Schools are amazing places.
Places where knowledge and passion is shared. Individuals are nurtured. And doors for the future are opened.
When I was invited recently to work with one of the many, many schools for Myanmar refugee children living here in Malaysia, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. I couldn’t wait to meet the children, to tell their story and go some way to help their continued schooling.
The hundred and fifty plus children at this particular school are from families living just across the border from their homeland, but so far from somewhere they know so well. They were warm and welcoming. Strong yet vulnerable.
As a visual story-teller I have been asked to spend time at the school and to capture the children’s day to day life within this small four room ‘apartment’ in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Each overflowing with eager faces. From 5 to 20 year olds. Learning Burmese, Maths, Science, Bible Studies and English from a small staff of Myanmar teachers and expat volunteers.
Joining the classrooms is a hallway decorated with artwork by the children and pictures from sports days and the occasional day out. At the end of the hallway is a hive of activity: the kitchen. Just big enough for two Myanmar women to prepare rice and fresh vegetable dishes for the morning classes’ lunch. Everything about the school is basic. But functional.
It was an eye opening couple of hours. And I simply can’t wait to return to spend some more time with these wonderful children and get to know a little more about their lives within these walls and beyond. Here is a selection of my first day at their school…
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are able to help to provide these children, and many more like them, have a really great start in life. Please contact: Trine Engskov/ engskov (at) aq-services.com
A fellow photographer here in Kuala Lumpur has also done some wonderful work with the refugee children here in Malaysia. Take a look here to see Caroline’s work.