Manon is one of our overseas volunteers in Myanmar, she went to meet Aye Mya Thu, who is sponsored through Children of the Mekong.
- 110 sponsorship programs
- 2,500 sponsored young people
- 9 overseas volunteers
Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a largely rural country composed of 135 officially recognised ethnic groups although in reality there are around 148, including the Rohingyas, Chin, Kayah, and Karen peoples… the list is a long one and Myanmar suffers from numerous internal conflicts. Children of the Mekong’s goal in the country is to support any initiatives to improve the educational system which needs to be completely overhauled following 50 years of military dictatorship. The system is extremely discriminatory, requiring students to take additional, fee-paying classes, making them inaccessible to the poorest young people.
The communities we are able to help live mostly in ethnic states such as the Chin, Kachin, Shan, Kayah, and Karen communities as well as in the central plains and the Irrawaddy delta. Some suffer the consequences of civil war or other major problems (AIDS, drug trafficking etc.)
- 55.1 million inhabitants of which 64.9 % live in rural areas
- Literacy rate: 75.6%
- Official language: Burmese
- Currency: Burmese kyat
- Ethnic makeup: 148 ethnicities (68% of the local population are Bamar, 9% are Shan, and 7% are Karen)
- Main religion: 87.9% of the population is Buddhist
CHILDREN OF THE MEKONG’S PROGRAMMES IN MYANMAR HELPS WITH:
- Access to education in the most isolated areas, especially among the ethnic minorities such as the Shan, Chin, Kachin, Karen, and in the country’s refugee camps (sanctuaries where families can live when their villages are in the civil war zone).
- Supporting students in elementary school, middle school, and high school, enabling them to continue their studies by paying for the additional classes required and giving them the educational help and guidance to succeed.
- Guiding and supporting young people through professional training courses (English studies, the hotel industry…) to enable them to enter the workforce and help them develop as people in their own right so that they can be open to the world around them and become part of society.
One-off projects (the construction and renovation of foster homes for example) allow us to improve the environment in which our sponsored young people study and live.