The Andaman Center Semester is in full swing as we had a final enrollment and attendance of 80 students. The students will be receiving a full education including subjects of Geography and History, Science and Biology, Social Studies and Thai/Burmese/English spoken and written language. Plus, they are given the opportunity to learn conversational and interactive English from volunteers provided by Andaman Discoveries. The center has two Semesters with three testing periods to compile the students’ grades and knowledge that can be transferred to Myanmar if the families migrate back.
It was encouraging to see 5th and 6th grade students return as some were expected to drop out to obtain work and generate income for their families. For example, one 14 year old girl, was given permission by her mother to attend school if she agreed to gather the rubber from the trees her father taps each night. She has to wake up at around 2AM, collect rubber for 2/3 hrs, sleep for another 2 hours and then wake up and go to school! That is dedication and perseverance that we all should strive to have in our lives and a reason to always fundraise to keep the center open!
The Andaman Center offers a platform for health and life skills development and training for the students. The Foundation for Education and Development (FED) in partnership with the International Organization for migration and the Kuraburi Provincial Hospital gave a half day health training to the students about illnesses that increase during the rainy season, which is from June through October. Teaching the students is critical since they live in high risk areas of illness, due to the slum- like conditions of their housing situation as a migrant population. The lessons were fun and interactive and gave practical information for students to identify symptoms, treat symptoms and how to care for their environment and home to prevent illness. For example, creating small smoke fires to keep mosquitoes away and to dump out and clean standing water to prevent mosquito larva from hatching. The students asked questions and said that they would return home and share the information with their families and community members.
Throughout the Semester, the students will receive updated health information and check-ups as well as other training in relation to living healthy lifestyles. They also receive positive feedback from teachers at community and parent meetings that bring the entire Burmese Community together!