MENET (Myanmar Education NETwork) – some background information and our ongoing work
MENET was launched in January 1999 as a prayer support and fundraising group to facilitate the development of pre-schools in the Yangon area of Myanmar (Burma). Our contact is Carole, a former member of our congregation who now runs a school for the children of local diplomat and business people, alongside which she trains local students to run preschools.
Education for the poor is not good in Myanmar, with over 100 children in the infant classes. Unless a child can write, has the rudiments of reading and number work they don’t stand a chance. Initially we raised the money to train the teachers and helped them to equip their schools when they returned to their villages. One school in a very poor enclave 9 miles from Yangon was run by Ahzi in the shack-like church where her husband is Pastor. It was also their home and they have four children. She named it, quite poetically, 'FUTURE FLOWERS' saying she had them as seeds, and they would grow into flowers!
In 2009 we applied to the Bishop’s Lent Appeal and were awarded £10,000 for a substantial school building. They now have a beautiful two story building with a school on the ground floor, the church above and living accommodation on the side. When Ahzi visited her home in the north she was asked to start a school there and we gave them a start-up donation. It is now run by Ahzi’s sister, and another one was opened in the next village so there are now four Future Flowers Schools.
After the tsunami struck we were able to help a small village on the SW coast by paying for the repairs to a communal fishing boat, restocking livestock and rebuilding homes. The village again suffered in cyclone Nargis, and we have since have helped towards building a substantial Community Centre and Church. We have been able to respond to other needs – food for a local orphanage, education fees and medical treatment. The money we raise goes such a long way in this very poor country. Last year we heard of a new project which we are now supporting in Bogolay by providing toys, teaching equipment, salaries, a building for the school and toilets. We also built a bridge to replace the two planks that crossed the river, so people no longer fall in!
The committee of 7 now organise six or seven fund raising events a year and we have “FRIENDS OF MENET” who donate regularly – we would welcome new members. To date we have given Carole £64,257,74!!! This is worth at least double in Myanmar. At present we aim to make £5,000 a year. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have supported us in any way whatsoever. Be assured that we ARE “MAKING A DIFFERENCE” to the lives of these people.