MAE HONG SON, Thailand – The civil war in Burma (Myanmar) hurt many Burmese ethnic minorities, including the Karenni people. The Burmese government tried to colonize the Karenni State by destroying their villages and killing their people.
Over 600,000 Burmese people, many of whom are Karenni, are cut off from their homeland in neighboring Thailand as refugees and undocumented immigrants.
Educational opportunities for Karenni youth in refugee camps are limited. The 14,000 Karenni people in Refugee Camp #1 near Mae Hong Son, Thailand, have little hope for higher education, since their high school is not recognized in Thailand or Burma.
The Karenni Social Development Center (SDC) provides access to a successful training program with classes in Human Rights, Democracy, International law, computer, and English. SDC trains young refugees to become advocates in non-violent social change.