As the Myanmar government looks to restart the schools in late July (early August), we are preparing the building and the curriculum in anticipation of it. The building is not only for preschool but the 2nd floor will be used for the teachers to stay and live. We are adding a covered outdoor kitchen for the teachers. We are leveling the ground for the children to play outside ...
**UPDATE**March 13, 2020
**UPDATE**December 28, 2019
Ernie and Lydia visited Myanmar this month and had quite an amazing and productive time during their trip!
They participated in the preschool activities for two days and witnessed a great job our teachers are doing.
They had a Christmas celebration that was attended by around 550 adults and children from the village. The whole community is accepting us well. We anticipate the annual celebration to grow every year.
In all, we can impact this community in such a way because of your partnership this year. We send our thanks to you and wish you an amazing 2020!
**UPDATE**November 24, 2019
Our preschool has been operating since being officially opened on June 10! We are operating today with an average number of children around 25. With your help, we are able to feed the children two days a week. The other three days, the children bring their food boxes. The two teachers are working well together.
Our work is getting around with a good reputation. The district police chief, who lives more than 10 miles away from our school, sends his child to the preschool five days a week!
**UPDATE** July 2019
**UPDATE**June 9, 2019
Ernie visited Myanmar June 1st through June 9th and had a great time celebrating the preschool opening on the 1st! The nearby community and friends from Yangon came to help and offer their support. Ernie spent many days purchasing preschool supplies in Yangon and taking them back to the school in Bago.
There are currently 20 students registered (limit of 30) for the preschool. We are charging enough to pay for one teacher's salary (a very small amount in US dollars). Class begins Monday, June 10th. One of our teachers (Yu Yu) just received her preschool teacher certificate on May 31st.
The ground floor, where the class will be held, is ready and we will continue to make it brighter for the children. The second floor will be used as a living space for visitors and out of town teachers and supporters. It will need kitchenware, fridge, oven etc. We will purchase them as needed, but cannot afford them at this time.
All of this is a nice step toward our journey to provide basic education and care for the poor children and youth. It is good to see our growth.
Preschool opening celebration
Teacher Yu Yu receiving her preschool teacher certificate
Selecting school supplies
**UPDATE**May 19, 2019
We are on track for our preschool "Grand Opening" celebration June 1st, 2019!
**UPDATE**January 27, 2019
It is morning in Myanmar, we have started digging the foundation of the preschool! Thank you for your support and coming along with ForgetNot International. With your gifts, you enabled this beginning ..... to help to the poorest of the poor children in Myanmar!
The Grand Opening celebration for the preschool is set for June 1st, 2019!
On the small lot that the village has donated to us, we have begun digging the water well this month. The building will start going up in February, to be completed by May. It will be large enough for about 30-40 children and will also include housing for a couple of teachers.
The cost for the building is about US $20,000. This amount is outside of our annual regular operation budget, so we need to raise this amount in addition to this.
Model of the preschool building
We have begun digging the water well.
The water well for the preschool is being completed!
Previous project updates
Ernie visited Myanmar this month and brought his family along on the trip. They were able to spend time with the children that are being cared for in the daycare, and helped host a Christmas celebration for the children and their families. We have now completed our 2nd year of serving the migrant families! We have added an additional staff helper to assist the teachers in the daycare and are now prepared to serve 3 days a week in 2018 at different locations ... up to about 150 children total.
Ernie made a trip to Myanmar to visit the project sites in June. It is currently monsoon season in Yangon! It pours hard but stops in less than 10 minutes. The location of where some of the "brick makers" moved to has been determined. It is a bit of a walk to get there from the main road (see photo below). Ernie was able to observe how strong the team's relationship is with the children and their families. They came out greeting them and walked them back to the village through the path with least mud!
We are excited to be impacting the poorest of the poor in the Yangon metro. Simple food and basic education are impacting these children's lives!
Yangon - December, normally the coolest month here, was well over 90F yesterday. We visited and celebrated Christmas with the 'brick makers' and their children. They took time off and listened to their children sing and listened to the teachers speak. Although the field was hot, humid and full of dirt and dust, we enjoyed each other. I understand their background more and it aches me to see their lives in front of me.
I got to know and build relationship with the land owner. He built and gave us a little shed to use for caring for the children. He is supportive of our work here.
We cooked and fed about 200 children and adults. It was wonderful to see the cooks working so diligently under the tent set on the side street all night.
It was so good to see the children smile as we handed out the gifts.
It is currently monsoon season in Myanmar and it rains hard when it comes. It is a good thing that it does not last long. The migrant brick makers and their families have returned back to their homes until the end of monsoon season in the fall.
Ernie met with the day care leadership team (pictured above) located in Myanmar who will be serving and caring for the children of the migrant brick makers during the upcoming work season. The opening date is set for October 1, 2016. The work will continue for 7 months until the next Monsoon season in May.
It was a joy-filled day of caring on March 18th. Patrick visited the day care project site and joined with the ForgetNot partners in Myanmar to serve the migrant brick makers and their families. There were fun activities, singing and delicious meals provided for all! The children and their families seemed to enjoy this time as we continue to connect with and build relationships with them.
Volunteers served meals to the families of the migrant workers on the morning of February 20th! ForgetNot International started the work of building relationships with the brick makers and their families today. This is a huge step, as the preparation of food and serving the people is the most time consuming.
We will now work toward:
Food service 3-4 more times before the monsoon arrives in June. We still have to fine-tune the work.
Build strong relationships with the migrant families.
We want to include teaching and singing in the next round.
Cooks preparing meals for the migrant families
The temperature was about 93 degrees in early January (coldest month of the year!) for the day when we visited this dust filled "brick making" site near the capital. Difficult to comprehend the life of these migrant workers. Making an average of about $80 a year for a worker is not possible to live on for a person, let alone for a family.
The workers have a quota to meet and would work days and nights. They have approximately 7 months to work before monsoon season arrives. Here, their children are left alone around fields in groups, finding their own shelters in the scorching sun.
ForgetNot International believes this is the site where we will initiate our day care center work. Approximately 200 migrant families arrive every October. Using the funds we have received so far, we will begin our work to support these migrant families by providing care for their children (approximately 100 children, ages 3-7).
Our next steps:
Secure/borrow a small land nearby.
Build a temporary shelter.
Hire two caretakers/teachers.
Hire cooks to feed two meals a day (we have budged for two days per week with a cost of approximately $1 per child for 2 meals per day).