Provide Education for 470 Burmese Migrant Children

by Foundation for Education and Development (GHRE)
Vetted
U Ko Ni RIP
U Ko Ni RIP

In our previous report we stood still and paid our respects to the passing of the beloved Thai King Bhumibol. It hurts to say that in this report we need to give our deepest respect and condolences to another prominent man - U Ko Ni - human rights lawyer, activist and key legal advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi. U Ko Ni was an important man in the fight for human rights and in the struggle to bring peace and equality to Myanmar. He was assassinated at Yangon Airport while returning from an International trip.

Here at the Foundation for Education and Development we work on beautiful developments, receive support from beautiful people and we are providing a future for many children at our Learning Centers. But at the same time we fight for human rights and provide legal aid and medical aid for hundreds of Burmese Migrants every month. We deal with emotional roller coasters on a weekly basis. And because of this, our staff and teachers aren't just training and educating children and their families to have general knowledge and awareness in this world. We educate to shape a new future for families that are living in poverty, we fight to rescue exploited men and women and help them to protect themselves and others. We aren't here just to provide education, we are here to fight for peace and equality.

In these days less and less people spend time reading long reports, so in ours we will give you a brief insight on the highlights of the previous period. You can follow us in more detail on our website www.ghre.org where you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

International Children Day
To promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide, FED held a celebration and sport competition at our learning center. As we all have the responsibility to create a better world for our children - the future generation.

 

Safe Water Safe Land
"Safe Water Safe Land" from Poland approached FED with the initiative to provide a "Rescue after Drowning training" for our students and staff. The training focused on how to apply CPR, a first aid technique that can be used if someone is not breathing properly or if their heart has stopped and what measures to take in case of people drowning. This is especially useful for children growing up in fisher families that have been working in the fishing industry for generations and go out to sea for several weeks.

 

Peace Art Contest
A Peace Art Contest was organized by the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) and FED to spread awareness around peace building and the conflicts of war to the students of our Unified Learning Center. IPYG works on connecting organizations around the world to promote and build peace. We are proud to be a part of this movement.

 

World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV. Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus. FED organized an awareness training and topic related games at our Learning Center to educate students about HIV and AIDS.

 

16th Anniversary
FED celebrated its 16th anniversary on December 10th with a Buddhist ceremony with Burmese monks and a community celebration with student performances in the evening. With this celebration, we look back at all the activities and accomplishments of the year - a day of pride for all our staff.

 

Italian Pizza Donation
Every now and then we receive a loving gesture from local business. This time an Italian Restaurant "Pinocchio" donated delicious pizzas for our students at the Unified Learning Center. Most of them never had pizza before - it was great! Watch how happy the children are in a summary video.

 

Child Rights Defenders field trip
Our Child Rights Defenders (CRD) - students we’ve trained in our Children On the Move program - went on a 4-days documentary field trip. They captured documentary footage regarding Child Rights and Human Rights at 4 different locations in West-Phang Nga, Southern Thailand. Learning how to advocate and document rights issues.

 

Safe School Emergency Training
304 Migrant students attended a Safe School Training at the Children Development Center in Mae Sot, North-West Thailand. Children were taught how to turn off burning gas tanks, use a fire extinguisher, use first-aid kits and evacuate safely. Low Safety standards in Thailand and Myanmar cause a lot of accidents at familie homes.

 

52nd birthday of our founder Htoo Chit
368 students from our Unified Learning Center (ULC) were provided lunch by FED's Executive Director Htoo Chit on his 52nd birthday. Htoo Chit has been fighting for human rights, equality and education for Burmese families in Thailand for almost 15 years now.

 

Without your generous support we wouldn't be able to fight for Burmese families in need and for children that deserve education and the tools to take action that can change generations. Our donors are our lifeline and with these reports we hope to show you a glimps of all the good we do in your name. We hope you will continue to support the Burmese families and their children in Thailand.

Peace Art Contest
Peace Art Contest
Educate Peace to the next generation
Educate Peace to the next generation
Safe Water Safe Land Training for students
Safe Water Safe Land Training for students
International Children Day Celebration
International Children Day Celebration
FED Staff at 16th Anniversary
FED Staff at 16th Anniversary

Links:

Our grateful and motivated children.
Our grateful and motivated children.

It has been an eventful couple of months with plenty of activities, development, and heartwarming events. At the same time we currently experience a country in grief over the dead of the Thai King Bhumibol. In this report we pay our respect to the king, and we would like to show you our project highlights. We also would like to invite you to visit our renewed website where you can now stay connected with daily updates: www.ghre.org

 

Firstly we pay our respect to the beloved King Bhumibol

When Thailand's prime minister abruptly flew back to Bangkok to meet the crown prince as concerns grew over the health of the king, the whole country stood still. An earlier official statement was released that described King Bhumibol's health as "unstable". Later that day Thailand was hit by a shockwave of grief. Now after a month, the country is still consumed in grief for their beloved King, and a new King is not yet in place. While the exact timeline is uncertain, Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn is the undisputed heir, and he will eventually become King. Meanwhile the country, including us, have been wearing black/dark clothes for over a month now to pay respect to King Bhumibol.

