The Eastern Townships – Mae Sot Education Project (ET-MSEP) is a joint Champlain-Lennoxville and Bishop’s University project. It was developed in 2003 to help Burmese migrants and refugees living on the Thai-Burmese border to improve their quality of life by engaging student volunteers from Champlain-Lennoxville and Bishop’s to provide ESL enrichment to children in schools for migrant children in Mae Sot, Thailand.
After a period of intense preparation involving ESL-teacher training, learning about the background of the Burmese refugee-migrant situation and fundraising, volunteers spend six months immersed in the Burmese migrant/refugee community in Thailand. This overseas experience offers a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills while contributing to the lives of children on the other side of the world. Volunteers return to Canada and share their newfound knowledge with Canadians, thereby strengthening their commitment to international cooperation and human rights. Community-building, based on sharing between children and youth from two communities, each striving for a healthy future on opposite sides of the planet, is at the core of this project.