The Best Friend was founded in 1999 as The Best Friend Group of Literature by two concerned Buddhist monks, with the aim of encouraging people to become more educated, aware and active in the struggle for peace and freedom in Burma. The organisation believes education is the best way to eradicate poverty. It operates two free libraries in Thailand offering free English and computer classes, has a relocation project for refugees in the region and runs a mobile healthcare programme to supply free medicine to migrants in the surrounding area.
The Burmese military regime has been closely monitoring and controlling the activities of politically active people, especially since the 2007 Saffron Revolution. Several people, including monks, were arrested and imprisoned, simply for the crime of providing information and discussing politics and freedom. The organisation once ran 15 libraries, but only three have escaped closure by Burmese authorities. Members and volunteers of The Best Friend were forced to leave Burma for Thailand to avoid persecution. While living under terrible conditions they have since managed to open two libraries in Thailand. The Best Friend needs ongoing support to give Burmese refugees safe shelter, free school classes, medicine and any other help neccessary.
The nearest major airport to Mae Sot, Thailand is Chiang Mai International Airport about 233 km from the center of Mae Sot, Thailand. Bus services operate in the province, and you can also travel directly from Bangkok to Tak by bus. To get to the libraries in Mae Sot please contact [email protected] for detailed directions.
Contact Alexandra before you travel to arrange your visit.