The realities of schools for refugees in Kenya and Thailand

In eastern regions of Africa, conflict and drought have displaced many communities. For refugees, the final destination is often Kenya. Over 0.5 million of them, 41% in the Kakuma refugee camp. There is an organisation called Resilience Action International in the camp, whose primary goal is to provide people with appropriate education and employment. The courses cover three sectors: reproductive and sexual health, education and livelihoods. This first course helps refugees understand their rights and how to care for themselves. The second and third offer digital and language classes, business training, loans and grants for start-ups and small businesses. Completing the training allows you to start a business and earn a living.

In Thailand, schools for refugees from Myanmar, where civil war rages, are overcrowded. Some educational institutions have twice as many students as before the war. Parents leave their children at the school doorsteps and walk away to ensure kids’ education. At the same time, thousands of Burmese teachers and education staff who left schools in their homeland after the 2021 coup are working in Thai factories, cornfields, restaurants and construction sites because salaries in refugee schools are too low to get by. Some teachers are returning to Myanmar to find work in the town of Shwe Kokko, an enclave notorious for human trafficking and internet fraud, controlled by junta-supporting border guard forces in Kayin state.

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