In a culture with traditionally established gender roles, it’s unusual to witness women taking part in Burmese female athletes as they’re generally required to fulfill household chores and stay home to take care after their families. An organisation that was founded around ten years ago with small goals, is now changing expectations of gender roles for Burmese refugees in Thailand. It’s Burmese culture for women to be at home. Outside activities, however generally, are performed by men. James is a Chin-based soccer coach who works with PlayOnside (a non-governmental organisation located in one side of the Thai borders).
It is estimated that during the war’s prolonged civil war in Myanmar roughly 2,000 refugees have taken refuge in the nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. In addition , Burmese refugees reside within Mae Sot, a town near the border. This is why PlayOnside was formed to develop positive, grassroots initiatives to help the most vulnerable or marginalized refugee and migrants, particularly young girls and women along the border between Thailand and Myanmar.
In , Javier Almagro, the current director, went on a journey towards the border region in Spain and was able to see the need to ensure that Burmese immigrants to have the same opportunity in sports. As a result of this, along with his colleague Daen, Almagro organized The Amore Cup tournament in order to connect the Thai and the migrant Burmese communities. It was evident that Thai children and teens participated more in the tournament than Burmese children who didn’t have appropriate facilities or playing areas. Upon witnessing the disparity, Almagro commented: From ……
Almagro stated that after several months of practice after which it became clear to Almagro and his group that the idea needed become more established. The idea behind PlayOnside was developed with belief that soccer can be an efficacious means of providing the necessary education and motivation to people of Burmese as well as Karen extraction who had been relocated to Thailand. This sport is great to transform socially since it gives fun learning activities to young girls, especially those near the borders to Thailand or Myanmar.
Thanks to the generosity of donors as well as the wider Burmese immigrants it experienced significant growth and provided the chance to Burmese girls living within Mae Sot to participate in events in Bangkok as well as in other cities. Almagro says that the organization’s distinctive mission on the border let it grow naturally, as more recognition was awarded for the organization’s efforts in providing a safe and enjoyable environment for Burmese immigrants. Initial participation was very limited for women. Over the past decade, more awareness programs have enabled the organization to create solid relationships with local Burmese communities to boost recognition.
An analysis by the Women’s Sports Foundation states that sporting activities have provided an invaluable educational experience in socio-cultural terms for boys and girls for years. The sport has brought many benefits, including increased grades, self-confidence and positively portrayed body image and higher levels of confidence. This study highlights that females who don’t participate in athletics from an early time are placed at a significant disadvantage in the world of working, and are deprived of these advantages. Particularly pleased are our achievements of promoting inclusion and empowerment as well as increasing participation in these actions by Burmese girls who are migrants.
The distinct mission of the organisation along the border between Thailand and Myanmar has made it possible for it to touch a large number of Burmese immigrants to offer them an educational experience and a fun one. Through the increased awareness efforts the organization has managed to establish strong relationships with local Burmese organisations, which has contributed to making female participation increasingly common. It’s admirable how the group has worked difficult to make sure that they can offer Burmese children a unique opportunity. This will be an incredible benefit over the coming years.