 

Young Empowered Professionals - Vocational Training

We have continued offering the specialized vocational classes for our new Young Empowered Professionals (YEP) program. We developed this program in the hopes of creating new opportunities to our students. YEP is established as a link from our school to a more specialized education in Hospitality; including IT, Thai, Advanced English, and general Business skills. As a future extension to YEP, we are in the process of developing a Social Enterprise Endeavor with Umenohana as the primary partner. The main objective of SEE is to open a restaurant/café that assists, trains, employs and prepares students of our school for the working world. Currently there are four motivated students attending the first classes of Advanced English in Hospitality and Restaurant operations. These students have been rapidly progressing in the breadth of their English vocabulary, their comfort conversing in English, their customer service skills, and their understanding of restaurant operations. They have also taken active initiative in the SEE, and are collaborating with FED staff and volunteers in determining its branding and product selection.

 

Legal Empowerment Training

On September 10th and 11th, in collaboration with the Solidarity Center, FED organized a two-day Legal Empowerment Training for Migrant Workers in Phang Nga at our Unified Learning Center to raise awareness among the migrant workers about their rights, and the legal services that are available to them and their families.

 

The Children on the Move Program

The Children on the Move Program provided photo and video editing training for its students on September 24th and 25th. The training was attended by 17 students from the Unified Learning Center. Through this training, the students gained hands on experience in photo and video editing. The folling month, the Children on the Move Program provided theatre training for its students. Through both of these trainings, the students had lots of fun and got to exhibite their creative talents.

 

Heart Warming Student Donation

Through our Student Bank Project, that teaches students how to save and manage money, a student saved up 900 baht in one and a half years.Her parents decided to move back to Burma, and she insisted to show her gratitude to our school just before she left.She decided to donate 300 baht from her savings to the school. We were very touched by her motivation and kindness.


Amazing Volunteers

We were lucky to have some great volunteers the last couple of months, including a group of students from ISAK (International School of Asia, Karuizawa) - Japan. We are always pleased to hear that volunteers are willing to commit their time and effort to support our teachers and office staff with new ideas and a strong helping hand. Especially our students, who love to have volunteers around to teach them English, creative arts, learn new games and hang around with in the library singing English songs and reading English books. In return, our volunteers have a first-hand Burmese experience and learn so much about their culture, being a migrant in Thailand and their challenges in life. When their stay comes to an end, which always comes too early, they become much-needed international ambassadors to our organization.

 

Thank you for reading our report. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our project. Without your help we wouldn't be able to do this great work. We thank you for believing in our cause. We will do the best we can to keep you involved in our work. Please have a look at our renewed website, where you can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter. We are dedicating volunteers and in-house IT skills to develop a great transparent website, so you're able to stay tuned! Love and peace.

Who isn
Who isn't nervous for upcoming exams?!
Lunch time - thanks to our donors.
Lunch time - thanks to our donors.
You will be missed - our beloved King.
You will be missed - our beloved King.
Our upcoming Young Empowered Professionals
Our upcoming Young Empowered Professionals
ISAK Volunteers teaching English class
ISAK Volunteers teaching English class

Links:

Student is excited about the renewed library
Student is excited about the renewed library

It has been an interesting couple of months with loads of activities and development. In this report, we would like to highlight a few of them and we want to invite you to pay a visit to our renewed website where you can now stay up to date with our daily activities: www.ghre.org

Young Empowered Professionals - Vocational Training
We began the first of many specialized vocational classes for our new Young Empowered Professionals (YEP) program. We developed this new program in the hopes of creating new opportunities to our students. YEP is established as a link from our school to a more specialized education in Hospitality; including IT, Thai, Advanced English, and general Business skills. As a future extension to YEP, we have also started to develop a Social Enterprise Endeavor with Umenohana as the primary partner. The main objective of SEE is to open a restaurant/café that assists, trains, employs and prepares students of our school for the working world. Currently there are six motivated students attending the first classes of Advanced English in Hospitality.

Anti-Drug Campaign
Our students collaborated and participated with the Khuk Khak Thai Highschool in an Anti-Drug campaign. With a 1000 people strong, we walked the streets for an hour, waving the ASEAN flags, to advocate and raise awareness among the local Thai and Burmese community in order to fight the distribution and use of illegal drugs, which is a growing problem in both Thailand and Myanmar.

