School and Community Center: The Burmese Learning Center(BLC) has gained the support of the Burmese Community and prominent community leaders and community groups. The BLC is seen as a safe place that can be used for the entire Burmese community to meet and be used for events, celebrations and ceremonies.
Upcoming community events to be hosted at the center: Waso Festival, August 26th 2018
The Foundation for Education and Development (FED) held a parent meeting at the Burmese Learning Center to promote parent involvement in their child’s education and to discuss current educational topics. Key partners that attended were: North Andaman Network Foundation (NAN) staff, the Burmese community village headman and a community Burmese charity group that has recently “adopted” the Burmese Learning Center as its project. We had a great attendance of 60 parents that included both mothers and fathers. We also saw students that graduated from the BLC and are working in the local Burmese Community. One graduated student, works at a hair and nail solon at the pier!
It was a day full of laughter and good will as parents were given coffee refreshments and home-made Samosas from a Burmese family at the pier. Parent meetings are a safe place for information sharing about migrant rights in Thailand. FED not only goes over educational issues and topics, but they also touch on elements that are important to the safety and security of the migrant families living in Thailand and areas to improve their welfare and livelihoods. We are so happy that the Burmese Learning Center and educational efforts also provide an outlet for the local Burmese Community to receive proper information about their rights as migrants.
A number of topics were covered at the meeting. FED introduced programs for basic educational pathways for migrant children living in Thailand so parents know all of their options regarding long-term stay in Thailand or if they return to Myanmar. They explained the system of transfer certificates for education continuation and emphasized sending students to school and the system put in place to ensure students can receive a continued education past the 6th grade.
We were thrilled to have the Pier Burmese Village headman attend the meeting for the first time. He is an asset and trusted leader of the Burmese community. We know that with his support, parents will become more open to sending their students to the center and also see the BLC building as a community recourse and community center. He gave a plan to get donations from parents. The donations will be used primarily for education like assisting with tuition fees for families that cannot afford them and for BLC maintenance. Donations will also be used for community events like sports days or religious celebrations. Certificates will be issued to parents that make donations. He explained the importance of parent involvement both intrinsically and monetarily to be involved in their child’s education. He said that families and the community need to rely on themselves and each other to support their child’s education.
We also have the support and contribution of the community Burmese charity group. They are also seen as prominent Burmese leaders and are trusted by the community. Their recent contributions to the center and community involvement are inspiring. They are in the process of getting small funds together to fix the bathroom stalls at the BLC. They also have a small scholarship program, money is gathered from families that have enough to spare and are willing to share. The money is used for scholarships, BLC maintenance and also community celebrations and events. Last Semester the group supported 5 students with BLC tuition fees and five more this Semester. The group gave a speech to parents about the importance of their students staying in school and getting an education and that together as a community they can make this happen
They also rose over 5,000THB for an upcoming religious celebration that will be held at the BLC for the entire Burmese Community. Parents and families also donated money in support of the event. It means a lot that the community is coming together and has chosen to host this even at the BLC, it means that the community is seeing the Burmese Learning Center as a safe place to come together to meet, celebrate and congregate…SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY CENTER