Burma (Via Thailand)
Supporting Education of Children of Backpack Medics over the Thai border NEW PARTNER
This will be BGR’s first project in partnership with the Burma Humanitarian Mission (BHM), a U.S.-registered 501(c)3 organization based in Utah. BHM supports community-based backpack medics who administer village healthcare services in Burma (Myanmar), grass-roots education projects that empower youth, and projects that promote cross-cultural sharing and collaboration for refugees from Burma living in the U.S.
On account of Burmese military attacks upon ethnic minorities, over 450,000 villagers in Burma are internally displaced, sheltered in the jungle. The result is a horrific health crisis among the minorities. 135 infants out of 1,000 do not survive their first month. Malaria, dysentery, and pneumonia are the leading causes of death. In response, the Burma Humanitarian Mission teamed up with Backpack Health Worker Teams (BPHWT) to provide mobile medical care to isolated villages and internally displaced person camps. The backpack medics are recruited from the people and villages they will serve.
For security purposes, the families of the medics live over the border in Mae Sot, Thailand, where they are safe from the violence in Burma. This project, in collaboration with BHM, funds education for the medics’ children—56 children in 2017. The school is located in Mae Sot. Thirty-one students are children of medics working in Burma’s conflict zones, 25 are children of backpack medics who staff the office in Mae Sot. The students will attend an established migrant “school” known as the Child Development Center (CDC). There are 19 students in the 4th grade and below and 37 students in the 5th grade through 12th grade. Eight children 4 years of age and younger will receive day care. Classes start in June and continue through May of the following year. Without this program, these students would have no educational opportunity.
The BGR grant will fund the students’ tuition, food budget, uniforms, and school materials. BPHWT purchases school supplies locally in Mae Sot and pays the tuition to the CDC school. Students attend classes throughout the year. After their final year, students take the exit exam (also known as the matriculation exam).