In 2013 while visiting a clinic in the village of Shwe Ko Koh, several Global Neighbors board members came face to face with a disturbing and ongoing problem in Myanmar. In this country, where there is not a single form of social safety net, there are thousands of poor orphaned children whose lives are in great peril. The dangers are many: illness, starvation, slavery, and abuse of every kind. For these children there is no chance at even the lowest level of education.
A close associate of ours, Naw Baw Baw, who has worked with us on other projects, said that she would be willing to help some of these children, but had no structure to provide simple housing. If we were willing to help with this, she could start to help children in dire circumstances. As we walked around her compound we came across a simple wooden building that had been used as a TB clinic. We saw that the structure was sound and that with a few basic improvements it would be suitable housing for a caregiver and a few children.
Our board quickly approved this project and in 2014, 3 children and a caregiver moved in. Within months the number of children leapt and by the end of 2014 our little mini orphanage had 10 children. Today there are 35 children still in the care of the same caregiver. They have weathered many storms in their young lives. However the security of a safe place to live, friends, food and education is making an incredible difference. They are blooming!
In 2019 it was apparent that the old refurbished building was no longer meeting our needs. Our caretaker would like a bit more privacy and as children grow older, boys and girls need privacy as well. Our board approved a new building and in February 2020 construction started.