It’s not common to see Burmese female athletes since they’re typically be expected to take on family responsibility as well as stay at within the home, taking care of their family members. However, an organization that was founded in the past ten years with moderate goal has been able to alter ingrained perceptions concerning gender roles among the Burmese diaspora in Thailand. It is part of the Burmese custom for girls to rest at home. Typically the outdoor pursuits are carried out by males, as explained by James the soccer instructor with a Chin origin employed by PlayOnside which is a non-governmental organization situated on the Thai border.
According to estimations, approximately the number of people who are displaced have sought refuge in border areas between Thailand and Myanmar’s nine camps. A different collection of Burmese immigrants resides at Mae Sot which is a close town. PlayOnside was established to support the creation of positive initiatives that help most marginalized and vulnerable people and refugees along the border between Thailand and Myanmar.
In the year 2000, Javier Almagro, the current director, went on a journey to the border region from Spain and saw the need for Burmese migrant children to be provided with equal chances in sports. Almagro, along with Daen and Daen, organised The Amore Cup tournament in hopes of bringing together Thai and Burmese migrants. Results showed that Thai kids and girls were more involved as compared to Burmese children who didn’t have the proper amenities or facilities for playing. Upon witnessing the disparity, Almagro said: ……
Almagro declared that after some months of playing and training, it became apparent for Almagro as well as his team members that this idea had become more established. The concept behind PlayOnside was conceived with the certainty that soccer would be effective in providing training and strengthening to the people that are Burmese as well as Karen descent who have been relocated to Thailand. This sport is great for social transformation as it provides fun and educational opportunities for children, especially those living near the borders between Thailand either Myanmar.
The organization grew rapidly thanks to the generosity of donors as well as its support from the Burmese migrants. This enabled Burmese girls living at Mae Sot to take part in tournaments held in Bangkok and elsewhere. Almagro claims that the organisation’s special mission along the border helped it expand organically in recognition as more and more credit was acknowledged for its efforts to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for Burmese immigrants. The initial participation was extremely limited to women. But, in the last decade, increased awareness initiatives have allowed the group to establish solid relationships with local Burmese society to boost the acceptance of Burmese migrants.
A report from the Women’s Sports Foundation states that sporting activities have provided an invaluable cultural and social learning opportunity for girls and boys for a long time. The sport has brought various benefits such as increased levels of academic success, self-confidence, positively portrayed body image and a higher level of confidence. The research continues to highlight that those who do not engage in sports from an early the age of a child are at a severe disadvantage in employment, lacking these advantages. Our greatest satisfaction is our success in encouraging inclusion and empowerment and increasing the participation in these actions by Burmese migrant girl.
The distinct mission of the organisation at the border of Thailand/Myanmar allowed it to reach many Burmese newcomers to give them an educational experience and a fun one. They have also been able to establish close relationships with Burmese organizations through increased awareness. It has also helped to increase the participation of women. The dedication of the organization and its ability in providing a unique an opportunity to Burmese migrants’ kids are truly admirable and is sure to continue to be beneficial for many decades to come.