Burmese migrant students at desks in Thailand

Supporting Children of Burmese Refugees in Thailand

Holt president Phil Littleton shares about a new effort to help support children of Burmese refugees and migrants living in Bangkok, Thailand.

Together with you, we serve children and families in such diverse communities around the world. From migrant worker families living in urban slum communities in India to families living in traditional mud huts in rural Ethiopia, your sponsorship helps support children and families living in all kinds of circumstances. But though their backgrounds vary, the needs they face are often the same. They need safe shelter, clean water, nourishing food — and most of all, the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty or hardship. For parents, this may mean job skills training or a small business microloan.

For children, this means education. No matter where they live, every child deserves the chance to go to school.

Recently, our creative team returned from a trip to visit sponsored children and their families in Thailand. While there, they had an opportunity to visit an informal school for the children of Burmese refugees and migrants living near Bangkok. Many of these families fled Myanmar to escape violence or persecution under the military government in their homeland. Others migrated to Thailand in search of work.

About 180 kindergarten- to high school-age students attend the school, which has served the community for the past six years. It has dedicated teachers who speak both Thai and Burmese, and teach both languages to help preserve the children’s culture. But although the school is equipped with chalkboards and basic supplies, it operates without electricity or running water. Our team delivered sports equipment — soccer balls and badminton racquets — during their visit in August. In the surrounding community, our partner also provides nutrition and childcare support for some of the most vulnerable families.

As my daughter goes back to school this month — and maybe your children or grandchildren, too — I feel so thankful that she has a school to attend with everything she needs to focus on her studies and do her best in the classroom. I’m also thankful she lives in a peaceful community, without the fear of violence or persecution. I want the same for every child, and it warms my heart to know that together with sponsors like you, we can help provide everything these children need to grow up healthy and strong in their new home in Thailand.

Thank you for your dedication to your sponsored child! Whether he or she is of school age, your support is setting them on the path to succeed in life — no matter their background, circumstances or where they live in the world.

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