Education for some is a tool to achieve the greatness of life,
but for those who are nearly impossible to go to school, it’s a long journey of one’s dream.
In one of their home visitations, the Marist Mission Ranong (MMR) team was greatly moved by the story narrated to them by the mother of the two of their students. She told them about her personal struggles in providing education for her sons.
The brothers Pen War Soe 6 years old and Aung Mint Khant 4 years old are both studying at MMR (Marist Mission Ranong) Child Care programme. When they enrolled to the programme, they didn’t have any documents like birth certificate or health card, although they were born in Thailand.
The mother works in a fish factory, where she earns at least 100 Baht ($3) a day. The father works in a fishing boat, and comes home once every two months from fishing in Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean. He earns 3,500 baht/ month ($ 115). According to the mother their income is not enough for day to day living so they decided to live in a very cheap room near the sea shore where mud and rubbish stock during high tide. She added, “the money we earn is very valuable. So I really use it properly, but sad to say nothing is left for my sons’ education. In order to send them to school, after my work in the factory, I do some household jobs to other houses. However, my time with them is getting less. They are always left in the neighbor’s house every evening and during the weekends, since I always get home late. I really feel pity for them but I need to do this to send them to school.”
Then the mother shared her dreams for her sons. She really wants them to finish their education. She believes education is very essential in life in which she doesn’t have. She thinks if she finished her study before, she would not end up in her situation now. She likes them to have a degree of their own choice. Pen War Soe the eldest wants to be a pilot and Aung Mint Khant the youngest wants to be a sailor. She hopes that someday they will achieve their dreams.
During the visitation of MMR Team, they found out that she has a 6 year- old adopted son. This boy has never been to school. He has been abandoned by his parents when he was a baby. He was hit by cars and branches of trees on the streets, since no one was taking care of him. The scar on his head is still fresh. His awful situation opened up the idea of adopting him according to her.
After hearing his story, the MMR staff invited the adopted son to come to our school to have new friends and playmates. The mother couldn’t believe his luck that now her sons and adopted son can go to school together and she has more time to earn money for the living and for their education.
The visit ended up fruitfully. We went home enriched not only of one story but more, like the story of the adopted son. We went home convinced that: establishing relationships with our students and their parents by listening to their stories plays a vital role in educating Burmese migrants’ kids, and be able to help them in their journey towards the in-fleshing of their dreams.