THE EDGE IN KACHIN STATE
Displaced young children are trapped in remote mountain camps in Myanmar, cut off from education and support.
Due to ongoing conflict across Kachin State, Myanmar, over 120,000 internally displaced Kachin people are living temporary and unstable lives in remote camps, throughout the mountainous areas close to the China border.
Recently these communities have faced the threat of spontaneous return, land grabbing, and a continuing decrease of available humanitarian aid. This has all increased the difficulty of providing for their families, ensuring transportation and facing weather conditions of less than minus ten degrees during winter.
Children under the age of six in these camps have known little else but war and many have suffered severe trauma from what they have witnessed. Nearly all are unable to access basic services and, whilst there is some primary education, there is no provision for early years learning at what is a pivotal time in a child’s development.
WHAT WE ARE DOING TO HELP
Supporting displaced communities to provide education, play and expert care for young children aged 3-6.
Partnering with Kachin Women’s Association and Kachin Development Group, we are supporting 14 Early Childhood Development Centres for 431 displaced children in eight of the most remote, outlying settlements. The Centres are safe, colourful spaces which also provide a robust Early Childhood Development curriculum for children aged 3-6 years old.
Teachers are trained from within the camps, delivering exceptionally high quality learning environments, despite being cut off from resources. The Centres are also supported by parents through local committees in each camp, who maintain the buildings, create play materials, provide nutrition and learn about parenting and child protection.
The aim is to allow Kachin children who have known nothing but conflict to simply enjoy being children in a vibrant, caring place for a few hours a day and give them the opportunity to recover and develop into healthy, stable young people. In the northern camps of Kachin state there is not a single other international organisation offering ongoing support for young children.