“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Karen hospitality is extraordinary! Stay with and teach the Karen people and you will embrace the memory for a lifetime. Your experience helping the Karen people will become a cherished part of the fabric of your life.
Karen refugees are eager to learn English to improve their chance for a better and safer future and also to better serve their communities. Karen people are devoted to helping their people.
This is a rare opportunity to learn about the Karen culture and be immersed in the traditional, colorful and simple way of life of the Karen ethnic minority group.
The Karen people at Mae Ra Moe Refugee Camp and in Karen State in Burma/Myanmar are not found on the standard travel circuit. While not so difficult to reach, their locations are not as quick or easy to get to as other more common volunteer teaching destinations so these students remain especially underserved. You can’t take a public bus. Access is only possible by four wheel drive vehicle. If you want to help people who need it most, people who rarely see a volunteer English teacher … here it is!
This is a perfect opportunity for adventurous but mature independent travelers of all ages. There are no “Full Moon Parties” here. This is refugee camp and the Karen people are a wholesome people. If you seek a deeply enriching experience where your time and effort makes a big and much needed impact … look no further.
More than 100,000 Karen people have been resettled by the UNHCR to other countries, typically where English is the primary language. Most Karen refugees are resettled to USA, Australia, Canada and some to Europe. To prepare Karen refugees for successful resettlement in English speaking countries it is an enormous help to have prior experience interacting with and learning from native English speaking volunteer teachers.
While many Karen people have been resettled to a “third country” by the United Nations, tens of thousands remain in refugee camps unable to achieve registration with the UNHCR for resettlement. Return to Karen State in Myanmar is still considered unsafe with an uncertain future. Residents in camp live a life of isolation. Foreign volunteer teachers are a very welcome link to the outside world.
The Karen people have been severely persecuted by the junta government of Myanmar since WW II. See the “Why Help” page for more details.
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