|Flooding in Central Thailand (picture from CNNGo.com)|
Thailand has been in the news recently as some of the strongest flooding in the past 40 years has been occurring.
While our work area in Mae Sot has not been hit directly, there are some concerning factors to consider for the near future, especially for migrant schools on the Thai/Burmese border:
- With such a large area of agricultural production marred by the flooding, food prices have begun to rise sharply. This includes rice, vegetables, meat, and other staple foods. Migrant schools already struggling to find funding for school meals will find it considerably more difficult over the next year.
- Agricultural inputs like animal feed and garden supplies will also increase in price.
- Migrants who work at factories in Central Thailand and Bangkok have been returning to Burma via Mae Sot over the past week. Some of these workers have family in Mae Sot and decide to stay, which could increase the # of students and overall migrants in the area.
Thailand has been struck by large-scale flooding for two years straight now. If this trend is to continue, UPLift's goal of assisting migrant schools to become more self-reliant for food and funding is becoming a priority.
We have plans to work with schools on eight new garden projects and additional animal rearing projects over the next year. It is our hope that these students, teachers and schools benefit by having a more stable environment for food production; ultimately, children having sound educations and full bellies is well worth it.