News and Stories
His mother thanked Sr. Rosemary Wong saying, “My son is totally changed now. Before, he never wanted to go to the church; but now, he is the one to invite the family to go to church with him every Sunday. He does not drink alcohol nor make any troubles with others and he works hard.” Undoubtedly, JRS could observe happiness and satisfaction in La Wawm’s mother who was sitting at the front row during graduation day.
“Being a good child and student is a gift that I can give in gratitude to the people who supported my education,” says Maw Meh, a 9-year-old Standard 3 student in the refugee Camp of Ban Mai Nai Soi, Mae Hong Son, Thailand.
Another year has passed, another year has come. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my supervisors that I worked with. I learned a lot from them. They supported and taught me not only work but also life lessons.
August 5, 2020 was the last session of a special webinar series under “Voices from the Field: Myanmar Refugees Living on the Thai-Myanmar Border” co-organized by JRS Thailand. Father Joseph Gerald Hampson, SJ, Education and Pastoral Project Director in Mae Hong Sorn, Thailand was one of the key speakers.
“Human rights law is not like following traffic lights, it needs deeper emotional involvement. That’s why raising awareness and understanding among individuals is needed. Once people truly perceived to respect human rights, they will also respect refugee as equal to themselves.”
Even though the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Myanmar on 23 March 2020, the cost of protective equipment has risen since the beginning of February 2020. As we could not find enough supply in local markets, we discussed with local partners, Zetaman, and SehTeh Education and Development Foundation (STEDF), for a small local business plan that JRS would provide a mixer machine for each partner and teach them how to produce soap and hand sanitizer, then JRS would buy and distribute their products to communities.
The Thai, English and vocational class under Urban Education Project (UEP) has afforded ST many opportunities and possibilities. The courses that UEP offers are useful and can be applied to everyday life, as well as broaden his opportunities. For ST, what he thought was lost has now been found, as he has been able to improve both his English and Computer Graphic Design skills through the informative curriculum. Through his newfound knowledge and skills, he has gained hope, as well as confidence, in forging a new future for himself and his family.
As I continue with my work here, I cannot help but reflect on the labels given to the people I work for, as it carries so much weight. To me, it can be dangerous and damaging as these labels can cause us to dehumanize the people we serve. Have we not realized that behind those labels there is a human being, a very human person just like you and me? Have we taken enough time to get to know them for who they truly are? These are questions that I ask myself everyday.
On the World Refugee Day, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), in partnership with Karenni Community College (KnCC) at a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son, Thailand, Level Up Academy (LUA), and Seh Teh Learning Center (STLC) in Kayah State, Myanmar, organized a virtual cross-border youth exchange forum to broaden and share ideas about environmental issues among 71 youths (35M, 36F) across the Thai-Myanmar border.