Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, in SE Asia is a country plagued by the longest civil war in the world, now lasting more than 70 years. It is a country plagued by poverty, limited health care and a decrepit educational system. Though now a nascent democracy, it’s powerful military and law enforcement remain in the hands of it’s former junta which continues to also handcuff its judiciary and educational system, thus neutralizing attempts at real change.
There are several options for supporting children in the Myanmar Children’s Fund through LWCF. The cost of sponsoring a child to go to vocational training in Myanmar costs approximately $600 over a 4 month period. The cost of sending a child to a school that provides a sound education costs approximately $2400/year including food, boarding, and health care. You can also make a monthly contribution of any amount if you wish.
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We have two projects in Myanmar. The first supports the works of Bikkhu Eindaka, a forest monk whose life is dedicated to the education and advancement of the children in villages on the shores of Samkar Lake, some 30 miles downstream from the famed Inle Lake. Villages in this region lack sufficient medical, educational, and social and economic opportunities. It is an area so poor that in desperation some youth start participating in drug smuggling to help feed their families. There, Bikkhu operates a small enrichment school where he teaches children English, ethics, and critical thinking. He identifies students with the aptitude and work ethic to excel and arranges for apprenticeships, educational scholarships and other experiences to provide them with otherwise non existent opportunities.
Many of his former students, have gone onto careers in science and medicine, childcare and education, and finance and hospitality, and now as adults are working together to develop schools, orphanages, and businesses that provide opportunities for his current students.
Currently, for example, our fund supports sending rural children to private schools in the regional capital of Taunggyi. These students are being prepared to go into medicine and nursing, engineering, and accounting. Other current students are apprenticing in the hospitality industry, developing their talents in traditional crafts, tailoring, carpentry and computer science.
Our Second project in Myanmar supports the Adonai Children Rehabilitation Orphanage (ACR), a small orphanage in Chin State, that cares for the needs of children whose parents were killed by Cyclone Komen in 2015. Most recently we have helped purchase chicken coops, oxen and building supplies with the goal of allowing them grow their own food and sell the excess so to become self reliant and eventually not dependent on outside funding.