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MARISTS WORKING FOR HUMAN DIGNITY

Migrant Support in Ranong (Thai/Myanmar Border)

The Marist Mission Ranong Migrant Support Program provides a community center and opportunities for on-going education for migrant workers.

In a border town with various nationalities there is a special need for a venue where everyone, regardless of race, religion, or occupation, feels welcomed.

The Migrant Support Program offers

  • Community Centre to welcome Burmese Migrants
  • Education Programs for Migrant Workers
    • teaching English,
    • teaching Thai,
    • teaching basic Computer Skills
  • Burmese Community Library
  • Future Leaders Youth Program

Ronald and Carolyn Lida are Marist Lay Missionaries. Mr. Ronald Lida manages the Migrant Support Programme for Burmese Migrant Workers. Over the past several years the team has grown to include Thai and Burmese staff to run the pre-school program, skills training courses, community outreach, community library, and youth formation and development.

A Story of Hope

"I have a dream to help my own people and my own community especially those who are poor.

When I was a student, I didn't know how difficult life is. But when I started to work with Marist Mission Ranong, I started to know different situations of Burmese migrants here in Ranong and how are they facing the difficult situations. Then, I started to dream to help these people, and I’ve been looking for a chance to help them.

A few months ago, some of our friends and teachers went to a charcoal factory to have a video recorded. While conducting the video recording, I saw so many children who don't go to schools, but instead, were just playing on the charcoals. They ate snacks with their dirty hands and I didn’t think they know how dangerous that was for their health. I think that’s because they don't have any education and they don't know what’s right or what’s wrong.

I couldn't imagine myself if I were one of them, and at the same time I was happy because in my mind what I was saying was "Oh, yes! This is a good chance for me!" When I got home, I thought about the possible ways to help them. I understood that I couldn't change the whole world or this whole community, but by starting from the little things that I can, I think I could give or show the right ways to them especially to these kids who are the future of our country.

So, I decided to help them by teaching them what I have. When I got to their place, they were so happy and there was a feeling that I couldn't describe in my heart. But I immediately knew that I love them. They really wanted to study but their families' situations and financial problems didn’t give a chance to them. Their parents were also really happy when they saw me teaching their kids. This humble start is just the foundation of the fulfilment of my dream to become true."

- Htet Pyi Pyi Khing (Mary – age 19)

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The Marist Mission Ranong Migrant Support Program provides a community center and opportunities for on-going education for migrant workers.


Relate

To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!

Pope Francis
St. Peter's Square
March 19, 2013

 

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