Meet Our Students (34): Oh’s Story

My parents could not afford our education but did not want us to give up our studies. They looked for a way we can continue studying and found that we could study at migrant learning centers (MLC) along the Thai-Burma border.

My name is Oh[1]. I am originally from Karen state[2], Burma. I have 2 younger sisters who are currently living in one of the boarding houses in Mae Sot[3], Thailand. My mother used to be a health worker at a local clinic for many years but she is currently retired and stays at home. My father works in Burma and is quite mobile; he works from place to place.

To meet basic needs in Burma seems to be quite hard. When it comes to education, it seems harder. With my parents’ income, my sisters and I were not able to attend school. Nevertheless, they did not want us to give up our studies. They looked for a way we can continue studying and found that we could study at migrant learning centers (MLC)[4] along the Thai-Burma border. They want us to be educated and have a better life in the future. Thanks to their consideration, all of us are attending school.

I am currently in grade 11, studying at Children’s Development Center (CDC). I was transferred from an MLC to CDC school as it provides post grade 10 while many MLCs provide education up to grade 9.

CDC school playground

I have been studying at CDC school and living in CDC boarding house since 2018. I like learning English and IT. I think both subjects are very useful and important. Unlike last summer vacation, I didn’t go back home but instead, I applied for a volunteer job at Mae Tao Clinic because I wanted to learn something new and have hands-on experience. I assisted the Protection Department staff in sorting out and digitalizing the birth registration document. During this period, I got to learn how to use some software and email and improved typing skills.

Oh working at office at Mae Tao Clinic

I want to be a doctor in the future. So that one day I go back to my hometown serving the community.

Dry Food Program is important and it provides me access to education so that I can peruse my dream. So I’d like to thank donors.

(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 Our 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 our student’s privacy, we used an alias.

[2] Karen State is a state of Burma. It is bordered by Thailand to the east. Majority of refugees and migrants along the Thai-Burma border are from Karen State.

[3] Mae Sot is a city in western Thailand that shares a border with Burma to the west. It is notable as a trade hub and for its substantial population of Burmese migrants and refugees. Mae Tao Clinic is located in Mae Sot [Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_Sot]

[4] Migrant Learning Centre (MLC): Migrant learning centres were established to give all migrant children access to quality education that is relevant and useful to them. Thanks to the support of donors and NGOs, most migrant learning centres around Mae Sot have come a long way from the early days when people ran classrooms out of bamboo huts and shops. [BMWEC website: http://www.bmwec.org/background/]