School’s In (and more)!
‘Tha Ngae Chin Myar’ (TNCM) program is the Friends Alliance (FA) program based in Yangon, Myanmar. Growing out of the Linkage Training Restaurant social enterprise, it’s the youngest of our programs. Over the last couple of years, it’s also faced many difficulties. Covid has had a severe negative impact upon people’s health and livelihood. Additional insecurity and dangers posed by the military takeover added to the challenges faced in implementing our saving lives and building futures projects. However, the #everydayheroes of Friends Myanmar have been undaunted, and despite these problems have continued to provide support to those who need it most!
From March – May 2022, TNCM held a program of activities for local children who were out of school. This included non-formal education classes, with games and other activities. Adding to the existing challenges in ensuring children got to and from the center safely, were very frequent and extensive power cuts the city was suffering. Street working children also joined in the activities, and all were glad of the daily meals provided by TNCM #everydayheroes! Meanwhile, their caretakers continued to visit the center. They received emergency support, counseling, and ChildSafe information. Where and when possible, TNCM social workers ventured out to conduct outreach sessions in communities also.
The summer program drew to an end in May. It was time to get children ready to return to school. Parents came in to the center for advice on registration. Additional school supplies were readied for over 20 children who needed them. School reopened at the beginning of June, and TNCM social workers were on hand to support the safety of the children as they went back to their lessons.
Looking To The Future
The TNCM team are cautiously optimistic about the coming months. The security and public health situation is getting a little better. This means that outreach can happen more frequently.
There are plans to introduce wider vocational training again when possible, and the numbers of families receiving the support and guidance of TNCM is gradually increasing. Over 40 families, more than 200 people, were receiving direct support as May ended. Thanks to the resilience of Country Program Director Thin Thin and her team of #everydayheroes in overcoming numerous obstacles, many families have been able to weather some very difficult times.
They, and hopefully many others, can look forward to things getting better as the program re-establishes more projects for saving lives and building futures in Myanmar!
(would you like to support this and our other work across SE Asia? Then please visit friends-international.org/donate)