Meet Our Students (30): Phau’s Story

“I was attending school from my village — I was crossing the Thai-Burma border every day for 2 years. One day I was assisting migrant workers in translating between Burmese-Thai and Karen-Thai at a Thai hospital. This experience was very special for me as I found what I want to do in the future.”

 

 

My name is Phau[1]. I am 16-year old and am at 10th grade at Children’s Development Centre (CDC)[2]. I am originally from Karen State, Burma. Among 4 siblings, my youngest brother and I attend school while two of my older brothers decided to place aside study and start making money as my parents could not afford their school fees.

My mother works as a cleaner at one of the NGOs in Burma whereas my father doesn’t have a job. My parents don’t get along well and often argue. After the argument, they are in a bad mood and the tension between them affects us negatively. I didn’t like it and could not focus on the study as I felt nervous.

I was attending school from my village — I was crossing the Thai-Burma border every day for 2 years. Fortunately, I was accepted by the CDC boarding house about 3 years ago. Since then I have been living in the boarding house.

Boarding House

Living in the boarding house brought me peace. The fact that I can fully focus on the study without being interrupted or feeling nervous makes me really happy. We are provided with many chances to participate in various training and workshops as extracurricular activities. We are also given tasks in the boarding house as a team, such as cooking, preparing the meal, cleaning, or gardening. We, each team, need to share responsibility. These roles have helped me to learn teamwork and leadership skills.

School Life

I, in particular, like 3 subjects at school: Thai, English and Mathematics. Although we are from Burma, speaking Thai in this region is beneficial and to a certain extent, it is necessary. English is indispensable if one wants to pursue further study. I want to study at university so I hope to improve my English level. Apart from languages, I like Mathematics because it is easy for me.

My Dream

My dream is to become a translator. I think it will not only bring me a good opportunity to make a good income but also more opportunities to help people who encounter language barriers. One day I was assisting migrant workers in translating between Burmese-Thai and Karen-Thai at a Thai hospital. This experience was very special for me as I found what I want to do in the future.

(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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[1] For student’s privacy, we used an alias.

[2] 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 2018-2019, 850 students are enrolled.