The Tomato Village Learning Center (TVLC) is located in Ban Huai Makhuea Som Village (Tomato Village), Mae Hong Son Province, northern Thailand. It offers English language lessons to children ages six to 18. Most of these children belong to Burmese migrant or ethnic minorities, which puts them at a disadvantaged position in society.
As a rural and poor community in northern Thailand, Ban Huai Makhuea Som Village has increased challenges in maintaining an adequately safe and secure environment for learning. The state of the roof of the classroom was in serious disrepair, and the conditions of the mud-staircase behind the classroom were dangerous – especially during the rainy season.
To secure a safe learning environment, we agreed to fix the roof and repair the staircase.
The population of Ban Huai Makhuea Som consists of five ethnic groups, most of whom are 2nd or 3rd generation migrants from Burma who escaped the internal armed conflicts within their country. They are among the most disadvantaged groups in Thailand and have limited access to education, healthcare and employment opportunities.
In 2004, Aung Hlaing Hteerasuphakul (Ben), himself an exile from Burma, started the Tomato Village Learning Center to offer a three-year English programme from beginner to advanced level.
Ben has lived through hardship and understands the important role of language education in children’s futures. This school helps open many doors for these children who face numerous socioeconomic challenges.
Goals and Results
The goal of this project was to fix the urgently needed repairs in and around the learning centre. We are very happy to have accomplished this! Check out the photos to see the change.