New Blood School
This year Room to Grow is working with 12 great schools, boarding houses and orphanages in and around Mae Sot. Each of these offers a home, an education and a future to unparented Burmese migrant children – yet each is also quite unique in its own special way. We hope that by focusing our blog on one of our local partners each month, we can give you a feel for where we work, the children we help, and the importance of your continuing support. So, keep checking our blog and facebook page regularly to see more news from our projects and more photos and videos of the children in Mae Sot – we hope you enjoy them!
This month’s focus school is New Blood, one of the biggest of Room to Grow’s partners with a total of 450 students, including 172 boarders, right from nursery up to post-ten. That’s a lot of hungry mouths to feed! Founded in 2003, New Blood has been a Room to Grow partner since 2010. Children come from Myawaddy, a Burmese town across the river border from Mae Sot, plantation and factory areas in Mae Sot, and some from Naung Bwe village where the school is located. The children are so smart and try hard both in class and in out of class activities. Last year, lots of students were able to join Minmahaw General Educational Development (GED) and post-ten. Entry to these programs is so competitive as places are limited, and this achievement really shows how hard the New Blood students and teachers work.
New Blood has a huge garden and students grow lots of vegetables including morning glory, rosella, long beans and eggplant. Thanks to funds from Thai Children’s Trust, Room to Grow is able to provide monthly deliveries of rice, yellow beans and a small food stipend, as well as a mushroom hut and spore bags. New Blood also gets some dry food from Mae Tao Clinic. Unfortunately, though, because of the Mae Tao Clinic funding crisis, it is unsure what will happen in the coming months. The children often eat fried mushrooms with morning glory, yellow bean soup and vegetables which are mostly from their school garden. Even though food funding is not enough to cook good curries every day, the children never complain, and still focus on their studying and trying their best.
We spoke to the headteacher and his wife, who told us that their main difficulty was finding enough rice to feed the children each day.
“We use 110 sacks of rice for the whole month for both lunch and boarding house food. We get 26.5 sacks of rice and 56 kilos of yellow beans from R2G every month. Our main dish is bean soup or bean curry with vegetables or chicken bones. We cook beans three times a week, to give protein to our children. Mae Tao Clinic delivered 40 sacks of rice last week and we also got 15 extra sacks from Room to Grow visitors, so this is a happy month for us. Mae Tao Clinic support is not sure for the next months. Our biggest need is 110 sacks of rice every month. If we get enough rice, it will be much better for us because we can pick vegetables from our garden and we also have mushrooms. Even though we don’t get enough food funding we thank the donors who think of and support our children.”
For more about New Blood, see Thae Thae’s recent blog post, learning from experience. If you think you could help, or would like to know more about ways to support Room to Grow, please email email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!