Adopt a School Program
Support migrant children with an education for $35 a month
The situation of children in Mae Sot
Most children come to Mae Sot, Thailand after fleeing violence or poverty at the hands of the military government in neighbouring Myanmar. These children, not recognized by the Thai government, are at tremendous risk of being trafficked or used for child labour.
To provide these children with an education, a safe place and often a home, a network of about 60 migrant schools has developed through the Burmese Migrant Workers Education Committee (BMWEC). Without government funding, schools rely on donations and community resourcefulness to cover all operating costs.
Education is the best investment you can make to give communities along the Thai-Myanmar border a chance to break the cycle of poverty and violence. Still, only about half of all students in the area can attend school. And for those that do attend, their schools are vastly under resourced.
Imagine Thailand has been working with migrant schools since 2004. Our work focuses on providing practical assistance like water filtration systems, school sponsorship, medical supplies, health education and learning resources.
Why adopt a school?
Secure and stable funding for migrant schools is rare. Most donations are one-time only, making planning for the future extremely difficult. Most schools do not know how they will provide their students (many of whom live at the school) with food-–let alone pay rent, electricity and teacher salaries.
We believe the best way to support these children is within their communities where their culture, language and community structure is preserved. It’s also the most cost effective. Our goal isn’t to open new schools or orphanages, but to support local, community-based, well-run schools that know their student's needs best.
How you can help
By adopting a school, you'll help to:
- provide a school lunch program, ensuring every child gets at least one nutritious meal each day
- supply learning supplies like paper, pencils and books
- pay the minimal teacher salaries, land rent and electricity bills
But school adoption is about much more than money. According to BMWEC, international recognition of migrant schools is one of the best ways to make them more secure and sustainable. Adopting a school is about building a two-way, cross-cultural relationship. You can exchange letters, photos and emails with your school as you both gain a deeper understanding of the world we live in.
While costs vary with the size, location and structure of each school, Imagine Thailand is seeking 10 to 20 partners for each school who will each give $35 a month. Because we don't want to duplicate efforts of other organizations or encourage school dependence on any one donor, we aim to cover about 1/3 of each school's budget.
How to get started
To find out more about this project, a school your group can be matched with, or start an adopt a school program, contact us. To make a one-time donation, visit www.imaginethailand.org/donate/ and send us a note to direct your donation to migrant schools.