The school year is now well under way. We’ve welcomed new teachers and students into the schools and things seem to be pretty busy! With the help of some new donors and lots of community support, we have managed to keep all our schools open – although we still do not have enough funding to enable us to pay all our teachers a full salary.
So for the coming school year, funding remains a big challenge. We have set up charities in both the US and UK (All You Need is Love), which we are hoping will attract a growing source of steady donations from individual and perhaps, some corporate donors. Although money will always be a concern, the focus of our energy remains on children, setting and maintaining high standards and high expectations, and providing the very best education that we possibly can.
Over the long school break during the hot season in Thailand there is one very important festival: Songkran (Water Festival). In Mae Sot it is impossible to stay dry at this time because everywhere that you go, people throw buckets of water at you! But Songkran also has a more serious side. According to Burmese culture, Water Festival is a time for us give respect and worship to older people and ask forgiveness for the mistakes that we have made towards them – and this who might include our parents, grandparents and teachers. At the same time, we offer some small presents.
At the end of March, BMWEC ran its annual SuperKids’ Camp. 400 children from migrant schools in and around Mae Sot, as well as two schools for IDP* children inside Burma, came to the camp at Hsa Thoo Lei School and spent three days together learning, eating, sleeping and, most importantly, having fun.
Many children get very few opportunities to spend time outside their communities, so this was a wonderful chance for them to meet other children and get a sense of the wider Burmese community along the border – both inside Burma and in Thailand. It also provided a rare chance for them to learn how to work and live with people that they didn’t know and have some ‘time out’.
Giuliana Caredda, Art Teacher, MUSE School, USA
I hope all is well with everyone, missing you all! I am sending you some of my experiences daily on this trip, otherwise I might forget things along the way because there is so much!
Friday was my first encounter with the GM students…As Erin and I pulled up to the school my heart swelled with excitement and a little nervousness. I was so curious to meet everyone and upon seeing their sweet smiling faces I was overwhelmed with emotion. They greeted me with open arms and warm smiles. I immediately felt a sense love from this community.