I arrived in September 2007 in Mae Sot to work as a volunteer. Mae Sot is a border town in Thailand on the Thai-Burmese border. I have been working and still do as a computer teacher in Mae Sot. I helped in several Burmese projects such as the ALP (Arakan Liberation Party), AWU (Arakan Workers Union) and in Burmese migrant schools.
Why are there so many Burmese in Mae Sot?
Burma or Myanmar (this is the new name of the country) is ruled by a military junta. The life of the many minorities is unsafe in Burma. They can be arrested without a reason and send to prison without a trial. It is especially dangerous for people who fight for their rights or freedom. For many of those people it is too unsafe to stay in Burma and they have to flee. Mae Sot is one of the places where they go to.
Another reason is the economical situation of Burma. The country is rich of natural resources. The country is rich of oil, rubies and teak wood. Under the British Colonial Rule Burma was one of the wealthiest countries in Southeast Asia. Today Burma is the poorest country in Southeast Asia, due to the mismanagement of the military junta. A lot of people don't earn enough money to support their family. They try their luck in other countries like Thailand or Malaysia, where they hope to work as an illegal migrant worker.
Since I have been here I got several requests to help projects or schools to build a website. A website is a great way for the Burmese to reach to world and explain about their situation. But there is a big problem. They can't find a company who will host their website, because they are illegal in Thailand. By creating this website I gave them a place where they can have their website for free.