Posted on 16 May 23 in Children/Education and tagged with education karen

KHT’s Scholarship Programme aims to support Karen youth and ensure they can access higher education education and university education. Education

KHT held a reunion event for some of our students recently and it was an opportunity to hear from them about their struggles, their successes and how KHT’s support is making a difference. We gave them a short presentation on our work and our aims and goals when supporting the Karen people. We had discussion about what they have found difficult being Karen students in university and vocational education, what keeps them motivated, why they chose the paths they have and what they hope for their futures.

You can read some of their responses below:

I am sometimes afraid to speak Thai because my accent makes me stand out and I worry I am not communicating clearly. People often ask where I am from and I proudly say I am Karen. I chose to become a science teacher because my science teacher was my idol. They made the subject interesting, I never felt bored and I loved learning!

Thidaporn, studying to be a science teacher

I sometimes worry about being in the city and that my accent will lead to people bullying me but I also try to remember my own worth and that I will show people my strength and achieve equality. I am studying to become a nurse because I live close to the border and we have very few health facilities for people. I want to work in my hometown and help improve healthcare and also inspire other young Karen to pursue this career. I do worry if I will be a good nurse and not know what to do but I will work hard and do my best!

Thira, studying to become a nurse

I was worried about the cost of studying and and I get nervous when I need to speak English, as well as Thai. One of my biggest fears is that I can get shy and sometimes I am not assertive and this will cost me opportunities. I chose to teach because I like working with children and I want to teach children from remote villages like I am and ensure they can reach their potential and do well.

Sirilak, Studying to be a primary school teacher

Moving to the big city to study has been difficult as I no longer have family around to help me with things. I feel like us students from the villages are less assertive and it is harder for us to be confident. This is one disadvantage we have are Karen youth and we need to overcome it. I want to be a nurse so I can help my family and also help society. After Covid, it made me think and we may have other pandemics and we have epidemics now and I would like to be someone that is being useful and helpful.

Juthathip, studying to become a nurse

Coming from a remote village, I know my education isn’t as good as people from the city. It has been hard to adapt in university as I was not taught some things, but others were and I have to try and keep up. I chose to teach English because I had such a great English teacher that made the subject fun. I also want to become more confident and not be shy to speak English myself. I hope I can teach children in my hometown and make a difference.

Suthiporn, studying to become an English teacher

I feel like I am at a disadvantage when it comes to using technology as we didn’t have it. I have to try and catch up and teach myself. I wanted to study Japanese because I am interested in Japanese culture and the learning the language is also interesting to me. I hope that I can experience Japanese culture and exchange knowledge of my traditions with those of Japanese people.

Waraporn, studying Japanese

I have mostly Karen people in my class, so that has been good and I don’t feel like anyone bullies us for our accents. I want to become an English teacher because I am interested in foreign media and I feel it will give me opportunities in my career and daily life such as studying or working abroad. One problem for me is that I do not get to practice speaking English and I am not confident to speak with others. I know people who don’t study English but can speak it well and this sometimes makes me feel bad. I hope I will get more opportunities to practice and increase my skills and confidence.

Samakand, studying English

I worry about surviving in the big city and of being in the wider society where I may not be accepted for being Karen. I worry people will think I am inferior and they might bully me for my accent when I speak Thai. I chose to become an electrician because we have none in my village and I can stay in my village and help people whilst also working in my chosen career.

Sutichai, studying to become an electrician

KHT’s help has eased some of the burdens facing these young people. By ensuring they can access higher education, we provide a vital form of financial and moral support. Many of our students have thanked KHT for our support and for allowing it to increase their confidence and drive to succeed. During our event, our staff reiterated that we are committed to supporting them and we are proud of their hard work!

You can help us do more for Karen students by donating today!