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Transforming the Lives of Hill Tribe Students

We would like to introduce you to Areeya, a Dhammajarinee graduate from northern Thailand’s Karen (pronounced "Karr-unn”) community. This is the largest ethnic minority group in Thailand, with approximately 1,000,000 in population. Karen are originally from Tibet and moved south to Myanmar before relocating to areas along the Thai-Myanmar border because of ethnic and political conflict. Dhammajarinee has over 100 such ethnic minority and refugee students.

As is often the case in these regions, Areeya came from a large family (with six siblings) and did not have the opportunity to receive a proper education. In her local village, one teacher instructed 47 students at all grade levels. The lack of access to quality education in these regions is common. Only 51% of Karen children complete primary school and just 1 in 4 finish secondary education.

Areeya fortunately came to Dhammajarinee at age 12, but spoke no Thai. She began her studies in grade three and the school supported her in learning Thai and completing all the necessary classes to graduate grade 12. Please enjoy hearing from her directly in the video below—about her life before Dhammajarinee, how the school provided her with a life-changing education, and her plans to become a nurse.

As always, we are grateful for your support that allows us to continue changing the lives of more underserved girls in Thailand like Areeya.

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