JRS has long championed refugee education and is committed to ensuring that children forced to flee their homes are not deprived of their right to education and a path to a more hopeful future. Education provides stability and a sense of normalcy. It engenders hope while preparing refugees to meet future challenges.
Urban Education Project Bangkok
In the Bangkok Metropolitan area there are an estimated 5000 refugees and asylum seekers from more than 50 countries. JRS supports the education of refugee youth who do not have access to formal education or vocational training. The gap in education for the youth constitutes a major protection and human rights concern, especially since these youth experience an extended and uncertain period of asylum in Bangkok. The Urban Education Project provides English and Thai language courses, digital and vocational skills for youths between the ages of 18-35 years old. It caters especially for vulnerable adults and unaccompanied youths who struggle to survive without their families.
Sustaining Education for Refugees from Myanmar
JRS has also been the primary support for education in the Karenni refugee camps along the border in Thailand since 1997. Currently, there are 91,777 refugees hosted in the nine refugee camps along Thailand’s border with Myanmar. JRS focuses its mission in the 2 camps of Ban Mai Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin in Mae Hong Son. These two camps host about 9825 people. JRS partners the Karenni Education Department (KnED) to implement and deliver educational services to 14 schools with approximately 2300 students in kindergarten to secondary school levels. Over the years, the scope of education has increased to include vulnerable groups, such as out-of-school children and youth.
Since resettlement in another country is no longer a possibility, and the Thai government’s current policy does not allow for local integration, the alternative for these refugees is a return to Myanmar.
However, this is not an option due to the current political crisis in Myanmar. According to a UNHCR report in June 2021, 175,000 people have been displaced within Myanmar since 1st Feb, forced to flee their homes in search of protection. Places of worship have also been targeted and destroyed while serving as refuge for people caught in the conflict. For the refugees in camps along the border, the current political instability has brought great uncertainty and a real fear of returning to Myanmar. JRS is appealing for funds to sustain the education programme and support refugees who are faced with the prospect of a long period of encampment.
If you are keen to support our education programme and want to make a difference in the lives of refugees.