PASDB SUPPORTS AUNG ZAYAR MIN BIG MONASTERY /ORPHANAGE /SCHOOL WHICH TAKES IN 2,700 CHILDREN INCLUDING 1000 ORPHANS
This monastary/orphanage/school takes in abandoned children, orphans or children coming from very poor families from their earliest age and provides them with primary schooling onwards. It is located in Hlaing Thar Yar, a Yangon peopled suburb where thousands of war refugees pack together as a consequence of several armed conflicts affecting many Burman areas. Aung Zayar Min saw a considerable increase in its young boarders (currently about 2,700 including 1000 orphans) after the terrible Nargis cyclone which devastated Burma on May 8th 2008 with over 140,000 dead and missing people plus 2 million disaster-stricken.
The monastery takes in boys as well girls, either lay or with monastic vows. They live and study together and sleep in separate dormitories. All these children are supported until their final exam (equivalent to our high school exam) if they wish so and if they are able to do so. Then, they teach the very little ones for one year. At the end of this last year, they may choose to start an adult life, to stay in the monastery as monks or nuns or even to become voluntary workers with board and lodging.
51 teachers do the tuition follow-up, which is by far insufficient given the number of students (about 10 more would be needed).
AUNG ZAYAR MIN'S NEEDS
Aung Zayar Min's needs are huge at all levels (need to increase the quantity of food and vary it, need to find new premises and about 10 more teachers, etc.).
For instance, regarding the children's food, 6 rice 50-kilo bags are currently needed (rice is the basic food in Burma), that is 300 kilos in order to cover the children's subsistence level. Each bad costs about €20 therefore bringing Aung Zayar Min's budget to €120 a day or about €3,700 a month.
It is important to precise that the children do not eat vegetables every day and still less meat, fish or fruit. These commodities are specially eaten on Buddhist feast days thanks to local donators who make offerings to the monastery. Therefore the students eat mostly rice 3 times a day, which produces important food deficiency among a great number of them and which causes sundry diseases.
REMINDER: ACCORDING TO WHO (the World Health Organisation), 11 % Burmese children under 5 years of age suffer from acute malnutrition (which remains one of the main causes for infant mortality) et 41 % are chronically under-fed. Only 15 % children are exclusively breast fed.
As part of its educational programme called « The Schoolbag Of Hope » and thanks to donors who are sensitive to the work done by this monastery and its abbot for the benefit of such a great number of children in an extremely fragile situation, PASDB currently offers €1000 a month (€12,000 per year) to purchase rice, which represents 30 % of our annual budget and about 25 % of Aung Zayar Min's needs for that sector.
We actually wish to do everything in our power to be able to better support this monastery/school/orphanage for, during each of our visits, we have been able to observe that the children's living conditions are very rudimentary in spite of the monastery's supervisors' and especially its abbot's (U Zayananda – see photos) laudable efforts and dedicated involvement. The latter who, it must be noted, lives in a very modest way, has confessed to us his great worry and difficulty making ends meet regarding his rice budget as he cannot possibly (nor doesn't want to) refuse to take in new children who are often abandoned in front of the monastery by their parents (see photos).
What's more, he wishes to build new premises in order to take in more orphans or underprivileged children.
Our wish is to be able to increase our aid still more for Aung Zayar Min in the coming months.
Moreover, as part of its access-to-drinkable-water-for-all programme called « Water For Life », PASDB has built in Aung Zayar Min its first among four mini insanitary water treatment and purification plants (see photos), the other three being completed in other places of Yangon where we provide aid. This insanitary rain water is collected and stored in water reservoirs dug inside the monastery (see photo).
It will be possible to purify 1,000 liters of water and a lot of underprivileged people living around the monastery will be able to benefit from this programme and from this water made drinkable thanks to it.
We are also going to build a high capacity concrete rain water collecting reservoir. This water will also be treated by the mini plant as it is of better quality than the monastery's water.
We are specially happy with the implementation of this project, for the damage (high infant mortality and waterborne diseases) caused by the consumption of insanitary water in Burma is terrible.
Total cost of the installation : €4,700