Myanmar opened up recently, however, what seems positive leads to a new tragedy, especially for the children. Most of the organizations which were active in and around Mae Sot (Thai – Myanmar border) have left and started their activities inside Myanmar. Migrants and refugees in Mae Sot are left alone as they don’t feel yet ready to return back home due to the lack of infrastructure, schools and hospitals.
In the area of Mae Sot there are around 64 Migrant Learning Centers. Every year due to the lack of funding and support some schools have to manage their own few resources and run their school by themselves and, at this moment, they are not able to survive alone with their own resources.
Last year, this struggle situation, forced seven schools to close down and this year at least 14 schools are at risk of closing and another 2,250 children will be left out of school.
Since 2002, the NGO Help without Frontiers has been supporting disadvantagedrefugees in the Thailand - Myanmar area with programs in education, health, women’s empowerment, human rights and youth leadership. Nowadays, they are supporting 14 of the 64 schools, called Migrant Learning Centers, which educate more than 3,400 displaced children, providing them with schooling and protection.
However, other organizations, which were active around the Mae Sot area have left and have restarted their activities inside Myanmar. Migrants and refugees in Mae Sot are left without support.
Ms. Siraporn Kaewsombat, Director of Help Without Frontiers Thailand “Although they are not the schools that we are supporting, we cannot give them the back and we should take responsibilities as anEducation NGO. They are children and we have to take care of them and protect them in order to give them a better future”
Out-of-school children are targets for trafficking and exploitation, particularly in the construction, domestic service, fishing and sex industries.
Help without Frontiers cannot stand this situation and cannot leave the 2,250 children alone and exposed to the risks of the street, we want to help them and protect these children under the education umbrella. That is why we start a emergency donation campaign to try to support this children and enable them to get a decent education.