Over the past few weeks we’ve had the opportunity to share with 5 Australian Catholic University International Development students the reality of life on the Thailand Burma Border.
Living more simply. Listening to the stories of young Burmese men and women overcoming huge obstacles to pursue their dream of education.
Visiting the hospital and homes of those with HIV AIDS. Being inspired by young teenagers in the Secondary Programme and their huge hunger to learn.
Walking through factories, fish markets, muddy pathways.
Sitting with young children and imagining their future. Listening to other NGO’s and their workers share their joys and struggles.
Becoming friends and companions with Burmese University students studying online through ACU Thai / Burma Border Programme. It has all been part of their time with us.
Here are some of their own words describing their time with us:
My short time at Marist Mission Ranong has been life changing. It still astounds me that an experience I thought I just had to get through in order to complete my studies would have such a lasting impact on my life.
The Burmese ACU students are so inspirational and their encouragement towards each other is motivating to see. After seeing their determination and drive to study I will no longer take my education for granted once I return home. I would like to thank everyone that has made my stay here one of the most rewarding and eye opening experiences
The education and health projects have opened up my heart, mind and soul to new people and experiences that will remain with me forever. I have never been in an environment where the positivity, motivation and determination to carry on has been so strong and alive day after day.
Working with the health team at MMR was definitely a life changing experience. To learn about the hardship and discrimination that Burmese migrants face on a daily basis was a shock. Coming from such a privileged life in Australia and seeing people being taking advantage of because they cant speak the language or don’t have any money is heart breaking.
The best experience of all was spending time with the ACU online students. They are all so happy, positive and full of life! I loved walking into their classroom everyday or even passing them through the hallway they would always have a huge smile on their face and so happy to see us! To have been able to overcome all these obstacles and challenges and now all 9 of them, are on their way to getting a recognized university diploma is a true inspiration to me!