Refugee Children from Burma Provided Recreational Lessons in Delhi
20 September 2012: About 250 refugee children from Burma currently living in New Delhi were provided educational and recreational lessons at a playground in Vikaspuria of the Indian city last Saturday.
The one-day event included sessions of drawing and essay writing competition for children aged 12 and above on a theme entitled ‘My Life in Delhi’ while children under the age of 12 did on ‘My Home in Delhi’.
Organized by EBO (Euro-Burma Office) Foundation in association with Burmese Women Delhi (BWD), Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), Chin Refugee Committee (CRC) and Chin Students Union (CSU), the one-day event provided a chance for children from eight communities of the Arakan, Kachin and Chin ethnic groups to get together and improve their skills.
Dr. Achan, Director of E.B.O Foundation, said: “This program aims to bring children from different schools together with an attempt to create space for them to get to know each other and to build up relationship. It is also important to bring the children out of their congested room, at least for a day, to let them play freely with their friends. Thus, in a nutshell, by organizing this recreational program, we want to encourage the children in their education in an interesting way, express what they are going through and have fun playing with other children from different community.”
“In our daily struggle for survival, many of us have forgotten the children. We have failed to recognize the need of the children. Their daily lives and struggles are not heard. Each Drawing and Essay is a story of their lives that need to be heard. The community’s effort to provide education to the children by establishing community based schools is worth praising. However, most of the schools are limited to a particular group,” added Dr. Achan.
During the program, children were divided into two groups as Junior and Senior, and they played ten different games in a team and individually.
The program ended with presentations of prizes for each competition and game. Winners of the essay writing and drawing competition received a cash prize of 1,500 Indian Rupees each, with the runner-ups and the second runner-ups getting 1,000 and 500 Indian Rupees. Children were also given prizes for ten different games.
“The children are very happy as it is a very good recreational program. The program is very educational, too. Thanks to EBO Foundation for organizing the event,” said one of the volunteers from Burmese Women Delhi.
It was the first program organized for refugee children from Burma stranded in New Delhi of India, facilitated by Indian and Burmese volunteers.
Van Hmun Lian, a volunteer from CHRO, said: “These children are from informal schools and they do not have extracurricular activities and it is wonderful to see that these children have a chance to express their views and play games. Children do not lie and their writings and essays speak a lot for all the sufferings of Burmese refugees in New Delhi. It is interesting that some children still find some positive viewpoints in their lives when some adults are totally negative on their daily difficulties as refugees. We need to have such program in the future too, I think all these children forget that they are refugees for at least a day.”
Reporting by A Hmun with Thawng Zel Thang