One Day's Wages is pleased to announce our first grant recipient: Burmese Migrant Workers Education Committee (BMWEC). Let us first briefly introduce BMWEC and the incredible work they do to enable education for (currently) 6221+ students. From their website:
BMWEC is an umbrella organisation of 45 schools; 35 schools are located in Thailand for migrant children and 10 are in the IDP (Internally Displaced People) area inside Karen State. For the 2007-2008 school year we were able to provide 6221 children with schooling, from nursery to post ten programs.
BMWEC is a community based organisation created by the schools and each is represented by their headmaster.
But above all we are migrant education workers too. We have been active in education for many years in Burma or in Thailand. Our own teaching qualifications range from high school to university level or College diplomas.
Like the children coming to the schools, we too are stateless. We are people from Burma and from fighting states, fleeing a dictatorship, but we are doing everything we can to educate our people. This inspires and influences our soul, our aims, our mission and our work.
We all suffer the same issues in Thailand and all aspire to a better situation where our basic human rights would be recognized and among them the basic right to education.
ODW's grant to BMWEC is for the amount of $5,128 (US) for the following specific project that provides transportation for 18 months and directly enables access to education for many students:
The transportation of Hsa Mu Htaw school; Hsa Mu Thaw school currently has 203 students and 13 teachers (10 classes). Many students need to be transported to this school as it is on the outskirts of Mae Sot. To do this the school must hire a van and driver to bring the children to school and take them home again each day. Providing reliable transportation ensures that children living far away from the school will be able to safely make it to and from their classes.
One of our philosphies at ODW is the acknowledgement that money in itself is not the solution. In fact, it can be a detriment. The greatest resources are people. Our vision is to invest in people (and NGOs and CBOs) that are engaging in courageous, hopeful, and even beautiful works to lift their people out of poverty. With BMWEC, we saw courage, hope, and beauty – and an organization that was doing its work with much integrity.
While we love our partnerships with more well known organizations like Charity: Water, Not For Sale, and HEAL Africa, the heart of our vision is to find (or be found) small, grassroots, and lesser known organizations that are doing amazing work in order to possibly partner with them, share their stories, raise their platform, and assist them in building their capacity. We're not here to add to unhealthy traits of dependency but to rather add to the substantive work these leaders and orgs are doing to build capacity and empowerment in their work.
Please take a few minutes to learn more about BMWEC. Celebrate their work. Honor their teachers. Share their stories. Support their cause.
Lastly, on behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, and everyone that's been cheering us on, we sincerely appreciate your support and your generous investments. Together, we are enabling this first grant to help support education for the many students of Hsa Mu Thaw school.
Help us to spread the word about One Day's Wages. Invite whoever to consider joining our movement. One Day's Wages = approximately 0.4% of one's annual salary
Eugene & Minhee Cho, founders of One Day's Wages
The Burmese Migrant Workers Education Committee (BMWEC) was set up in 1999 when it was found that there was a need to coordinate the education facilities and resources available to children in the Burmese migrant community living in Thailand and in the Internally Displaced (IDP) camps. It was realized that very little was available and what was available was inconsistent and totally inadequate. With this in mind and a great deal of foresight seven schools and, community leaders, teachers and parents came together and BMWEC came into existence. Since that time, this organization has continued to grow with the number of children attending its schools increasing by approximately 20% each year. Currently in October 2009, there are 10,951 students register in BMWEC schools around Mae Sot and the IDP area within Burma.
BMWEC was developed to promote education for migrants. They support the development of migrant education at all levels and act to improve the standard of education available to the migrant population while working toward gaining recognition and legal status within the Thai education system.
BMWEC objectives are:
- to make it possible for migrant children to attend school.
- to upgrade the quality of education supplied by migrant schools.
- to create a better and safer environment for migrant schools and the children who attend them.
- to work toward preventing poverty, sickness and conflict through education.
The improvement of educational standards, teaching skills, and school conditions continue to be the main areas of focus for BMWEC. To do this BMWEC works continuously to develop better collaboration and communication with other CBOs, NGOs and Thai Government agencies. This has resulted in BMWEC gaining increased credibility at many levels and it is now seen as the main agency dealing exclusively with migrant education in the Tak area and the official representative when dealing with migrant educational issues with Thai Authorities and NGOs.
The aims of the schools are to provide quality education to the students while also developing in them high moral values and a belief in their own ability to improve their own future prospects and those of their families and communities.
The Project ODW is supporting: The transportation of Hsa Mu Htaw school; Has Mu Thaw school currently has 203 students and 13 teachers (10 classes). Many students need to be transported to this school as it is on the outskirts of Mae Sot. To do this the school must hire a van and driver to bring the children to school and take them home again each day. Providing reliable transportation ensures that children living far away from the school will be able to safely make it to and from their classes.
The founder of BMWEC visits ODW in Seattle: