India: School Scholarships
Like Burma’s other neighbours, India hosts a large and growing refugee population who flee to escape persistent and horrific human rights abuses committed by the authorities in Burma. The majority of the refugees are Chin (an ethnic minority); others include the Kachin, Arakan and Karen peoples.
Consequently Mizoram State in east India, bordering Chin State, now plays ‘host’ to an estimated 50,000 - 100,000 displaced Chin people who are offered barely any of the protection promised to refugees under international law.
Alongside the lingering threat of being forced back over the border, Chin families face discriminatory obstacles to housing, education and work.
The consequence of this for the children is that they have very little chance of receiving an education. When trying to access school the barriers are mainly financial. Money for fees, for uniforms and for school supplies is not easily found by migrant families who struggle just to find enough to buy food.
What do to help:
Children on the Edge supported 150 migrant children from Burma to access education in India through a school scholarship programme. Without such support these children would not have been able to attend school at all.
Where there were compulsory school requirements that were impossible for migrant families to meet, the scholarships paid for uniforms, admission fees and helped with school supplies.
In addition we provided a hardship fund for those children whose families were struggling with daily survival. This fund was set up to help them with costly medical bills or simply to enable them to buy food. The project has been running independently since March 2013.