We provide an after-school tutoring program for the Karen youth refugees who have resettled in the Twin Cities from Thailand. These refugees originate from Myanmar and have then fled to Thailand due to religious and ethnic persecution. The Karen people have been in conflict with the Myanmar government since 1949 when the country became independent from Britain. Since the conflict began, over 120,000 people have been killed. Our volunteer mentors teach the Karen youth lessons from our 4 pillars below and offer subject tutoring in their academic disciplines.
The Current State of Arts Education
Despite increasing evidence of its impact on student achievement, arts education has been losing its foothold in America’s K-12 system. We face this incredible challenge to provide the Karen students with some of the benefits of an integrated arts education outside of the setting that traditionally denies them this opportunity. Our tools consisting of mentor-tutorships, field-trip opportunities, and our use of theatre education reflect our ability to serve the Karen holistically, each part retaining its own purpose yet sharing a common praxis.
Our purpose in our after-school program is to inspire the Karen youth to become leaders in their communities by challenging them to pursue the following goals:
The video below features special footage of life in the refugee camps in Thailand as well as interviews from teachers across the world, speaking to the value of education.