Burma Border Projects is the primary source of funding for One Dream One World, a school-like childcare program committed to providing a safe place to learn and play for the children of poor migrant families. Living in Mae Sot are hundreds of thousands of Burmese refugees who have fled their native country’s oppressive military regime and are seeking a safe place to live and a better future for their children. If they are fortunate, the parents and older children find work in fields and factories, working 12-15 hours a day, 6 days a week for an average of 60 baht a day (USD $2). Inevitably, some of the younger children end up on the streets begging for money and collecting rubbish to sell. These children are vulnerable to exploitation from drug and human traffickers with some even engaging in prostitution. The owners of Mae Sot’s Aiya Restaurant, Ms. Khemitsara and Mr. Myat Thu started this “street children’s school” in February of 2008. The school offers a safe, enriching environment that provides a place for basic education, creative play and even a filling lunchtime meal. Art, languages, math and social studies are an integral part of each school day. The overall goals of One Dream One World are:
1. To provide educational opportunities to children who currently work as garbage collectors and beggars, and who are in many cases homeless.
2. To improve the living standards, health conditions and educational standards of these children.
3. To restore and cultivate an environment in which these children can reclaim at least some measure of their lost childhoods.
4. To prevent these children from being exploited by human traffickers and others who might seek financial gain at the expense of innocent young children
BBP is proud to be associated with such a noble effort.