Meet Our Students (31): Win’s Story

My name is Win. I am 15-year old. My parents decided to send me to Thailand in early 2018 because they couldn’t fully support my school fees in Burma. They used to have land but a mining company’s aggressive activities led to the landslide and we lost our access to the half of our farm. Although my family received some compensation for the land it was almost nothing.

My name is Win[1]. I am 15-year old. I am originally from Sagaing Region, Burma[2]. I have 5 siblings; of them, I am the fourth. One of my older brothers and sisters left school when they were 9 and 10 years old respectively to support my parents.

My parents decided to send me to Thailand in early 2018 because they found that I can attend school there. They couldn’t fully support my school fees in Burma but didn’t want me to give up on studies as my older brother and sister did. They used to have a land where we cultivated crops for the self-sufficiency. In 2017, however, the mountain, of which our land was part was sold to a Chinese mining company. The company’s aggressive mining activities eventually led to the landslide and it affected our livelihood: we lost our access to the half of our farm. Although my family received some compensation for the land it was almost nothing considering our livelihood was heavily relying on the land.

I have been living at the Social Action for Children and Women (SAW) boarding house[3] for 1 year. I like living in a boarding house because I’ve made a lot of friends that are from different background. Living in a safe place is a great deal for me as well. On top of that, I can attend school without concerns over the school fees.

Newly built SAW boarding house

Boy’s dormitory was well arranged and very clean.

During my stay in the boarding house, I have been able to improve various skills. Boarding house master and staff in the boarding house encourage us to pursue our dreams; they motivate us to try hard on everything. They are always there for us whenever we encounter difficulties. I remember my parents were always busy with farming. They couldn’t make a certain time to spend with us to just chat or help our homework. They were most of the time tired after work.

I am in grade 9. My favorite subject at school is Mathematics. I like it because I find it easy. I’m not a big fan of subjects that I need to spend too much time on.

I want to become a football player. I love playing football and I think I am good at it. I believe that if I can improve my skills more I would be able to play in a pro team one day.

Children enjoying the dinner

The Dry Food Programme is very important to me. Thanks to the programme I have access to education and protection. I would very much like to say ‘Thank you’ to donors who support us.

(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.)

Meet More Students here


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

[2] Sagaing Region (formerly Sagaing Division) is an administrative region of Burma/Myanmar, located in the north-western part of the country. It is bordered by India. (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagaing_Region)

[3] Social Action for Women (SAW) was founded in June 25, 2000 to assist displaced women from Burma who are in crisis situations after having fled to Mae Sod, Thailand. SAW is based in Mae Sod and was established to support women facing difficulties through the provision of shelter, health education, rights awareness, counseling, and vocational training for unskilled women. SAW has expanded its focus population to include caring for and educating orphaned children and children of migrant parents. (SAW Foundation official website: https://sawfoundation.org/about/)

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