The School

In 2010, the PWU founded the School for Pa-O Women. The school operates a one-year program in which ten young women learn English language, computer and presentation  skills, assertiveness training, peace building, environmental stewardship and Burmese  history and current events. The women return to their villages to teach and participate  in community affairs for at least a year after graduation. Upon completion of their  community service, they become eligible to participate in PWU’s internship program  and pursue advanced studies in Thailand or Burma.

Students must undergo an arduous trip from their villages in Burma to Mae Hong Son, Thailand. For most of these young women, the trip represents their first time away from home. They must travel surreptitiously in small groups and change vehicles several times along the way. To assure their security en route, at least one member of the PWU staff travels to Burma and accompanies each group on the journey. A typical student body of ten women requires two transport groups. At times, the Thai-Burmese border closes and the students have to wait at one location along the route until it reopens. Here are some of the stories the women have told about their trip.

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