Supporting 73 Village Nursery Schools This Year

nursery school students 2

We are half way through the school year here and KWO is supporting 73 village nursery schools spread across 5 areas in Karen State, Burma. Many of these students have been displaced by the Burmese military and the long standing civil war.  We are so pleased that this year we have been able to support these schools serving over 3000 Karen children.

The Burmese education system has been terribly underfunded.  A large portion of the Burmese government treasury goes to the military despite the fact that we have no external enemies.  This means parents must pay for their children to attend in the poorest country in South East Asia.  The average level of education in Burma is just 4 years. For areas dominated by ethnic minorities the education level is lower and poverty higher.

This makes our Nursery School project even more important.  Each community builds and maintains their own bamboo or wooden school and forms a nursery school committee to support it and the teacher.  Through a grant from Dave and Kerry Rickards we are able to provide training, a small stipend to the teachers along with some materials and supplies.  Through private donations we provide lunch.  We still haven’t raised all the money we need to feed all 3000 students through the end of the year, but we are happy to have been able to do it so far. We continue to apply for additional funding to fill the gaps.  We have so far raised about 60% of the overall budget including the food. Just $25 feeds one child lunch for the school year.

One 5 year old student spoke the simple truth when he said, “I am happy to go to nursery school because of every day I get snack, lunch, and food. I have a lot of friends in school and we play together. If I did not go to nursery school I would go with my parents to the field.  The field it is not fun for me. In the past when I went with my parents to the field, the insects bit my body. My body got a wound. It itched so much! If I finish nursery school I will go to primary school.”

Nursery School 5

A parent in Noe Poe Htee Moo Hta said, “Because we send our children to nursery school our children look so healthy and fresh, not like before, because they eat, sleep and play regularly. They are growing up quicker than before. If we compare two children’s condition the first one going to nursery school and the second one not, we can see the difference.”  A parent in Do Tha Htu district said, “Because of the nursery school we work in our field free all day from worry. When we send our children to nursery school we get two advantages. First, we go to the field to work not worrying that our children will fall down, swim in the stream, climb the trees, eat unclean foods or get hurt by someone else. Secondly, we see that their condition is better than before. They can read and write the Karen, English, and Burmese alphabet. It is a basic thing they need to go to the primary school. They can sing songs and dance. They have confidence. If someone asks them to stand in front of people and sing, they can do it, they are not afraid anything.”

 We want all our children to have confidence and not be afraid of anything.

Nursery 4

Nursery School 3


$25 will help feed a Karen child at our Nursery Schools for a full year


Click here to DONATE

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The children in our Nursery Schools in Karen State in Burma need your help.  We know that education is important for people all over the world, especially education of young children. Despite the long standing abuse by the Burmese military Karen communities across Karen State join together to build and support nursery schools for their children.   They gather building materials, construct the school, bring fire wood and other things they can find to help.  There is a community committee of volunteers who run the school. These schools work amid fighting and commonly must relocate to avoid the fighting.

KWO, Karen Women Organisation, has always tried to support the schools with money we raise through grants. Through the generosity of the Dave and Kerry Rickards we have been able to support many children and schools. We pay small stipends for each teacher, about $17 US dollars a month.  We provide training to the teachers, school supplies, basic hygiene supplies for the children.

Unfortunately, KWO  has not been able to raise enough money to supply lunch food to the students. The 3000 students enrolled in these community schools do not always get enough food at home.  For just $25 we can provide an entire school year of supplemental lunch food to one student.  This will let them get the nutrition they need since many families have been separated from their land by the war. The Karen community has been disrupted and abused by years under the dictatorship in Burma.  We hope by supporting these students we are building our future, but we need your help.

Please click here to DONATE the much needed funds to feed these young students.

Nursery Schools in IDP areas and camps

KWO also runs nursery schools in IDP camps and areas in Karen State inside Burma.  Children’s families have been forced to flee their villages due to conflict and attacks by the Burmese junta.  Despite the circumstances we are able to provide enrichment, nutrition, and care to hundreds of children as well as training for teachers.

Since May 2008, KWO has given financial support to Nursery schools in 5 districts of Karen State: Mu Traw, Du Thu Htu, Doo Pla Ya, Kler Lweh Tu and Pa an. The schools are managed by local KWO staff.

Since 2006, when Ei Tu Hta camp was established, KWO has been supporting the nursery schools for IDP children who live there.  There are 5 Nursery Schools with a total of about 400 children receiving daily lessons and care.

Parents Workshops: Parents of young children in Ei Tu Hta IDP camp were given the opportunity to attend 4 half-day training sessions on early childhood development

Student in Nursery School in Mu Traw District
Teacher and Students in Doo Pla Ya District

2011 Train the Trainers Workshop

 Teacher Training: Teachers in Ei Tu Hta IDP camp are given a 10 day training each year during the April school holidays.

Family Days: In all of the schools in the Ei Tu Hta IDP camp project, and in Mae La Oo and Mae Ra Moe Refugee camps, we conducted short opening and closing ceremonies each school year, plus a family day to celebrate the festive season in December. These were designed to encourage family involvement and included speeches by staff and community leaders and performances by the children.

Teacher Training KWO trainers in refugee camps cannot easily reach the Nursery School teachers in Karen State. Currently we provide 10  days of training, once per year. The area coordinators then returned to their districts and provided training to the teachers in that area, either through a central group training session, or by visiting individual schools, or a combination both.

Nursery Schools hard at work

Nursery Schools in the Refugee camps

Each of the 7 camps has its own nursery school system, managed by a variety of  individuals and organisations. At the camp level KWO is involved in all camp Nursery Schools to some degree. KWO has provided advice and assistance to all of these nursery schools for many years. In most camps the children are  from 2.5 – 5 years of age and attend school 185 days per year from 9am to 3pm.

Nursery School Classes include:

  • beginner’s literacy in three languages (Karen, Burmese and English),

  • numeracy activities

  • basic science games

  • creative skills

All Nursery Schools in all the camps, no matter who is managing them, receive funding from TBBC to provide the children with a nutritional lunch every day.