Renewed Library
We've been trying to organize and make our library more accessible and inviting to our students. The library was once a room that was little used. We invested in bookcases, tables and chairs, and made the area more spacious to read, study or just to relax and take a break. We've been successful in our efforts and students now love to come here every day to grab their favorite books, play games and sing songs. It's now also a place where volunteers enjoy to sit and mix their working time connecting with the students.

Fire Fighting Drill
The Takuapa Fire Department and Takuapa Municipality conducted a fire fighting drill at our school. This activity was supported by our Safe School Program. Our students learned how to act in case of fire. They were provided with knowledge regarding different types of fire extinguishers and the proper ways to use them in an emergency. It was a very exciting exercise and an activity long talked about by our students.

Amazing Volunteers
We were lucky to have some great volunteers the last couple of months. We are always pleased to hear that volunteers are willing to commit their time and effort to support our teachers and office staff with new ideas and a strong helping hand. Especially our students, who love to have volunteers around to teach them English, creative arts, learn new games and hang around with in the library singing English songs and reading English books. In return, our volunteers have a first-hand Burmese experience and learn so much about their culture, being a migrant in Thailand and their challenges in life. When their stay comes to an end, which always comes too early, they become much needed international ambassadors to our organization.

First Young Empowered Professionals class
First Young Empowered Professionals class
Kids reading in the renewed library
Kids reading in the renewed library
Our students participating in Anti-Drug campaign
Our students participating in Anti-Drug campaign
A fire fighting drill conducted at our school
A fire fighting drill conducted at our school
First a fun photo - then ready to go to class!
First a fun photo - then ready to go to class!

Links:

2015 was an exciting year as Burma first democratic elections in decades yielded a landslide victory for Noble Peace Prize winner Aung San Su Kyi’s National League for Democracy party. Hope for the future has never been brighter for the citizens of Burma. Consquently, FED has seized opportunities to serve and defend the rights of Burmese people at home.

In 2015 FED began supporting the education recovery efforts and took a leading role in the peace and reconciliation movements of rural Kayah State - a land in northeast Burma torn by civil war for much of the past 60 years. Even with this progress, the road to recovery for Burma, a nation consumed by conflict, rights violations, and poverty will take time. FED has not lost sight of this and its founding mission to serve the Burmese migrant community of Thailand. Currently Thailand’s economy provides employment opportunities to an estimated 4 million Burmese migrants, roughly 10% of Thailand’s workforce. Migrant labor drives the Thai fishing, construction, and agriculture industries where migrants fill low-level jobs deemed undesirable by Thais.

The Thai Military regime that took power in May 2014 remains entrenched as the governing body of the nation and continues to receive international pressure to return to democracy as well as address the remaining human trafficking and modern day slavery crisis within its borders. In 2015 FED’s Migrant Development program launched a 3-year project specifically targeting the human trafficking and exploitation issues in the Thai seafood and fishing industry. Our team works tirelessly to address this problem, rescuing numerous victims of trafficking and helping them recover and reintegrate into society.

The FED Education program, our cornerstone and passion, continues to impact over 470 migrant children and their families, by providing the opportunity to receive a quality education in a safe environment. Without FED, these children have few educational opportunities and would likely fall victim to child labor exploitation at very young ages. Educating these children will ensure the next generation of Burmese children become the teachers, doctors, businessmen and leaders the country so desperately needs.

In 2016 FED has ambitious goals to develop and promote new opportunities for our children to advance their education beyond 8th grade through vocational training and the Thai non-formal education system.

During this time of change and unpredictability within the region, FED prides itself in remaining a constant and persistent voice for Burmese people, defending their rights both at home and abroad.

Migrant Workers in Mae Sot, Thailand
Migrant Workers in Mae Sot, Thailand
Happy children at FED School!
Happy children at FED School!

Links:

Rohingya mother and child
Rohingya mother and child

We are excited to share 2015 was yet another successful and rewarding year at FED as we provided over 400 Burmese migrant children in southern Thailand an opportunity to access their right to education through our two learning centers. Without these learning centers, our children would not have the opportunity to go to school and would more than likely fall victim to child labor in Thailand's fishing, rubber, and construction industries. Support from friends like you make this all possible. THANK YOU--Your contributions do make a difference!

Feature Story: Educating the region's most persecuted children

by Kieran and Hannah, FED Interns 2015

For decades Burmese military regimes and Buddhist extremists have systematically led an ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, a Muslim ethinic minority group from Rakhine state in western Burma. In recent years violent clashes have left thousands of Rohingya dead and tens of thousands more displaced into refugee camps. Unwanted and unrecognized as citizens in Burma, thousands of Rohingya have fled the violence in wooden and often unreliable ships arranged by corrupt brokers in hopes of finding new lives abroad in countries such as Malaysia. However, in many instances these boats are lost at sea or land in Thailand where the Rohingya are either sent back to Burma or held in detention centers where any hope of a new life and freedom is all but lost.

