Many people in Myanmar (Burma) experience oppression, daily poverty, and a lack work opportunities.
Searching for a better future for themselves and their children many Myanmar people come to Thailand either as Refugees escaping conflict and living in refugee camps, or as Migrants seeking work.
Marists serve ‘the most neglected, the poor, and those who suffer injustice’.
The Marist Asia Foundation (MAF), previously called Marist Mission Ranong MMR, is a Catholic Organisation and an important work of the Society of Mary (Marist).
We began in 2006 responding to the education, health and migrant worker needs of the Myanmar migrant community in the Southern Thailand border crossing town of Ranong opposite Kawthaung (Myanmar)
It is estimated there are over 160,000 Burmese refugees, 1.5 million internally displaced people within the Myanmar Border, and over 5 Million Myanmar Migrant Workers seeking work in Thailand.
The latest estimates suggest Ranong alone has up to 120,000 Myanmar Migrants, most of whom work in the fishing industry. Often they find the conditions in Ranong difficult.
The United Nations Development Report for Thailand recognises that Ranong has one of the highest rates of Out of School Children, Child Labour, and HIV Rates in Thailand.
In 2013 the Marist Asia Foundation opened a purpose built Marist Centre to provide a suitable centre for Education of over 200 Burmese migrant children, the HIV AIDS community based health project serving 0ver 100 individuals and their families, and migrant support programmes for hundreds of migrant workers.
The Marist Asia Foundation Team includes a number of Thai and Myanmar as well as International Volunteers.
We work closely with the Thai government authorities, other non governmental organisations, and the local Thai and Burmese community.