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Nowhere to be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma’s Military Regime Curriculum

Nowhere to Be Home is an eye-opening collection of oral histories exposing the realities of life under military rule and oppression in Burma. In this corresponding curriculum, students will examine the rights of political prisoners in Burma, making personal connections and connections to political prisoners around the world. Students will also practice empathetic listening through partner interviews. Students explore the following questions:

  • How can I use my own interpretations and experience to connect with the lives of the book’s narrators?
  • How can I connect the realities of a police state with my own life, community, and country?

Grades: Adaptable for middle school and high school

Time Needed: Entire curriculum covers approximately 1 week of class time. However, each lesson can be taught separately. 


  • Students will bring oral histories to life using acting techniques in order to better understand and connect with the lives of youth in Burma.
  • Students will use ethical interviewing practices and empathetic listening skills to conduct a peer interview.

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Given the heavy censorship in Burma, and the long standing control by a military junta there, this book may be the only opportunity the narrators have to share their stories with the outside world.


About the Oral Histories

Decades of military oppression in Burma have led to the systematic destruction of thousands of ethnic minority villages, a standing army with one of the world’s highest number of child soldiers, and the displacement of millions of people.

Nowhere to Be Home is an eye-opening collection of oral histories exposing the realities of life under military rule. In their own words, men and women from Burma describe their lives in the country that Human Rights Watch has called “the textbook example of a police state.”

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