Founded in the spring of 2005, Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Centre (BNSCLC) seeks to provide secondary education, practical vocational skills and community development skills to secondary school-aged Burmese refugees, ethnic minorities and the rural poor living in the Mae Hong Son Province area of Thailand.
The purpose of this project is to continue our construction and renovation activities on the boys dormitory, as well as the construction of four new toilets.
Our previous renovation activities greatly improved the condition of the dorm by repairing the floor. However, there was still a need in fixing the walls, roof and windows as the structure was not sufficiently strong to keep out the weather – especially during the rainy season or the cold nights in the winter.
Overall health and sanitation is another important concern at the learning centre. We constructed four new toilets so the students staying in the dorm, and the teachers and staff, have improved sanitation facilities.
The students at BNSCLC are part of a large population of Burmese migrants living outside of the refugee camps. Not being in the camps leaves the children without any access to secondary education. This is because they don’t have the appropriate documentation that would give them access to government schools. This lack of educational opportunity leaves them with few options.
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, to non-existent.
As it follows, the centre has not had sufficient funds to maintain, repair or improve their facilities. Having a safe and healthy environment to study and live will improve the outcomes of their education programmes.