Sponsored children: 40 of 69
The Chin region is one of the most isolated areas of Myanmar. The area suffers from quite poor soil, no underground resources, no tourists but most of all, the region is very remote and difficult to reach.
In some villages, schooling is not even an option. The first city can only be reached by driving a motorbike for several hours, and technology is present solely in the form of a few TVs and smartphones. It is difficult for families, which are frequently large, some with over ten children, to support themselves.
In this isolated area, Children of the Mekong supports small boarding houses. These structures allow a dozen youngsters to be housed close to their primary, secondary or high school and thus to study with peace of mind.
The houses are bare-boned, and there is minimal comfort: sheet metal roofing, little to no electricity, which often causes the children to study by candlelight, students also sleep on thin bamboo mats right on the floor. Most of the building materials were transported by motorcycle, which significantly limits what can be built.
Despite all of this, the students are overjoyed to be able to live, study and eat there – things which can often be difficult to do within their own families.
Sponsor a boarding house in Myanmar!
By sponsoring a boarding house in Myanmar, you will be giving
the region’s most impoverished children the chance to study and receive an education. A monthly donation of £28 will help meet operating costs – like food, personal hygiene products and other basic essentials – as well as the costs of the staff involved in providing extra classes and educational support. As a result, even the children of parents who have no income at all will be able to board. Each year, you will receive news from the boarding house you support. This will allow you to witness its evolution as well as follow the education of the students.
Mg Ling Khui Shing is 14 years old and lives in a boarding house. He is in grade 6, which is year 8 in the UK. Third, in a family of six children, his family’s situation is very difficult.
His father was in the army but left while on duty. He was caught by the police, charged with deserting and had to spend 6 years in jail. During his incarceration, his wife left with another man and took their two younger children with her. She has not kept in touch with her family or children. Since he was released from jail, Mg Ling Khui Shing’s father has not been working and lives with his brother. He became a heavy drinker and his friends say he has lost his mind because of the violence he went through in prison. Mg Ling Khui Shing’s uncle does his best to help, but it is not an easy task as he has nine children of his own.
While not all children have gone through situations this tough, children being abandoned, parents separating, and alcoholism are recurrent issues in this impoverished area of Myanmar. At the boarding house, Mg Ling Khui Shing can have a healthy social life. He is able to follow the path of education, which will allow him, later on, to be independent and start life with the best background possible.
THE DAY OF A CHIN CHILD
Life in a boarding house is demanding and aims to push the children to be the best possible versions of themselves, to make the most of their abilities. If you were to visit one of those villages on the other side of the world, you could, for a day, follow their routine:
- 5:30 am: the children wake up
- 6 – 6:45 am: meditation or prayer
- 6:45 – 7:30 am: breakfast at the foster house
- 7:30 – 8:30 am: morning studying session
- 9 am – 4 pm: school time
- 4 pm – 6 pm: small house chores, gardening, free time
- 6 pm: dinner
- 7 pm – 9 pm: evening studying session
- 9 pm – 10 pm: additional classes, when the foster house can afford it and if electricity is available
The children spend a lot of time studying. However, this very studious atmosphere is lightened up by several events during the year, like local football tournaments and religious celebrations. During weekends, the children go back home. The few unable to visit their home remain at the boarding house. There, they play, study and do small chores, depending on their needs and those of the foster house.