Many people in Myanmar (Burma) experience oppression, daily poverty and a lack work opportunities.
Searching for a better future for themselves and their children many Burmese come to Thailand either as Refugees escaping conflict and living in refugee camps, or as migrants seeking work.
Marists serve ‘the most neglected, the poor, and those who suffer injustice’. Marist Mission Ranong began in 2006 responding to the education, health and migrant worker needs of the Burmese Community in the significant border crossing town of Ranong opposite the southern most town of Burma / Myanmar (Kaw Thaung).
It is estimated there are over 160,000 Burmese refugees, 450,000 internally displaced people within the Mynamar Border, and over 1 Million Burmese Migrant Workers seeking work in Thailand. The latest estimates suggest Ranong alone has up to 140,000 Burmese Migrants, most of whom work in the fishing industry. Often they find the conditions in Ranong difficult.
The Marist Mission in Ranong is a Catholic organisation. It is a work of The Society of Mary (Marists) and operates under the ‘Marist Asia Foundation.’ In 2013 the Marist Mission Ranong opened a purpose built Marist Centre to provide a suitable centre for Education of over 200 Burmese migrant children, the HIV AIDS community based health project serving 75 individuals and their families, and support programmes for hundreds of Burmese migrant workers.
The Marist Mission Ranong Team includes a number of Thai and Burmese as well as International Volunteers who work closely with the Thai government authorities, other non governmental organisations and the local Thai and Burmese community.