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The Urban Education Project for Refugees is about providing education opportunities to young refugees and asylum-seekers living in Bangkok.
Urban refugee children and youth in Bangkok are highly vulnerable to arbitrary arrests, sexual violence, exploitation, and trafficking. These young people tend to fall through the cracks as they find themselves unable to integrate into Thai public schools. As a result, they miss out on a quality education and live on the margins of the local community. Working with our partner, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Asia Pacific, the Urban Education Project for Refugees supports at-risk asylum seeker and refugee youth who are left out from the existing educational services. There is a special focus on youth and unaccompanied minors who are fending for themselves. They can join a six-month practical training course – to learn basic Thai and English language skills and vocational training such as computer skills, beauty treatments or sewing. Even though priority is given to youth between the ages of 16 and 24, JRS recently expanded the project to reach older asylum seekers and refugees given their vulnerability and eagerness to learn. All students can join the courses free of charge, and they can access a financial package to help with expenses for housing, food and transport. With your generous support, the project also promotes awareness and understanding in the Thai community of the dilemma of asylum seekers and refugee children. One way it does this is through a peer-support program to connect local Thai youth with asylum seeking and refugee youth. This helps develop a sense of belonging and connection with the Thai community, so young refugees can feel less like outsiders.

Refugee and asylum-seeking youth have the opportunity for vocational training such as sewing. This helps young people gain practical skills to improve their chances of employment.

“In Thailand, not all asylum seeker and refugee children can get an education due to language barriers and the lack of resources. JRS has always placed an emphasis on ensuring that the most vulnerable have access to an education, regardless of their circumstances.”
– Elphie Galland, Jesuit Refugee Service Asia Pacific
Thank you for supporting this project to provide education to refugee children and youth in Thailand. This is vital for their adjustment to life in a new community after fleeing the dangers in their home countries.

Fatima’s Story

Fatima* has been a refugee in Bangkok for many years. She recently joined the JRS training program to gain practical skills. She chose classes to learn English, Thai and sewing. Fatima is eager to learn English as she is awaiting relocation to a third country. She’s also benefitting from her Thai language classes because it provides a bridge for her to integrate into Thai society while she’s living there. She told us she’s already building friendly relationships with members of the local community because she can speak their language.
“My favourite class is English. English is very helpful to communicate with people. I would like to continue studying it after the end of the program. I also enjoy sewing. I already made a veil, a skirt and a top. If I had my own machine, I could use my skills to earn money.”
- Fatima

Young refugees like Fatima can join classes to learn practical skills like English, computers, or sewing.

Fatima also enjoys the sewing class, which is her chosen vocational training course. These practical skills help improve her employability. She hopes to get a job soon as part of her goal to become financially independent. * Name has been changed to protect identity