Download Marist Asia Foundation 2020 Annual Report Here
Download Marist Asia Foundation 2020 Annual Report Here
Sue and Glenn Roff were a Marist Volunteer Couple, both experienced teachers in Australia, who volunteered in 2019 – 2020. They supported the Burmese Migrant Secondary Programme, Australian Catholic University Online Diploma Programme, and the late afternoon Intermediate English Programme. Here is their reflection after they returned to Australia March 2020. [Read more…]
2019 has been a year with many challenges, yet we see so many stories of hope among our Burmese Migrant families.
In our Annual Report you can read about the ‘Ranong Raid’ and how it has left over 2,700 Burmese Migrant Children out of education. [Read more…]
My name is May Tha Zin Oo. I am 20 years and I am from Myanmar. I have just graduated in Ranong through the Australian Catholic University Online Diploma Programme and now I am studying the Certificate in Teaching and Learning course from Australian Catholic University. My dream is to become a Teacher.
My family used to live in Kawthaung, Myanmar, before we moved to Ranong, Thailand. When I was young, my family was poor. My mother stayed at home and took care of us. At that time, only my father was working. His job was fishing and he took a long time in the sea to get back home.
The money that my father got from fishing was not enough to feed our family. Because of poverty my parents sent us to live with my grandmother and they moved to Ranong, Thailand to find jobs. I lived at my grandmother’s house for a year and then my Aunt’s house so we could get an education but it is expensive to go to school in Myanmar. My parents did not have money to support us. My mother called us to live with them in Ranong as Migrants.
I went to study at Ban Maria Migrant Learning Center and at that time I heard about Marist Asia Foundation. I studied hard and took the entrance exam and I passed. I completed the Burmese Migrant Secondary Education Programme in 2016 and continued learning Intermediate and Academic English. I studied the ACU Diploma and continued to study Academic English 2 and TOEFL ITP course to improve my English.
During the time I was studying, I was a part-time volunteer at Bangnon Learning Center, and I taught Thai language and during weekends I also was teaching English for Burmese Migrant Workers as part of the Migrant Outreach Programme (MOP) at Marist Asia Foundation.
Currently, I am a teacher at Marist Asia Foundation (MAF) and I teach Thai, Mathematics, and Science. During the time I have worked at MAF I have learnt a lot from my students and my workmates. I have also got to know the situation of the migrant families and their challenges in Ranong.
There have been three main teaching training experiences that especially have helped me have a better understanding of teaching. I had the opportunity to participate in teaching training “Improving Thai as Second language learning for Migrant Children in Ranong (TSL) with Save the Children International (SCI) and Mahidol University. I was also involved in teacher training with Mr. Wim Epskamp for three months where I learnt how to write lesson plans, how to manage time, classroom organization and behaviour management.
Currently I am studying online to complete the Certificate in Teaching and Learning with Australian Catholic University (ACU). Teaching Learning and Context, Classroom Management, Contexts for Learning and Development have been great courses for me. I am now doing Assessment for Learning. These courses help develop my teaching ability and let me now about best practices in teaching.
In the future, I want to be a qualified teacher and give quality education to our Burmese Migrant Children. I love to spend my time with my students and share a smile with them. There is a speech that motivates my teaching “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like” (Rita Pierson). My big dream is to continue to a Bachelor of Education at Australian Catholic University in Brisbane because my Aunty lives there.
If I get the opportunity to study at ACU for a Bachelor of Education I would like to come back to Marist Asia Foundation and serve back to my migrant community. Sometimes I think that the person who really knows and deeply understands about migrant life is a ‘Migrant’. Therefore, I believe in myself that in the future I will be a person to serve back with a full heart and be effective in the community.
I also hope that in the future there is another Marist Asia Foundation in Myanmar for the poor children, and I will be one of the staff who is willing to be involved. To be a part of it I need to study Bachelor of Education to make myself ready for the future.
Now I am a teacher but I would like to study and learn more. The reason why I choose to be a teacher is because my mother always said to us “if you become an educated person, do not forget your people and other people, help them as much as you can help”.
My mother’s words also make me want to be a teacher more and more. From my own perspective, a teacher is not only the person who shares knowledge or teaches in front of the class, but the teacher is also a person who gives love, kindness, and peacefulness to students.
I strongly believe in the words of Nelson Mandela ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’. I believe the school and good teachers are the best support for the future needs of Burmese Migrant and Children in Myanmar.
I would like to ask sponsorship to study at ACU for a Bachelor of Education to fulfill my dream to become true. Then I can be one of the people who can take care of Marist Asia Foundation in the future and will fulfill the needs of the Burmese Migrants and Children.
May Thazin Oo
Marist Asia Foundation began HIV Health work in the Migrant Town of Ranong in 2007. Migrants living with HIV AIDS are among the most abandoned in the community. Often abandoned by family, discriminated against at work and in the community, they tend to live in very difficult conditions. Here is a story about one of our patients.
We found a very sick lonely man in hospital. Thiha is his name. We approached him and introduced our organization and our service to him. We visited him in his place where he lived alone in a very old small hut near the sea. It was an awful place to live. There were many rubbish and plastic bottles around. His little hut was broken and the roof needed replacement. We supported and gave him nutrition and we followed up his medication closely. We helped prepared his food for he had no strength to do by himself.
In the very beginning, there was nobody who wanted to go near him. He did not have any family or relatives around. Through our support and care, he was getting better. He gained back his health and was able to work again. People in his neighbourhood became aware about his status and they also accepted his HIV status.
He was also able accept himself as HIV positive and was able to live with it. He looked after himself, attended his medical appointments in the hospital and took his medication regularly. He was very grateful to the Health Team for the patience to assist him and support him from the beginning. It took sometime to gain back his health and his self-confidence.
The health team journeyed with him for quite a long time through education on HIV and encouraged him to participate in the self-help group. In the long run, he responded well to the advice and assistance of the team. He was able to relate well with neighbors. He was able to communicate with his children and invited his elder son to come in Ranong to visit him. He became an active member in the Self-help group and shared his successful experience to the new patients which inspired and encouraged them.
He is currently working as labourer at saw mill company in Ranong. He lives a balanced and healthy life. He became an independent patient who can sustain and support himself and he now sends money back to Myanmar to support the education of his daughter.
As he shared with the Health team, there is one thing that he learnt in his life: “when you have your health, you have everything.” It was very true for the health team to help him restore his health which helped him to be able to reintegrate with his neighbour, with his friends and especially with his family. It made him whole again.
Ranong is a fishing village in the South of Thailand where migrant Burmese come to escape conflict and poverty in their own country.
The Marist Mission Ranong seeks to help Burmese refugees by offering educational opportunities, supporting their basic health needs, and assist migrants as they seek a better future for themselves and their children.
The Marist Mission Ranong is an initiative of the Society of Mary and it relies heavily on the involvement of its friends and supporters.