Utilizing Soccer as a Tool for Community Building and Social Change Among Burmese Girls

In a society with defined gender roles, it’s not common to see women taking part in Burmese women in sport and are typically expected to assume household responsibilities and remain inside to look after their family. The organization was created in the past ten years and is pursuing limited goals has begun to change the stereotypes about gender roles among Burmese refugees who reside in Thailand. It is part of the Burmese custom for girls to stay at home; normally, outdoor activities are undertaken by males, says James an instructor of soccer of Chin background who is employed by PlayOnside an non-governmental group that is located near the Thai border.

Based on estimates, about hundreds of people who have fled have sought refuge in the border’s nine camps. A different collection of Burmese migrants reside on the border in Mae Sot which is a nearby town. PlayOnside was founded to assist in the implementation of positive initiatives that help most vulnerable and marginalized people and refugees along the border between Thailand and Myanmar.

Javier Almagro (current director) embarked on an adventure along Spain’s frontier to find out what could be done to ensure to ensure Burmese youngsters would have the same opportunities in sport. Inspired by this, together with his friend Daen, Almagro organized The Amore Cup competition to bring together the Thai and migrant Burmese communities. The outcomes showed that Thai both boys and girls participated more in the tournament than Burmese children , who had access to the right equipment or playgrounds. When he saw the differences, Almagro stated: ……

Almagro states that, after a few months of training, it became apparent for him and his group that the notion was in need of establishing itself. The idea behind PlayOnside was developed with belief that soccer can be effective in providing the necessary education and motivation to people that are Burmese and Karen origin who were exiled in Thailand. The sport can be a powerful tool for social development because it offers fun learning activities for girls in the early years, particularly those that live close to the borders to Thailand as well as Myanmar.

Due to the support of donors and members of the Burmese migrants it experienced an explosive growth rate, which gave an opportunity to Burmese girl’s living in Mae Sot to participate in tournaments in Bangkok as well as other cities. According Almagro, Almagro the organization’s distinct purpose at the border allowed the organization to develop naturally in recognition in our efforts to provide the opportunity for education and entertainment for Burmese refugees. Initially, female involvement was limited; however, through increased aeness initiatives The organization has developed close ties with local Burmese societies over the past decade in order to boost their acceptance.

An analysis by the Women’s Sports Foundation states that the sport of sports has provided a beneficial cultural and social learning opportunity for girls and boys for a long time. It’s provided numerous benefits including improved academic performance, self-confidence, positively portrayed body image and a higher level of confidence. The research continues to demonstrate women who do not participate in sport from an early time are more likely to be disadvantaged in work. Particularly pleased are our achievements of promoting inclusion and empowerment as well as increasing participation in these sports by Burmese women who have migrated to other countries.


Its distinctive mission at the Thai-Myanmar border has allowed it to be able to successfully connect with a range of Burmese migrants to provide people with an educational and fun opportunity. It has also been able establish close relationships with Burmese communities through increasing awareness. This has helped increase the participation of women. It is admirable that the group has worked tirelessly to provide Burmese youngsters a chance to be unique. This will be an enormous benefit for the next years to come.

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