VSO Thailand-Myanmar focuses on the rights of disadvantaged ethnic minorities, working with hill tribe, migrant and refugee populations on the Thai-Myanmar border. It works in education and in participation and governance.
Education is a fundamental human right, and one that enables women and men to realise other rights and to fulfil their potential. Many disadvantaged children on the Thai–Myanmar border have access to some form of schooling, but significant numbers are still excluded because of ethnicity, nationality, disability, gender, religion, and other factors. VSO is working with education providers and others to help realise every child’s right to education, ie Education for All.
The children of migrant workers from Myanmar represent one group that is particularly disadvantaged when it comes to education provision. While informal migrant schools have been established, they are not currently recognised by the Thai state, despite its stated commitment to education for all. VSO is working with the Thai state and with migrant schools and their networks to promote a process of registering migrant schools as Learning Centres. This would open up the possibility of state support and the accreditation of the educational achievements of pupils, giving them a better chance to enter higher education or to secure a job.
Working with community groups
Women and young people from ethnic minorities are often doubly disadvantaged, suffering the brunt of the social and economic problems resulting from the political situation in Myanmar and Thailand, yet under-represented in decision-making structures within their own communities. VSO is working with ethnic women and youth groups to build the capacity of their representative organisations – small, community-based membership organisations that are often run by volunteers from within the community. In addition, VSO is seeking to give these groups opportunities to work together in order to have a greater say in the decisions and processes that affect them.
Get in touch with VSO Thailand-Myanmar at:
VSO Thailand/Myanmar, 75/21 Soi Sukhumvit 13, Sukhumvit Road, Klongton-nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand