The old kitchen had poor hygiene, cleaning and sanitation conditions increasing the risk of infection and disease spreading, as well as contamination of food and food poisoning. The kitchen was frequently infested by rats and other animals, including dogs, cats and chickens searching for food, with the result that the children and teachers often got sick.
The students at BNSCLC are part of a large population living outside of the refugee camps. Not being in the camps leaves the children without any access to secondary education as they don’t have the appropriate documentation that would give them access to government schools. This lack of educational opportunity leaves them with limited options.
BNSCLC provides quality education, meals, and dormitories for migrant and refugee children on the Thai-Burma border. This support comes to children and teenagers who would otherwise be required to find menial labour and find themselves at greater risk of exploitation.
BNSCLC has coordinated with the Mae Hong Son Provincial Informal Education Department to provide high school accredited education to these children and give them the opportunity to break away from poverty.
The public funding available to operate these informal schools is understandably low, almost non-existent. As such the centre has not had sufficient funds to buy enough food or medicine for the students. To cover the shortfall the staff that run the school have been using their own minimal salaries to fund this.
BNSCLC success, sustained efforts and innovative solutions were acknowledged and rewarded by UNESCO in 2018 when they won the Wenhui Award for Innovations in School, Family and Community Collobration for Quality Education.
Goals and Results
The construction of the new kitchen took three months. Now with the new kitchen cum dining and reading room, the students and teachers cook and eat in a clean and hygienic environment that meets safe sanitation standards. The students help each other by dividing the tasks in cooking and cleaning the kitchen every day, which encourages them to take ownership and learn responsibility.
2. The students and teachers are now protected from mosquitos and other insects as there are doors and windows with mosquito netting. The old kitchen was in an outdoor space.
3. The new building will also be used for parent meetings, school activities, parties and other social events.
4. BNSCLC students and teachers benefit from the new refrigerator, where they store their food, safe from rats, insects and other animals.
5. The new kitchen/dining and reading room has fans, which gives relief from the heat and makes the room a much more comfortable and wholesome place to eat and study.