Global Border Studies: Future Leaders of Burma
Team Member: Diego León
Emily Grose wrote -
A brief understanding of the conflict:
Large scale human rights violations committed by the Burmese government has lead to a 6-decade long ethnic conflict in Burma. And until recently, Burma remained largely cut off from the outside world resulting in little knowledge about the conflict, and a lack of international help.
Over 100,000 refugees from Burma have been forcibly displaced from their homes and are now living in Thailand. They have fled persecution by their government on the basis of ethnicity, language, and religion.
What is Global Border Studies?
Nu Po refugee camp is one of nine refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border. There are 15,000 people living in Nu Po and 20 of them are my students, the students of the Global Border Studies program.
To ensure that peace and justice return to Burma, Global Border Studies sought to go to the root of the problem -oppressive dictatorial regimes- and create future leaders who could deliver on the promise of equality and freedom through leadership of fairness and justice. The program focuses on creating higher education opportunities for refugees who want to go back to their communities and be leaders, helping to rebuild what has been destroyed by conflict and to develop their nation. This is done through community projects focused on peace efforts and by building skills in: conflict reconciliation and transformation, peace education, community development, and leadership.
But with the ever-changing political environment of the border, the sustainability of our program is at risk. Due to recent changes by surrounding governments, donors have begun to shy away from the border region. However, what is being overlooked here is of great magnitude. There are still more than 100,000 refugees along the Thai/Burma border, and with donors pulling out, times look grim. Again, these people are being left behind, again, these people are not being recognized. Have they not faced enough persecution from their own government? Do these 100,000 refugees not count? Do the 15,000 refugees of Nu Po not matter? Will my students again be forced to struggle for an education, again confront the realities of an unjust life, a life without promise and without hope?
That is not something that we ought to be willing to accept. Until it is safe and secure for these people to return to their homes, until homes are something they have, until home means a place where ethnic groups and the government coexist peacefully, until home is a country where all people are created equally, and none more equal than others, until home is a place where this exists, we must not stop fighting for these rights, for their education, and for these people.
This is our moment to be a part of something greater than ourselves, to be a part of a world that believes the fight doesn't end when freedom, equality, and justice are awarded to an individual but that it ends when those rights are awarded to every individual.
These students broke free of the violent-generational shackles and created their own paths towards activism and peace. They have grown up under a regime of hate and distrust and are not willing to join the ranks of the viciousness that perpetuates hate and conflict any further. These are the future leaders and voices of Burma. These are the students of the Global Border Studies program.
**The campaign is asking for 10,000 USD but we really need 30,000 USD and are just being modest.
With 10,000 USD we can run our program until December, without field projects.
With 15,000 USD we can run our program until December with field projects.
With 30,000 USD we can run our program for the full year with projects!
With 60,000 USD our program will be able to run for two more years!
With 90,000 USD our program can sustain for three years!
...you get the idea!
I believe it is important to give what you can, when you can.
**Every bit helps and there no is amount too small! Although, on crowdrise technically there is, because they believe $9 is too small, so it must be at least $10! But we can manage that right!
How your money will be spent:
- Housing and shelter
- Food Supplies
- School materials
- Utilities (internet, electricity)
Field Projects Costs:
- Transportation for villagers and participants
- Recruitment exercises and situational analysis trips
- Training and workshop materials
- Enhanced security measures
- Media equipment
- Accommodation and housing
- Food supplies
For additional questions, concerns, inquiries contact me, EMILY GROSE at: