Educational Support for Karenni Further Studies Program
January 1, 2010
Education in the Karenni Camps refugee camps in Thailand is limited and basic. Currently educational assistance to Karenni refugees from early childhood development to high school education is primarily supported by international non-governmental organizations and individuals and there are very few educational opportunities beyond 10th grade. There are currently only 5 post-10th grade education programs available to the Karenni and these are largely confined in Karenni Camp.
Recent developments have restricted the movement of youth from camp to camp and necessitated the establishment of a post 10th grade school in Karenni Camp 2 to provide educational opportunities for over 50 potential young leaders who otherwise lacked opportunity to continue their education. As a result, the Karenni Further Studies Program (KnFSP) was formed on January 2008.
KnFSP is a community led project which will create an alternative 2 year post-high school program for young people within Karenni Camp 2. This additional educational opportunity will help the young students become community workers, productive members and future leaders of their society.
With this project Refugee Empowerment International will provide the bridge financing that will allow KnFSP to continue to support the students to completion of their 2nd year of their post 10th grade education. 40 students will be able to continue their education and move into a higher level of learning. In addition these students will be able participate in student leadership activities and increase their awareness and involvement in community development.
25 students in level 1 and 15 students in level 2 were able to continue their education and acquire sufficient knowledge and skills to graduate. 60 students were exposed to leadership roles inside and outside of the school such as debating competitions, sports contests, leadership camp, an internship program and activities with other schools. Having attended training workshops, students from level 2 have now reached a stage where they can work for the development of the community. 13 students are now working in various community-based organizations in the camp after successfully completing 2 month internships. These 13 students became the second group of graduates. They have also been selected to take on responsibilities as high school teachers during the 2010-2011 academic year to take the place of others who were resettled to third countries.
I believe that future is in the hand of the young people; therefore, to have a progressive and peaceful future, young people of Karennni today should work hard for developing their education as well as behavior.