Kwah Dao is a 501 c 3 registered non-profit organization seeking to empower disenfranchised communities in northern Thailand with the education and support necessary to improve their current situations and enhance their future opportunities. Despite positive political developments in both Myanmar and Thailand, our stateless and vulnerable Burmese Shan communities still exist in a legal limbo, unsure of how these changes impact their daily lives or their futures. By offering educational and positive youth development programs, we hope to poise our students with the skills and resilience necessary to overcome any challenges they may face.
In 2000, Celina Su and Peter Muennig, professors from New York City, met a Thai couple voluntarily teaching a group of Burmese Shan youth. Inspired by their selflessness and dedication to the exploited Shan communities, Dr. Su and Dr. Muennig founded the Burmese Refugee Project (later changed to Kwah Dao) to raise funds to support the Thai couple’s efforts. The organization has since evolved to meet the needs of the Shan population we have been working with for over fourteen years. Though we are thrilled to see how their living situations have improved dramatically, some still live in a precarious legal situation lacking citizenship to any country and the few who have been able to procure citizenship from Burma or Thailand still face daily discrimination and exploitation.
We strive to provide education, community development and health assistance in order for the stateless and vulnerable Shan in Thailand to develop the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to improve their lives, enhance their opportunities and succeed in the future. Our field staff coupled with the work of volunteer interns and our Board of Directors enables us to develop cost-effective, relevant and successful initiatives with the communities’ input.
Link to our Budget and Prior Finances
Read our most recent Annual Report – All of our prior annual reports and newsletters can be accessed through our blog. Feel free to email us with any questions! We also have extensive reports about the impact and outcomes of our programming.