Project volunteers are selected from among students at Champlain College - Lennoxville and Bishop's University in Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada. They must satisfy these requirements:
- Be aged 18 to 26;
- Have good spoken and written English [Because we are based in Québec, some of our volunteers will be native French speakers, but they too must have good English skills.];
- Be independent, self-reliant and resourceful, show maturity and good judgment;
- Work well in a team;
- Be adaptable and sensitive to different cultures;
- Care about social justice issues and world affairs;
- Be effective and energetic in working with children;
- Have a desire to learn about the situation in Burma and the problems of displaced people and of the Thai and Burmese communities in Mae Sot.
Before going to Mae Sot, volunteers prepare themselves by:
- taking classes in how to animate activities and lessons for English teaching;
- learning elementary Thai;
- raising funds to help pay for their stay in Thailand and to help partner schools;
- learning about political and economic conditions in Burma and on the Thai-Burmese border;
- learning about Thai, Burmese and Karen culture.
While in Mae Sot, volunteers will:
- help children and teachers with English and lead activities in schools for Burmese migrant children;
- provide some materials and financial help to partner schools (as much as we are able to raise);
- learn about the cultures in the Mae Sot community and share some of their Canadian culture;
- write articles and send them to Canadian media to inform people in Québec about the situation in Mae Sot.
On return to Canada, volunteers will:
- give talks about their experience to community organizations and schools;
- write articles and give interviews for media.