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A lesson in community

Tearfund | 15 Mar 2019

A village in Myanmar unites to revive a struggling pre-school.

It’s incredible to witness a community coming together to create something good.

Fourteen years ago a preschool in Sun Kai, Myanmar, opened its doors for the first time. But without a permanent source of funding, there wasn’t enough money for resources or staff, and so the school quickly closed.

It was eventually reopened, which is when Daw Aye Nan, a pre-school teacher, was recruited. ‘When I started working here, the fences and toilets were broken,’ she says. ‘There was nothing inside the school building either – not only teaching materials but chairs, desks and mosquito nets.’

Daw Aye Nan was tempted to quit. Many of the children arrived with poor personal hygiene, and their parents hadn’t put them in school dress. She decided she couldn’t just walk away. ‘I felt pity for the children, and wanted them to have a better future.’

Becoming perfect
By bringing the community together, Daw Aye Nan and the rest of the village were able to repair the fences and toilets, despite having few resources. Tearfund partner World Concern Myanmar (WCM) were invited to discuss what else could be done. Soon, the village had a working corn farm, the proceeds of which would go into the preschool fund.

The community continues to get involved and give when they can. Recently, they’ve been able to build brand new fences and toilets, as well as providing proper teaching materials. When Daw Aye Nan asked the village’s self-help groups (a Tearfund-led initiative) to help provide lunches for the children, they jumped at the opportunity.

WCM have also been raising awareness of health and hygiene, teaching families the importance of keeping clean. ‘Now every student knows how and when to wash their hands, how and when to brush their teeth, and how to use the toilet,’ says Daw Aye Nan.

She is now full of optimism: ‘With everyone’s participation, our preschool is becoming perfect.’ Thanks to the coming together of this community, the children of the village have a much brighter future ahead of them.

PLEASE PRAY


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