Burmese Refugee School Project – North West Thailand


There are some small Burmese ethic minorities that have been displaced from their country by the current Burmese Government. They have sought refuge inside the Thai border, close to Burma. The Thai government has allowed them to settle but they are stateless and have little in the way of resources, particularly money, or prospects.


Subsidised schooling is available to Thai children but the refugee children don’t have access to that privilege. Nevertheless there are schools that have emerged within the refugee areas that try and cater for the thousands of children in this position. These schools are very rudimentary and survive on donations provided mainly by local Thais.  The teachers are volunteer students from the University of Bangkok who receive some form of allowance from the Thai government.


I have visited, several times this year, one of the schools near the Thai border with Burma with my business partners in Bangkok. It has over 250 refugee children aged between 4 and 15. There are 12 student teachers. Facilities are very poor. The roofs leak in many of the buildings. During our first visit we found they had no library.

Some of the refugee children at one of the villages where they have made their temporary home

The refugee school. The children are carrying the lunch pot.

Following the Tsunami disaster in Phuket at the end of 2004 needy causes such as this school have been denuded of charity funds. During our visits we have donated some money which has been used to buy some educational material and construct a library. We have had discussions with the teachers and children about developing an ongoing support programme. The programme will enable the teachers to have a long-term sustainable plan that will provide the children with a decent environment, a challenging education and vocational skills for their future. In the meantime we are collecting books, clothes and educational material that we will send to my business partners who will deliver it directly to the school.

Me and my Thai business partners donating some funds to the teachers

The playground at the school

Our plan is to develop a sustainable on-going support plan for the school to enable the children to have a worthwhile education that includes vocational opportunities after they leave. This project now has Rotary International support. Any financial contributions are fully tax deductible with the Australian Taxation Office.


David Tyler - South Perth


Tel: + 61 41 226 1116                                                                             September 2006


To make a contribution in Australian Dollars please send cheques to:

David Tyler, C/O PO Box 8097, South Perth, WA 6151, Australia.

Please make the cheque payable to: “Rotary Australia Overseas Aid Fund - AP031/06”.

Please mark clearly the name and address required for the Australian Tax Office tax receipt.


To make a contribution in Sterling please send cheques to:

David Tyler, C/O Prospect House, 7 York Road, Wollaston, Northants NN29 7SG, England.

Please make the cheque payable to “Thai Refugee School”.