We are thrilled to share the success of Jen’s House, through the achievements of our first post-secondary graduate students. Many of you have been long time supporters of Jen’s House, and it is thanks to you, that these young Karen adults are now able to stand up for their Karen people in Thailand, in ways that will truly make a difference.

We cannot change the lives of the Karen people as they struggle through the prejudices and challenges that keep many trapped in a cycle of poverty in Thailand. What we can do is provide educational opportunities to Karen youth that become a foundation for change. Change that allows this new generation to stand up, educated, compassionate, and proud to to say,

“We are Karen! We stand for our people!”

I am so proud to introduce you to our first group of post-secondary graduating students.

Suchada – Receiving her Nursing Aid Certficate with Jen’s House-parents Chai and Tamla 2016. Suchada would like to continue her studies and become a registered nurse, after a 1 year work placement at McCormick Hospital in Chiangmai.

su-cha-da Suchada at Jen’s House – 2009

Sao Come in Ban Mai Village, on his way to Jen’s House – 2009

After finishing high school in 2015 Sao Come was on his way to Agriculture College when he was drafted into the Thai Army. Sao Come will finish his mandatory two year service in 2017. KLEO looks forward to supporting him should he decide to return to post-secondary studies.

Weera at Jen’s House 2009
I look forward to attending Weera’s Graduation Ceremony later this year. He is graduating from Chiang Mai University with a Degree in Political Science.

I would like to share a story about how one of our graduates has all ready made a difference in his community.

A few month ago one of our students, Jenjira’s fifteen year old brother was tragically killed in a car accident. Jenjira, comes from the same village as Tong Chai (see below). Their home village is about 3 hours from the site of the accident. When the family was contacted about the accident they immediately called Tong Chai to go, as it was impossible for them to find out anything about their son. They were told that they should come and collect their son who was dead on the side of the road.

When Tong Chai arrived at the scene of the accident the officer informed Tong Chai that the woman, who was the driver, was not at fault and that he should take the boys body home. Apparently the woman was either a friend or had given the officer a bribe (not unusual here) and that was to be the end of it. Under normal circumstances, there would be no question from the Karen family. Karen people have been discriminated against due to the prejudicial views of Thai police and government, all of their lives.

However, this time, they did not realize that they were speaking with an educated Karen. Tong Chai insisted that their son’s body not be touched until photos had been taken and a full investigation was completed. Tong Chai stood by to ensure everything was done according to the law. A charge was then laid against the woman, she was found guilty and restitution for for boys death followed.

Tong Chai at Jen’s House- 2009

Tong Chai at North Chiangmai University ready to receive his Law Degree
November 20th, 2016

If Tong Chai had not been studying law the outcome would have been very different.
Just another Karen boy killed, swept under the table with no regard for human decency or the law. This one act by Tong Chai shows how important he is going to be to his community. He has become the, go to guy, regarding any legal issue in the surrounding villages. Tong Chai would like to continue his studies but he cannot due to the prohibitive costs of further education. He plans to work for a year. With the money he is able to save, along with a sponsors support he hopes to complete the additional two years required for his LLM. He would like to specialize in Civil Law.

Jarunee at Jen’s House 2009

Jarunee (right) has accepted a one year contract working in Ranong. She will return to Chiangmai to receive her Degree in Chinese from Ratchaphat University next month.

Sukanya at Jen’s House – 2009

Sukanya at her graduation ceremony, receiving her Degree in English from Payup University. November 11, 2016 with her sister (who is currently at Jen’s House)

Educated, passionate young Karen adults are changing the Karen peoples’ cycle of discrimination and poverty. They are mentors to those who follow their footsteps through Jen’s House and beyond. On December 17th, 2016 we will gather to celebrate their success and share their journeys to those living at Jen’s House today.