My Easter this year was a little different than most years. Instead of the usual church service and family hunt for chocolate eggs around the garden, I was invited to celebrate with another family, a family of 100 children who are boarders at Agape school. When I arrived, all the children were sitting on the floor looking expectantly at David, the headteacher. I struggled to understand all of the Burmese, but then suddenly the kids all shouted together ‘sa:me!’ – ‘we’ll eat!’ David was telling them the programme for the morning, and the most important bit for them was the same as for children everywhere – getting to eat their Easter egg.
The service was beautiful. Each person was given a hard-boiled egg to write their prayer or wish for the coming year, with the teachers helping the youngest children who aren’t so good at writing yet. Then, we were all given a candle to hold while we prayed. Not all the children at Agape are Christian, so each was encouraged to pray according to their own religion, or just to make a wish if they preferred. One hundred children holding tiny white candles – yet not the hint of fuss, no accidental burns or hair caught on fire. We sang and prayed, then arranged our eggs and candles on a table at the front of the hall….
…and then finally, the moment the children had all been waiting for – their very own Easter egg. It was hard-boiled, not chocolate, and there was just one – probably far fewer than children in the West now get – but it bought such a look of excitement and happiness to their faces. A present that tastes delicious and is good for you too – what more can you ask for?
Room to Grow supports regular deliveries of eggs to Agape and other boarding houses in the migrant community here in Mae Sot. Many children tell us that eggs are their favourite food, and they’re also a great source of protein and nutrients – vital in combating the malnutrition that affects so many children here. It costs less than 200 baht to give a child an egg every week for one year. That’s about $6 CAD or £4 – the price of one chocolate egg. Could you organise a fundraiser or make a donation to help us get eggs to more children every week, not just at Easter?