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The Power of Partnership for Morning Glory Learning Centre

We at Imagine Thailand have been working in the community of Mae Sot since 2008. This frontier-like border region between Thailand and Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a mosaic of refugee camps, migrant workers, and over 65 migrant schools. We are currently working with more than 50 migrant schools in Thailand to provide clean water and more than 10 schools inside Burma (Myawaddy township). By installing water filtration systems in schools, we maximize the impact on the community. It’s a proven strategy and one we will continue with as we develop relationships with additional schools.

One such migrant school is the Morning Glory Learning Centre whom we have provided with clean, economical and environmentally friendly drinkable water since 2010.  Previously, the learning center had been equipped with 2 systems (both were simple 5-stage water purifiers with UV filters which remove different unwanted elements with each successive stage of filtration). As a result of decreasing water quality in the area and a growing number of students, a system upgrade is required for the current 2016 school year.

In partnership with Ruamrudee International School (RIS), Imagine Thailand is bringing clean water to nearly 300 students and surrounding community. RIS’s vision includes "fostering compassion through action” and we are so pleased to have a Bangkok school investing in the well-being of other children in Thailand. It’s not only an investment in Thailand as a whole, but into each of the lives of the students at the Morning Glory Learning Centre. We want to thank RIS for their generosity and for fulfilling their vision by putting compassion into action.

What does it take to provide clean water to almost 300 students?

Providing clean water to an entire learning center is a process. For Morning Glory Learning Centre, it was a two-step process.  Step one was installing a 1,500 litre PE storage tank which stores raw, unfiltered water. From there the water flows to an automatic pressure pump and then continues to the first filter, a pre-softener carbon and resin filter.

In the second and final step, Imagine Thailand installed a 5-stage water purifier with a UF membrane.  This UF membrane is an improvement over the previous UV water purification system. With the filtration system installed, the students and their families now have reliable access to clean water. More than impacting students, clean water is helping to create positive change in the wider community.

Mae Sot’s New Reality

Since the reformation of Myanmar (Burma) began in 2011 there have been new challenges for the Burmese refugees and migrants and the NGO’s working with them on the Thai side of the border.  Myanmar is going through a time of reform and has opened it's borders in a way that has not been seen for a long time. Many NGO's have now moved their operations and funding into Myanmar and away from the border communities. Many migrants and refugees are not yet willing or able to make that same move and this has left a funding shortgae for those who remain. The impact has been felt severely by many of the schools where Imagine Thailand has installed water systems.  In the new reality the schools no longer had the funds available to replace the filters and other maintenance which they were responsible for in the past.  

Rather than see the water filtration systems fall into disrepair, Imagine Thailand continues to support the schools and improve the existing systems as needed, like at Morning Glory Learning Center.  We are grateful for the faculty and students at RIS and many others who have continue to understand the value of students and their communities having access to clean, economical and environmentally friendly drinking water.

Get Involved

the upgraded water system at Morning Glory Learning CentreOnce the water filtration systems are installed, there is an ongoing cost to maintain the filters and replace them as needed. Imagine Thailand provides monthly maintenance for the first three years ensuring school staff are trained. Following that, school staff become fully responsible for the system but can call for help at anytime for life. When filters do need to be replaced, the schools are responsible for the cost. Migrant schools are self-funded and budgets are often tight. Currently there are 5 schools in urgent need of new filters. Bwe Klar, Future Garden, Hope, and BHSOH all require $260 for new filters and Elpis needs $125. Without proper filtration, the water becomes contaminated and makes the system ineffective.

For more information about the Morning Glory Learning Centre water project, the urgent need for filters, or any of our clean water projects in Mae Sot, or to find out how you can be involved, please contact us here.

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