Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Refugee Children School Face Critical in Financial Support

Rawang, Dec. 5—Arakanese refugee children’s school is facing financial difficulty after it has been opened for 5 months. The school is supported by urban refugees. It needs at least 4,000 RM, about 1, 3 00 USD, for monthly expenses in rent, utility, foods, transportation, communication, medicines, and learning materials.
Students, Parents, and Executives Meeting at ARRC Office

The school was opened in August to provide basic universal education for the refugee children when they are waiting to resettle in third countries. The initiation was started after hundreds of children could not go to local schools. They stayed with their parents in small and unsafe apartments, even in worksites where many co-workers live with poor conditions. They children are often left home lone when their parents were going to work. This issue of lack of children’s education was brought to the ARRC executive meeting in May. The leaders widely discussed the issue and decided to open the school. Fourteen children are learning at the center presently—seven boys and seven girls—age ranging from five to twelve. Other children are waiting because the school cannot take more than 14 students.

The live-in school was supported by the Arakanese in Europe and USA to start. Then the refugees and parents in Malaysia donated funds to keep the school running. However, after the world economic crisis sparked, many urban refugees lost their jobs so that their supports became minimal. “If these support of our friends are keep downing, the future of our children’s education center is in somehow affected,” Kyaw Win Naing, Acting President of ARRC and Coordinator of the school, said during the meeting. Parents and executives agree that the center provides the children to learn Basic English and Mathematics. “Not only this, they become very discipline and cleverer; I see my daughter is changing then she lived with me because I did not have times to teach; I works all times to earn a little money to support for our living,” one of the children’s father said during the student, parents and executives meeting in October. The advantages of the live-in school for both parents and children are that the parents can work full time and the children can learn. Older girls look after the younger girls. The older boy take care the younger boys. They do homework together and play together. These responsibilities and sharing make themselves loving and nurturing. . They are now afraid of separating each other.

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