Foundation.
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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.
 Umpiem Mai camp has a population of more than 10,600 people. The camp was formed in late 1999 when two former refugee sites were relocated to near a Hmong village called Umpiem in Phop Phra district of Tak Province. [The Border Consortium: http://www.theborderconsortium.org/where-we-work/camps-in-thailand/umpiem-mai/]
 CDC school: While Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) began as a humble health service delivery organisation, it has evolved into an umbrella social services network for refugees, migrant workers and other displaced Burmese. As a focal point of these activities, we find that child protection is a rapidly growing area of need. The Children’s Development Centre (CDC) has continued to provide education to displaced children from Burma. In the academic year 2017-2018, 880 students are enrolled.