Saw Arthur, the administrator of the Leadership and Management Training College at Mae La Refugee Camp, Thailand sent a letter to BHM for emergency funding for scholarships for youth from Burma.
For the past two years, we have supported approximately a dozen students completing classes at the LMTC. The college provides university level education in physics and English to ethnic minorities who fled Burma out of fear for their lives and have no other higher education opportunity available. Even if they could gain admission to a University in Bangkok (which is daunting given they have no formal passport from Burma and are refugees), college costs are beyond their means.
Thus, LMTC fills a critical gap to help educate the next generation of democracy leaders for the ethnic minorities and Burma. The operating costs of the school are sponsored by the organization Child’s Dream, but CD is not able to provide the funding for the living expenses for the students.
These students come from the several hundred thousand Karen, Mon, Kachin, Shan and other minority groups who live in Thailand without formal documentation or legal status. These students live in adhoc dormitories where they are safe and supervised. The scholarships we’ve provided pay for their basic necessities like rice and cooking oil, and $3.00/month pocket money for the students. It costs under $350 per year to support a student.
The emergency funding request to is support 20 students to complete their senior year over the next 4 months at $70.00 per student.
One of the things that is so compelling about this request is that the girls who need scholarships have written to us, sharing their stories. Here is an excerpt from one of the girls:
“Before I came to Mae La refugee camp, I used to live in Karen state. I lived three for four years and because of the civil war I had to flee and then I came to live in tham Hin camp since 1997. I lived in Tham Hin camp for 12 years and passed high school in 2009. then I come to Mae La Camp for my further study because at that time in Tham Hin camp, we didn’t have college or post ten schools. I chose LMTC for my further study because it is leadership and Management training college. I don’t have my relative so I stayed in LMTC hostel. I love to live in LMTC hostel and I don’t have any problems with my study and accommodation. but this years our donors reduce their donation for the dormitory students. Because of your kind donation we can overcome every challenge we have to face this year.
“This year is my last year in college. After graduation I will find the way or my scholarship program for my further study. if I have a chance , I will continue my study. if not , I will serve for people along Thai and Burmese and my community through teaching or being a community leader. I hope I wouldn’t only be helping the children in education, but I could as well as be able to educate adult through family planning, health care and build prosperous life for them.”
Our heartfelt thank you to to the 8 people who have already pledged to sponsor these students! If you are interested in sponsoring a student or would just like to read more of their stories, please email Jen at jzurick @ burmamission.org.