The lives of some poor children in Yangon and my life were changed by two amazing people.
In 2012, I went to a poor monastery in Yangon Myanmar to see the work of my friends Ed & Tanja. They had founded and totally fund the “The Bridge of Life” organisation & go wherever children need help. They have built hospitals, psychiatric units, schools, kitchens, playgrounds, night shelters & many other contributions to children in Serbia, Nepal, Thailand & Myanmar.
This time they were building a 2 storey school room, kitchen & nuns' quarters in the Aung Thaikdi Mahamyaing Monastery Yangon. Prior to to this the only school room was small and dark, with few desks and very little supplies. All grades were taught together in the same room by some very kind, generous volunteer teachers & monks. It did not qualify for a government teacher, but nevertheless some village children came to learn whatever they could.
I spent a truly heart warming week there with the children - reading, painting, dancing, singing and playing. I enjoyed communicating with the monks and village people, although very little English was spoken. The children were so hungry to learn and devoured everything I could offer them. As the room was too small we had classes on benches under a big tree. What a wonderfully blessed experience for me!
I got to care very much about their future and after much consultation realised that if the children had some English and could use a computer when they left school they would have a better chance of surviving. Otherwise their future looked very bleak. I wanted to enable them to survive and hopefully thrive.
Now the monastery has a proper schoolroom - thanks to “Bridge of Life” and they have qualified for one government teacher. With the help of volunteers they have a full school curriculum as well as the English & computer skills courses that I introduced. Some boys have been able to continue to middle school , thanks to kind sponsors from overseas.
In the four years I have been involved in the monastery life I am puzzled and amazed that not once have I seen these children fight or be aggressive despite so much trauma that occurred in their lives before arriving at the monastery. So much loving kindness and generosity are practised there. I always leave the monastery in a “bubble of bliss”.
Thank you Ed & Tanja from ‘Bridge of Life” for inviting me to experience another way of Being & Living.
I am happily off to Yangon in a couple of days time to see and work with them all again.
I will give an update when I return.