Myanmar Child Refugees School
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. July 1st, 2010
Every year, a number of political refugees from Myanmar make it across the border with Thailand and further into Malaysia. Their children are semi legalized but aren't entitled to basic services. A private initiative offers them education and safety from traffickers.
Occasionally, Myanmar's political dissenters manage to leave their country and flee into Malaysia. However, they hardly have a chance to be recognized as refugees and even with official UNHCR refugee status their future remains bleak.
Christy, a young and keen Malaysian volunteer, is our contact. She takes us to a privately organized center where aboout thirty children of Myanmar refugees receive education and a dignified childhood. Even being granted UNHCR refugee status, many of these children remain at risk of being trafficked; they could be kidnapped and disappear without a trace. Adult supervision is of vital importance for these children living a semi legal life as temporary residents of Malaysia.
We do the same session we have done with children in India, Laos, Cambodia. To the gentle guitar sounds of one of the teachers, we jump on one foot together, write names with our behinds, guess which animal one child imitates and even stage a short theater play the older girls have made up themselves.
Many of the parents are in the process of applying for a visa in countries like Canada, Denmark, Australia. For the children it is important the bridge the gap and receive enough schooling to connect to the educational system in their future host countries.
We make a small donation that will buy the kids a day out.