The project rebuilt schools and teachers’ dormitories worn with time and to repair schools affected by the storm on May 20, 2020.
These repairs are crucial for the safety and well being of students and teachers and vital to their continuing education.
Friends Without Borders (FWB) Foundation was established in 1999 and registered as a non-profit organisation in 2008. FWB works primarily with refugees and displaced children living in conflict-affected areas in and around refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border. Since October 2018, FWB has been running the project ‘Capacity Building for Border Karen Schools & Teachers) in Karen State, Myanmar, with the support of PCF. The programme has been renamed ‘SchoolPower’ to gain recognition in the area. The project was initially based on the feasibility study and consultation conducted with beneficiaries during 15 September – 15 October 2017.
The ‘SchoolPower’ project is a run in cooperation between FWB and the local Karen Education Department (KED), which aims to strengthen the quality of life and well-being of approximately 720 Karen children living in 9 communities in the targeted areas and to be a model for similar efforts in other border areas.
Goals and Results
Thanks to this project, rural schools can apply, if necessary, for refurbishment and repair or rebuilding. Four schools in the area requested to rebuild or repair. However, before the repairs could begin on these projects, the area was struck by a tropical storm on May 20, causing further damage to these schools. Two additional schools were added to the repair and rebuild project in the storm’s aftermath, bringing to 6 the total number of schools to need repair.
The repairs began with a new school building for Pwo Pwoh Lay village, a new teacher’s dormitory for Mae La Ah Khee village, a new roof for Tee Tu Kaw School, and three roof repairs for Mae La Ah Hta school, Si Poe Khi school and the KED teacher training centre.
Saw Poe Si is an English and History teacher at Pwoh Pwo Lay school, at the Thai/Myanmar border. He was born and raised in Pwoh Pwo Lay, but had to flee when he was very young due to the constant military conflict in the area. After years of displacement and moving from place to place, he finally found a place with a good school to settle in. Upon graduating, he decided that returning to his hometown to become a teacher and nurture the next generation was his calling. His goal was to give back to his community and provide the children with the opportunities he never had.
"When I was growing up, there were no schools. Now there is a school but no one to teach," he said.
"The children now will become the next generation of adults and teach future children. We, as teachers, have to encourage and support them to learn happily."
Saw's school is one of nine ethnic Karen community schools that PCF partners with Friends Without Borders (FWB) to support. The program works closely with teachers, women, and children from marginalized communities in conflict-affected areas.
The Ta K’Paw primary school in Pa-an District, Karen State, Myanmar, is one of nine schools we support under our "Capacity Building Project for Karen Teachers and Schools" or "SchoolPower" project.
The old school building at Ta K’Paw was not well-built because the community did not have the budget to purchase good quality materials. The construction of the building was poor and weak; the wood used was old and now rotten. The roof of the building was leaking, and students had to move their desks to avoid rainwater.
It is clear that we had to do something, and a new school building has been constructed. The new building is now ready to use with six classrooms, one office, and a library. This new building will benefit 50 students aged 6 to 12 years old, five teachers, and 240 villagers.
Thoo Mwe Community High School has been providing food to displaced students fleeing villages in battle zones near the Thai Myanmar border. The students needed a safe place to stay, a school to go to and, definitely, food to survive.
This school, one of nine schools PCF supports in the area, told us that this year there are 11 more pupils in need of food aid than the previous (from 35 to 46 students, aged 11 to 18).
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗮 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵 𝗶𝘀 𝟰𝟬𝟯 𝗕𝗮𝗵𝘁 | 𝟭𝟭 𝗘𝘂𝗿𝗼. To support 46 students for 10 months, the total budget is 185.380 Baht | 5.101 Euro.
Thank you again to the anonymous sponsor and to Joanne Nihom and Michiel Schrijver for your great support.