Educational Support for Karenni Further Studies Program (2011)

July 1, 2011

This project will enable 58 refugees, aged 16–21, to attend the Karenni Further Studies Program (KnFSP) for a year, in Karenni Camp 2 on the Thai/Burma border. The students will receive formal education in English, Maths, Science, Computer Operations and Social Studies, as well as other subjects like Leadership and Management to build their capacity to take up future leadership and managerial roles.

The study program will provide a safe and enabling learning environment to develop the knowledge, skills and attitude of young people to value their education and become the community leaders of the future. In refugee camps on the Thai/Burma border, access to higher education is very limited and previously there was no educational program available for young refugees in Karenni Camp 2. KnFSP was established to meet this need and provide a space for young refugees to continue their education. In addition, through the current resettlement programme, the number of skilled workers has greatly diminished, so this program will help address that gap.

The KnFSP program is varied including formal learning, symposiums, work internships, leadership camp and community service outreach. Part of the course curriculum will include women’s studies, in order to empower young women, with over 60% of the student population being female. The formal education will be carried out by 6 full time teachers and the program is supported by an advisory committee, mainly formed by Karenni community members.

Additional information

In 2008, the KnFSP was established by the local community to create a two year school program for young people aged 16-21, who did not have access to further education. It is located in Ban Mae Surin (BMS), otherwise known as Karenni Site 2, in Amphur Khun Yuam, Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand and has a population of approximately 3,500 people.
In the last 3 academic school years, there were 48 graduates, of whom 70 percent are now working with community based organizations and schools.


During the last year, 51 students (2 levels: 33 students in level 1 and 18 students in level 2) were able to continue their education and acquire necessary knowledge and skills from this education opportunity. There were initially 58 students registered at the beginning, but 3 of them have dropped out in order to make income for their families, and some had to join the resettlement program offered by the UN. Students had an annual 5-day Leadership Camp, conflict resolution training, organized competitions (Sport games, public speaking competitions) and internship opportunities for 2nd year students.

 Among the 51 students, all of the 33 level 1 students were able to pass the final exams and all of their level 2 students were granted the graduate certificate. All the graduates this year were employed by different community based organizations within the camp.

Their active involvement in the local community during and after the program was much appreciated. Without this effort, according to the chairperson Saw Hsar Htoo, the services in Karenni camp 2 will be paralyzed, particularly the education sectors, where teachers are in great shortage.

Case Study

Seng Lott is a eighteen-year old Kachin who graduated from KnFSP last March with the highest result (4HD). During the internship period that all second-year students participated annually, Seng Lott worked with the High School, assisting the office with operational activities as well as conducting her own research to better understand the education system in the camp, from nursery and kindergarten level to high school; and also worked assistant teacher. Her outstanding performance and work ethics during the internship have resulted in an offer to join Kachin Education Department in her homeland Kachin State as a full-time staff right after graduation.

“I’m both excited and nervous about the new job. But I have trust in the knowledge and skills I have learned from KnFSP. I will definitely try my best to help my people”.

Seng Lott