Across Myanmar there are countless pockets of small, isolated communities who are far away from the nearest schools. Many also speak indigenous languages, meaning they are unable to understand the teachers at government schools. As these communities are so small, government and other NGOs resources struggle to support them. At UWS, we help these children in the hardest to reach areas. In order to do so, we have developed community learning sites to provide a life-changing education to those children who are most isolated from the national education system. 

A 'standard' UWS school serves communities where there are approximately 150 out-of-school children, allowing us to support communities in a sustainable and cost-efficient manner. However, to deliver quality primary education to as many out-of-school children as possible in Myanmar, we have been piloting a new model of community learning sites, which serve smaller communities of 30-50 children.

Community learning sites are comparatively low-cost as they have minimal set-up costs. Instead of constructing a school building, we make essential repairs to an existing community structure in which we can deliver lessons. We then resource them with whiteboards, learning games, reading books and everything needed to transform the buildings into functional, interactive learning environments. As in all of our schools, we train community teachers who can teach students in a language they understand and are sensitive to local educational needs.

We have now opened 23 community learning sites, reaching an extra 500 children in Myanmar.

At the heart of community learning sites is flexibility - no two look the same. Over time, community learning sites with high enrolment figures might be upgraded to a small school, while others will continue to provide quality primary education within the original community structure. Flexibility is what makes community learning sites so successful, as they can adapt to the exact needs of a community. 

After the success of the pilot in Myanmar, we recently decided to roll-out the community learning sites in Cambodia and Nepal. Successful reconnaissance trips have already identified suitably sized communities who would otherwise have no hope of educating their children. 

These communities are now awaiting a sponsor - please get in contact if you can help us put more out-of-school children into education.

Our work in Myanmar