Educating the children of 5 million migrant workers in an educational system that doesn’t recognize them, is no small task.
Our partners who are dedicated to migrant and ethnic minority education are tremendous visionaries.
Here are a few of their stories:
Group for Children
Hidden in the orange orchards of Northern Thailand are hundreds of thousands of Shan migrants who have fled violence and abject poverty in Myanmar.
Most have entered the country illegally with no documentation, making them afraid to access social welfare services.
Group for Children acts as a bridge.
GFC runs learning centers teaching primary and secondary education to children and adults. It helps secure legal documents such as birth certificates, ID cards, and school diplomas. And it assists this migrant community in accessing their rights.
But establishing the first school wasn’t easy.
Ranong Education Working Committee
The Ranong Education Working Committee is special because it is “for the people by the people.” REWC was formed by former factory workers upset by the number of migrant children on the streets and in factories.
Their wish to see their children get an education was backed up with action, and REWC now operates five learning centers offering standardized education for more that 500 students in Southern Thailand.
What’s unique about the work of REWC is that it supports students who want to stay in Thailand, and those who want to return to Myanmar.
BEAM Education Foundation
Multiple barriers prohibit the children of refugees from Myanmar from attending Thai schools: language difficulties, costs, and frequent relocation.
Migrant Learning Centers attempt to fill this void, educating tens of thousands of children each year.
Yet when long-term migrants return to Myanmar, parents are finding that their children’s previous schooling in Thailand goes unacknowledged.
This leads to high dropout rates, as teens in particular see no future with an education that may not be recognized where they live.