BEAM is the acronym for Bridging Educational Access to Migrants
BEAM Education Foundation (BEAM) (https://beamedu.org/) was founded in January 2010 and is located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. BEAM is a registered non-profit educational foundation. The emergence of BEAM was in response to the rising educational needs of marginalized people, migrants, and refugee youth living in Thailand, most of whom are from Myanmar.
BEAM envisions people-oriented, peaceful, and developed communities in Myanmar and Thailand that can be sustained by empowering local communities through comprehensive and continuous access to education.
CMIRC involvement with BEAM is in two areas. One is a cultural exchange activity where club members and CMIRC friends share other culture experiences with BEAM students and the students share their individual experiences. This is all done in the English language and intended to improve the students' 1) English language listening skills, 2) English language speaking skills, 3) English language writing skills, and 4) their note-taking, analytical and reporting skills.
The second area of involvement is as resources for the students in improving their skills for taking and passing the Social Studies portion of the General Education Development (GED) tests composed of four subject tests (Reasoning Through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science and Social Studies.) Passing the four tests provides certification the test taker has United States or Canadian high school-level academic skills. As the saying goes – mathematics is mathematics, science is science and English language is English language. But, US social studies is somewhat unique from a perspective of being focused on U.S. History, U.S. Civics and Government, Economics, and U.S. Geography.
Why is passing all portions of the GED important for migrant/refugee young adults? They cannot attend primary or secondary Thai schools and the education centers they can attend are not recognized as qualifying for entry into college and university (here in Thailand and globally). So, the GED is their only path for pursuing a college education, anywhere.
CMIRC involvement in the cultural program is beginning again on 1st of July. In the past we have had four representatives from CMIRC participating: Rotarians Linda, Gary, Roger and Nick. Friend of the club and past member Bob has participated, also. Presently three have indicated they plan to participate: Rotarians Roger and Nick and friend of CMIRC Bob. Presently, Rotarian Nick is out of country for family reasons. We would like to have at least four club members participating and ideally a total of six. At present, we have had to restructure the schedule to match our resources of three people – Nick and Roger and Bob. This permits three classroom sessions per week with a doubling up of students at the last third class of each week. The normal arrangement has been four sessions per week at BEAM with one CMIRC person per day per week.
What is the overall program commitment for the cultural program? The daily session runs from 1:30 PM-3:00 PM, ideally four days per week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The CMIRC participants develop the daily class materials. The first session runs the weeks of July 1 through August 12 (7 weeks); a four week break, and a session from Sep 9 through Dec 2 (13 weeks). A total of twenty weeks for the program participants. The GED review session will start after the first of the year.
Several CMIRC members have indicated potential interest in participating in the BEAM effort. If interested please contact Rotarian Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once Rotarian Nick, who is our coordinator, returns to Chiang Mai please contact Nick at DNdale49@aol.com.