1. Address: Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center, 244, Moo 4, Tumbong Pang Moo, Maung District, Mae Hong Son 58000, Thailand.
2. Total cost: USD 47700 – inclusive of construction materials, labor wages and computers.
3.Purpose: To build a new computer lab at the Community Learning Center to provide Computer Skills and Computer Typing classes for students, purchase of computers for students, laptops for staff and a printer as an effort to promote digital literacy.
The Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center (BNSCLC), an NGO, was founded in 2004 by Mr. Kyaw Hla Sein, a Burmese Migrant, who worked in many villages along the Thai-Myanmar border. Throughout his work as a migrant in Thailand, he saw the struggles of refugees fleeing warfare from within Myanmar, migrants, and the poor Thais living along the Thai-Myanmar. He coordinated with the Mae Hong Son Non Formal Education Department and acquired the license needed to establish the Community Learning Center from the Governor of Mae Hong Son.
Most of the underprivileged youth living from these communities are unable to attend school due to poverty and resort to leaving their families and villages in search of work in the cities. They often marry early, work as domestic helpers or construction workers, and some even end up in the sex trade. Consequently, the incidence of drug abuse and the prevalence of HIV/AIDs increased within the communities. Hence, our community learning center serves as an opportunity for the disadvantaged youth to acquire the skills and education that can help them live a better life in the future. Successful graduates can bring back their newly acquired knowledge and expertise to their communities and spearhead initiatives and efforts to develop their communities.
Over the past few years, we have achieved numerous achievements and gained both national and international recognition for our efforts. The Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center received the Best Practices Award from the Mae Hong Son Non Formal Education Department. We were also the winner of the UNESCO 2018 Wenhui Award for Educational Innovation. The Thailand Channel (ETV) and the Thai newspapers featured our community learning center too. We had a personal visit from the Ministry of Education, Thailand.
Our innovative program at the Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center organizes was created out of years of experience working with refugee, migrant, and underprivileged Thai youth alongside collaboration with our diverse network of partners. Our distinctive 2-year education program consists of English, Thai, Burmese, and Karenni language subjects. Our unique geographic location necessitates the learning of multiple languages for communication. We also provide classes in computer literacy, vocational training, community development, social and environmental issues, ethics, and life skills. The Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center creates opportunities for our students to participate in community service and development projects for the different communities living along the Thai – Myanmar border. We provide internship opportunities for its students with local CBOs and NGOs. We organize workshops and meetings with Mae Hong Son Non Formal Education Department, the Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center student-parent committee and alumni, various organizations, and communities along the Thai–Myanmar border regularly.
Our current computer lab at the Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center was built in 2004 and had since, served many students over the past decade. However, with the progress of time, our computer lab became more vulnerable to damage as chairs and tables had begun falling apart. Thus, posing a serious threat to students and staff as they may injure themselves when using the computer lab. The outdated software and aged hardware had also slowed down our second-hand computers. It has become increasingly difficult to provide our students with a robust and dynamic computer education.
The Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center would like to build a new computer lab for our students. The new lab will be built nearby our classrooms for easy access by our students and staff. The new lab will be built for a capacity of 24 students and 1 teacher. It will have fans to cool down the temperature within the lab and prolong the life of our computers. It will be equipped with new tables and chairs too besides a whiteboard for teaching purposes.
We will be purchasing 25 computers for the lab and an additional 8 laptops for our staff which will aid instruction in classrooms. We want to buy another computer for our office which will be used for day to day administrative tasks. A new 3 in 1 printer (Print, Scan, and Copy) is also needed for printing teaching materials, exam papers, etc.
Hence, with a new computer lab, we hope the instruction of computer literacy in our curriculum can be better taught to our students. The new computers will also prepare our students to keep abreast with the latest digital technologies. The computer education that they receive will help work on their community development projects as they prepare presentations, create and share videos in Facebook and YouTube.
The computer skills they learn in our community learning centre will be useful when they pursue their further education too. Being computer literate would also significantly boost their chances of securing internships with local CBOs and seek better job opportunities in the future. Our staff will also be able to deliver their instructions more effectively with the support of their laptops. The smoothness of operations at Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center will indeed improve with the integration of a more efficient IT system.
Phornsawan Kitthanakhosit @ Rosie
Yohendran Nadar Arulthevan @ Yohen
Offsite Coordinator, Fundraising and Volunteer Manager