April 22, 2009

School in Refugee Camp Celebrates 25 Years

Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Baptist World Alliance
April 22, 2009

The Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School and College (KKBBSC) in the Mae La refugee camp in Thailand celebrated its 25th anniversary from March 25-29.

The school was founded by Saw Simon, the recipient of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Human Rights Award in 2000, and offers general education to refugees and training to church leaders.

Simon and his family fled across the Thai border after the school, which was originally located in Rangoon (Yangon), the former capital of Myanmar , was destroyed. He later restarted it at the Mae La camp. Mae La houses an estimated 50,000 persons and is one of the largest of several refugee camps for displaced persons from Myanmar who fled conflicts in the South Asian country. The school restarted with 32 students and has since grown in enrollment to more than 300.

Included in the celebration were the 23rd graduation exercises of the KKBBSC, where 39 students graduated, and the 25th Annual Mass Meeting of the Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Churches (KKBC), comprising the more than 240 churches that were founded in the refugee camps.

“We are really grateful to God for what He has done for us, is doing for us, and will be doing for us,” a release from the school said. “We also thank our brothers and sisters around the world for supporting us and praying for us.”

For the full release: http://www.bwanet.org/default.aspx?pid=1074

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