In mid-2015, a group of 51 Rohingya women and children arrived in the Khao Lak area of Southern Thailand after fleeing ethnic persecution in Burma. Separated from their husbands and fathers, who were sent to detention centres, they were placed in a shelter run by the Thai government. Since that time, FED has been working with the shelter to offer services for the women and children while they await resettlement.

Soon after their arrival in the shelter, FED arranged to enrol the Rohingya children at the Unified Learning Center, our elementary school for Burmese migrants. Many of the children had never attended school before and we were excited to offer them the opportunity, however a number of challenges became clear almost immediately. First of all, because of their lack of education, many of the Rohingya children were at an academic level far below other students of the same age. We were faced with the difficult decision of where to place the students; would it be better to have them in classrooms that matched their skills, or would the embarrassment of working with much younger students negatively affect their ability to learn? More importantly, except for English class all of the courses are taught in Burmese, which most of the children do not speak.

Since the students were most engaged in their English class, and since English skills are very valuable given their uncertain futures, FED has began teaching special classes to the Rohingya children in the afternoons. In doing so, the children can continue to integrate with the other Burmese students in the mornings and at lunch, while having the opportunity to learn English with their Rohingya peers in a more comfortable environment in the afternoon. We are excited to report that the children are incredibly eager students, and have made great progress since the special classes began in early June.

In addition to offering education, we have recently begun organizing fun social activities. To celebrate the end of Ramadan, we worked with the shelter to coordinate a number of activities for the women and children. Refreshments were brought on the day the fasting ended, and FED donated a new outfit to each child. This week, we took the children on a field trip to the local beach, where they spent the day swimming, playing games, and practicing English.

We hope to continue expanding our programming with the Rohingya, to make their time in Khao Lak a more positive experience, and to equip them with skills that will help them in the future. Our next project will be to offer courses for the women during the day, to teach them skills such as sewing and handicrafts. Our goal is to improve their experience in the shelter by engaging them in activities, and also to provide them with abilities that they may eventually use to generate income. As our ambition for the Rohingya project continues to grow, we urge our supporters to consider making a contribution to this worthy cause. An increase in funding will allow us to continue to provide vital services to the Rohingya in Thailand, and as you can see from the pictures, a little can go a long way. 

Youth Unity Camp

A Student Camp was held on the 23rd and 24th of December at the Thai Navy Base in Thaplamu village. The purpose was to strengthen friendships and unity between Thai and Burmese students in the local area. Twenty students from 2 Thai schools, 30 students from FED Learning Centers and 12 teachers participated in peace building and integration activities as well as learned about the unique and diverse ecological environment of the beautiful Khao Lak area. Events like these are vital ways to bridge the gap between Thais and Burmese creating a more understanding and socially inclusive society for future generations.

A farewell note from Teacher Sophie

Here's to all the amazing people I have met during my time in Thailand. Thanks for making it so difficult to say goodbye. So lucky to have you all in my life. Going to miss all the amazing times I've had here. I've never been happier. I enjoyed every moment of teaching English at FED, the Rohingya shelter, and the Burmese community. Let's hope somebody learned a little more English while I was here. That's all that matters. Now onward to new adventures!

--Teacher Sophie

Thank you Sophie for all your hard work and dedication over the past year and a half! You have had a profound impact on countless lives. Your energy, dedication, and compassion for others will be greatly missed!

Looking for a new native English Teacher

With the departure of Teacher Sophie in January 2016, our English program is without a native English teacher. FED is in search of a new native English teacher to start in May/June of 2016 at the beginning of the new academic year at the ULC. The position is responsible for teaching grades 5-8 as well as the ability to support donor reporting and willingness to participate in numerous cultural extracurricular activities. If you or someone you know has a passion for teaching and are looking for an adventure of a lifetime, please let us know! Inquiries about the position can be made to FED Development Director, Mark, at mark@ghre.org.

Exciting Happenings Ahead in 2016!

As we usher in a new year, we at FED are hard at work developing new ways to provide opportunities for migrant children and youth to advance their education. FED's Education Program and Development Department are hard at work designing a Vocational Education program intended to offer migrant youth a chance to improve their English language, business, IT, and hospitality skills. The tourism industry of Southern Thailand is booming and by equipping our students with these skills we will prepare the next generation with the tools necessary to obtain better jobs which will empower them to help break the poverty cycle that has entrapped migrant families for decades. Stay tuned to find out more about the progress of this project and how you can help in future reports!

 

 

 

 

Migrant Student in the Classroom
Migrant Student in the Classroom
A safe school equals happy children
A safe school equals happy children

Links:

 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Foundation for Education and Development (GHRE)

Location: Takuapa, Phang Nga - Thailand
Website: http:/​/​www.ghre.org
Project Leader:
Mark Del Greco
Development Director
Phang Nga, Thailand

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.