Meet Our Students (21): Naw Eh Lar’s Story

My name is Naw Eh Lar. Currently, I am in grade 5 at Hway Ka Loke school. My younger sister and I attend school while my brother quit school and work in Burma to support the family. My mother alone has been supporting us since my dad left her. I was sent to Thailand for my education because my mother could not afford school fees in Burma. I am eager to study because I want to become an educated person and support my family and my community in the future.

 

My name is Naw Eh Lar. I was born in 2004 in Thailand. I have been living in Hway Ka Loke boarding house for 6 years. Currently, I am in grade 5 at Hway Ka Loke school.

My parents are originally from Karen state[1], Burma. They moved to Thailand for a better life, especially for more job opportunity. I have 3 siblings, one brother and sister; of them, I am the eldest. My younger sister and I attend school while my brother quit school and work in Burma to support the family.

My parents had lived in Mae Sot for many years. Although they moved to Thailand and worked hard, it was not easy for them to make enough money to support us and to afford our educational expenditure. For this reason, they decided to move to Bangkok in search of work that they can receive more income. It was not possible for them to bring us where they go as they were not sure how things were going. When they left to Bangkok, we were sent back to my grandmother in Burma. My younger sister and brother are still living with my grandmother.

A few years after my parents started working in Bangkok they got divorced, because my father wanted to have a new family there. Since their divorce, my mother alone has been supporting us. I was sent to Thailand for my education because my mother could not afford school fees – the educational cost in Burma is expensive. Here at Hway Ka Loke school, the tuition fee is free, including all learning materials. I think I wouldn’t have been able to go to school if I were still in Burma. My mother sometimes sends me allowances through my grandmother.

I am happy to live in the boarding house because it gives me access to education, protection and food. The supervisor keeps good discipline in the boarding house.

I am eager to study because I want to become an educated person and support my family and my community in the future. I believe that education will give me more opportunities.  Among subjects, I especially like learning English. I think English is a great skill to have whether I want to pursue further education or get a job in the future.

I hope I can become a nurse or doctor because I want to help people in need of help like I received from many others.

 

(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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Poor economic conditions and the lack of educational facilities are forcing students to leave their hometowns in Burma, and seek education and protection along the Thai-Burma border. Boarding houses ensure children access to education and protection. The Dry Food Programme provides food rations to 1,952 children and staff at 23 boarding houses in migrant communities (Thailand) and 15 boarding houses in IDP areas (Burma) managed by the Karen Women Organisation (KWO). The programme provides boarding house children with basic food provisions every month. Children living in the boarding house are protected from child labour and trafficking.

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[1] 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.

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