Posted by Nick Dale on Aug 04, 2019
Ring, Ring that bell; a new semester has begun at BEAM Education Foundation (Bridging Education Access for Migrants).  The excitement is high amongst all students as are their nerves and trepidation of the new adventure.
This is a big new forward step, alas not on the moon, in achieving their goal of entrance into an English language university. In some ways its like going out on a first date.  Do you remember your first date…. (I do and she was beautiful, my feet never touched the ground with nerves on edge -- what have I done, did I made a mistake, what to wear, will I be liked, do we have anything in common, do I fit in, how good is everybody’s English, am I out of my depth, fears of misgivings we have all gone through in life). But there are other concerns with the BEAM students: can I survive, even complete this year, do I have enough money, can I keep my job, can I work and still make all classes, do I have clean clothes and do I have enough clothes, oh no its raining I have no dry clothes, not uncommon to us all, with all the issues you can see some amazing colorful dress in classes, combinations and hairstyles as true reflection of their desire -- Education. 
From a class topic came the word “Unite” what does it mean?  In what started as a slow response, discussion became highly vocal, everyone was awake, cell phones abandoned, exciting, full of sharing together with deep thoughts. 
The question for sixteen students was: if we were all at sea in one life boat with an objective to find land or perish, could we all unite, be united in support of the common goal? Wow blank faces, puzzlement,then there were screams of togetherness, yes we can, then there was a, No, in the tone of “Luke I am your father” silence fell,,, Then one student remarked, typical of him, he is greedy, silence returned, then slowly topics of ethnic, regional, religious differences and tolerances were openly discussed and it raised a lot of questions.  What brings and divides unity, in their search for answers, solutions I could experience young minds at work, they were having fun, were passionate in sharing, talking openly about differences, opinions without passing judgment. Exciting!!
Oh as to the lifeboat: we decided to throw overboard the student who said he was greedy; we felt he would cause division.
Thus ended a good session for practice of English conversation and critical thinking.
From the BEAM Facebook:  BEAM Education Foundation supports Burmese migrants and marginalized youths to earn their high school diplomas and apply to university. We and our generous partners are already supporting 34 students in their living and schooling costs for this academic year (2019-20), but we are short on exam funding for 18 students. We'd like to seek your assistance to help 18 marginalized youths finish high school. Thank you for your great support.  You can contribute via Global Giving.