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Starting a School for Refugee Children

What makes a desperate refugee excel? Jay (Niroshan) tried so hard to get educational help for 20 children, trying to get scholarships to send a few students to school. He ended up starting his own school instead! He emailed and called everybody and called their friends, got help for rent, even rice, got me involved a bit, and, most critical of all, got an American company to let him use their online curriculum for free. Pictured above is the informal school for refugee children that started last Monday, where I look like I'm saying something important. Sarah and I went to the opening day and saw first hand the eagerness and anticipation of some of the parents and students that were registering.

They JUST started, so if any of you ever started a school you can imagine an endless list of things they're gonna need in the future starting right now. Some children brought a modest lunch from home on the first day but many couldn't afford to bring anything, so he and his wife will make lunch for the 25 children with a budget of 300 baht ($9.52) per day. He ended up accepting 25 students even thought he thought he only had space for 20. Six of the students wake up at 4 AM to commute 3 hours by bus each way! Still, there were other parents wanting to register their children on the first day that had to be turned away; we might need a few more of these schools throughout Bangkok quickly.

We're looking for volunteers to help teach the 25 students, even once a week. We think it'd be good if two short-term missionaries lived in a nearby apartment while teaching there. Jay is using an online curriculum so it's very light teaching, more supervising and assisting the children; even an old Asian grandma can help. Please let us know if you're interested.


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