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Volunteers supporting Pann Pyo Let Monastic Education School

From January 11th to February 2nd two Saydanar volunteers from Switzerland stayed at Pann Pyo Let Monastic Education School to support the school in its further development.

The school is located in Kyauktan, a village between Yangon and Bago, inside a Buddhist Monastery and is open for children from all religious groups. Most of the approx. 20’000 people living in this rural area are suffering badly from poverty and a very low level of education. Public health care is practically non-existent.

Pann Pyo Let Monastic Education School, established in 2004, offers basic education for those who cannot afford to attend the costly government school and hosts a free clinic that is run by volunteer doctors every Saturday. Moreover, it offers a library, started sustainable farming and is active in youth development by offering courses in English and computing to help the villagers improve their chances the get proper jobs or higher education. 

These activities have been very successful but are not reaching far enough. The school therefore wants to develop in following areas:

- Today education can only be offered for primary level. The plan is to provide secondary school education as well. In addition, it will set up a kindergarten so that elder children can attend school instead of taking care of their younger siblings.

- All children in the school and kindergarten will get free meals during the day. Most of them are coming from very poor families and are severely undernourished which hinders their physical and mental development.

- The school plans to extend accommodation, food and education for up to 200 children from conflict areas such as Shan, Kachin or Rakhine. Children from such areas are faced with the risk of becoming child soldiers or victims of human trafficking.

- The existing clinic, open only on Saturdays to date, should be converted into a permanently operating clinic to secure basic health care for the community and ambulance shuttles to hospitals in Yangon and Bago.

Saydanar supports the school with raising funds and with expertise to realise these plans which will lead to an independent and sustainable operation of the school within four years. So that Pann Pyo Let can provide the community with proper education and health care also in the long term.

The two Saydanar volunteers from Switzerland spent three weeks at Pann Pyo Let Monastic Education School to discuss and understand the plans in detail and to define the projects where Saydanar and the school will collaborate. Together with the school, they defined the project milestones and a transparent system to further monitor project progress and budget allocation.

In addition, the volunteers helped the School to set up a flyer and a website to inform interested people within and outside the country of the important activities of the School. Pann Pyo Let hopes to become a role model for many other Monastic Education Schools in the country.

On one weekend, Saydanar organised workshops for the villagers on personal hygiene, birth control and awareness for HIV and its prevention and were assisted by three more Burmese volunteers. In addition, Saydanar distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste to 450 school children to prevent oral diseases and organised a group of volunteering doctors for dental check-ups since villagers often suffer from oral diseases and have usually no possibility to see a dentist.