The Children’s Development Training Centre on the Thailand/Myanmar border provides a safe and stable community-based learning environment for refugee children forced across the border from Burma. Most of the 330 students are of Karen nationality, a minority group living in the eastern mountain ranges of Myanmar.
These children are forced to seek the security, shelter and education provided by the school for a range of reasons: Some children have been orphaned by the Junta’s ongoing brutal intervention in the ethnic border areas, for others their families cannot afford to support them and for most, this is the only chance they’ll have of accessing education.
CDTC has classes from KG to grade 8. WWM provides funds for school lunches, teacher’s salaries, teaching materials and school uniforms; funding for utility costs and land/building rent; funds for maintaining existing structures and new construction; and supports capacity building to increase the potential for the students to improve their education by supporting a volunteer English language teaching initiative.
WWM’s involvement with CDTC began in 2008 and together with the support of both corporate and individual sponsors, has been able to support additional projects, including construction of a canteen and drilling of a deep-water well to provide fresh, clean water for washing, cooking and drinking.
Working together with a student enterprise set up by business studies students at The Regent’s School in Pattaya, WWM established an IT room in 2011/2012. Currently only students in grades 6 to 8 have lessons due to the availability of an experienced teacher, and desktop computers continue to be sourced to enable computer access for more students.
The long term view for the IT room is that CDTC students will have access to other students and learning materials from around the world to enhance their learning opportunities. To compliment these facilities, a library room for reading and school research is also planned, though is currently without funding.
There are over 70 migrant schools, or learning centres, operating around Mae Sot, all trying to meet the educational needs of displaced families and their children. There are a multitude of issues facing these displaced communities including access to health care, education and formal recognition. The learning centres in the border regions rely on the support of international donors and private organisations such as WWM.