Education Support for Shan youth

Education Support for Shan youth

Project Details

Project:Supplementary scholarships for Shan youth
Location:Piang Luang,
Sponsorship Started:2012
Duration:July 2019 - Dec 2020
Budget: €510 ($575)
Total Beneficiaries:5


Since 2002 a growing number of Shan refugees have found shelter in the Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp next to Piang Luang, Thailand. Although many Burmese refugees in Thailand must contend with uncertain legal status and are required to stay inside their camps, Thai authorities have granted young refugees permission to pursue an education outside the camp.

Through generous donations secured by us, a total of nine students from Koung Jor have received supplementary funds to cover essential living expenses while furthering their education at quality English schools. While there, the students receive the training and education necessary to support and develop their communities.


Over the past 30 years Burmese ethnic minorities have fled their homeland in the hundreds of thousands to escape the country’s internal armed conflicts. Over 400 of these refugees are living in Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp, located on the Thai-Burmese border.

In principle the residents of Koung Jor are not allowed to leave the camp. However, Thai authorities have shown lenience in allowing students to pursue an education outside the camp.

The camp leadership runs projects to secure a safe and dignified existence for the camp population. One of these projects is an educational programme to prepare students for entrance exams at two schools that offer scholarships: Wide Horizons and the English Immersion Programme (IEP). The scholarship includes a two-year study programme (including a one-year internship) at these quality English speaking schools in western Thailand. The schools equip students with leadership skills to develop communities as teachers, translators, peacebuilders and human rights defenders.

Since 2012 we have been working with camp leadership to award supplementary scholarships to students within the camp. These education support funds cover basic living costs such as clothing, hygienic needs and food. With the aid of academic and supplementary scholarships students have a better chance of succeeding in school, improving their livelihoods and helping their communities.

Goals and Results

14 students have now been awarded supplementary scholarships that were funded by us.

Sai Yord Tai started his first year of studying at Wide Horizons in May 2016.

In 2015 two students completed the intensive English course at English Immersion Programme in Umphiem Camp (Sai Loakur) and Wide Horizons in Mae Sot (Sai War Ling). Their internship took place at Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp where they taught English to the community. Sai War Ling used the knowledge he gained and took on a leadership role as caretaker at the boarding house for 19 children inside the camp.

Four other students have also successfully completed the programme including the 10 months at the respective English schools and the one-year internship.

In 2019 -20 we were supporting two students in the IEP programme and one student in the Global Border Studies (GBS) programme. One of the students was a former boarder at the KJSRC Boarding House that we support.


  • Sara and Lukas Salvisberg-Vontobel (2019 – 2020) | 17.680 THB (CHF 559) for one student
  • Sara Salvisberg (2018 – 2019) | 13.000 THB (391 CHF) for one student
  • Sjoerd van Belzen (2018 -2020) | 17.680 THB (530 EUR) for one student
  • Helfen ohne Grenzen – Schweiz (2017 – 2018) | € 227 for two students
  • Ann and Martin Amman (2017 – 2018) | € 440 for two students
  • Helfen ohne Grenzen – Schweiz (June 2016 – April 2017) | € 283 for one student
  • Helfen ohne Grenzen – Schweiz (June 2012 – April 2015 | € 1.520 for six students

What's Been Happening Recently

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On 23rd December, long time supporter Mr. Hans van den Born, Executive Director of the NTCC - Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce, his wife Pui Chatchaya and their children visited Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp (this is the third project Hans visited in the past 2 years).

As part of the visit Hans handed over the THB 20.000 raised at the NTCC Christmas lunch to Sai Vijit, the camp’s Education Coordinator, for the camp to use where they most need it.

Hans and his family came prepared - with toys and clothes they had collected for the 55 children in the camp.

We would like to thank Hans and the NTCC for all the support they have given us over the past few years.

Read more about the project here.

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While many parts of the world have returned to some kind of normalcy, the situation for refugees has not improved at the same rate.

Still faced with many obstacles to provide for their families, the Koung Jor refugee camp requested assistance with rice and cooking oil, which is essential to cook with.

In April 2020 we started supplying the camp with enough rice and oil for a month at a time, and in the last few months, just the oil they required.

Thanks to our general donors whose monthly contributions have helped us to continue to support so many, and to Niels Ammerlaan of Mind Tools who helped support the month of October.

Please keep these people in mind as they struggle to replace incomes they had pre-COVID.

More info about our projects with this refugee camp:

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❤ Doesn't everybody deserve a safe and caring place to grow up in? 💚

This is exactly what the Boarding House in Koung Jor Shan Refugee Camp provides to currently 20 refugee children, often with no parents or family to turn to. Fortunately, the Boarding House has two caretakers and a cook who provide the children with all the support they need, and a safe and loving environment to live in.

More than that, the warmth and love that the staff provides, makes this small community into a family, with all the children caring for each other and helping them to become compassionate persons.

The children are taught the importance of education and how that contributes to a successful future. The boarding house ensures that they gain essential life skills and receive a quality education in the local schools. All this so that they grow into independent, capable young adults.

A big thank you to our generous friends and sponsors Sandra Vontobel-Niklaus and Yves Vontobel. We're so thrilled that these children can live in a safe environment and go to school, despite the many challenges they face.

To find out more about this project:

#kjsrc #BoardingHouse
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