Shwe Tha Zin School and Boarding House was founded by a Burmese monk to care for the children of Burmese families fleeing to Thailand in the wake of Cyclone Nargis. The school is very well respected in the local community, but very short of funds. The headteacher makes some money from practising astrology and Burmese medicine, which he uses to pay the school’s running costs and provide what food he can to the children. There are currently about 150 children at the school, 27 of whom live at the boarding house. Room to Grow began working with Shwe Tha Zin in 2011, when we learned of the school’s situation. We started small, by providing some emergency food support,as well as a mushroom hut and spore bags.
During the 2012 summer holidays, Room to Grow built a new boarding house at Shwe Tha Zin, as the old one was extremely cramped and falling into disrepair. The new boarding house has separate rooms for boys and girls, and lots of space for sleeping and relaxing. This year, we are continuing our deliveries of yellow beans, eggs and tinned fish, as well as providing funds for the teachers to buy rice and vegetables for the boarding house children’s food.
[Photo: children washing after taking part in a school clean-up day, February 2012]