Teachers share their experiences of the tour to Myanmar
During Chinese New Year in 2020, ten local teachers from primary and secondary schools joined a World Vision tour to visit an Area Development Programme (ADP) in Myanmar and meet the local children and communities. While initially there were fears for the pandemic when they set off, the trip turned out to be smooth and fruitful. All teachers have shared what stood out most to them and their true feelings.
The Community and Children’s Club
The journeys to the schools were quite long and rough. What stood out to me most was the visit on the second day. To reach the school in the poorest area, we had to take a bus ride of about four hours, followed by an-hour-and-a-half journey on a speedboat and then fifteen minutes on a tractor.
School was almost over when we arrived, but the students and villagers were so eager to receive us with traditional songs, dances and snacks, which deeply touched us. The villagers live deep in the woods, so the main challenges they face are electricity and clean water. Thankfully, World Vision has equipped the school with generators and access to clean water to help solve those challenges. – Ms. Ip Yuen Yi
What impressed me most is hearing the children sing a song for us in one of the villages. I could tell that they were brimming with confidence just from their eyes. While they may be still deprived of certain things, they can still grow perfectly fine with a little push from us. – Ms. Wong Oi Lin
You can see pride in the first systematic chicken breeder of the village. You can see his earnestness and dedication in taking care of the only sow in the village. All villages play multiple roles: one can be both a kindergarten teacher and a note-taker at meetings. The whole village manage their finances and save together, and there has never been theft. This sort of unity and sincerity is what will drive the village steadily forward. – Ms. Ho Hiu Sin
The most remarkable experience for me occurred when we visited one of the villages. There was a family whose father was alcoholic and failed to work. His son, though already in high school, had to drop out and return home to help make ends meet. I can’t help but thought of my students. They are band 3 students and often sleep in class. They seem to care nothing about their studies, but they would actually work part-time jobs at night to help their families. Once I found out the reality, I changed my way of communicating with them, from blaming to caring. What I have seen in Myanmar this time once again reminds me to be empathetic and understand the dilemma behind. – Mr. Yip Kit Man
What I remember most was visiting a poor family. Beside their modest house, World Vision taught them farming and animal-raising. This was how they managed to attain a self-sustaining life. When I asked the family’s children about their aspirations, both children said they would like to become doctors because they wanted to help those in need. My heart beat when I heard their reason. I believe that these thoughts come from thankfulness for the help that their families has received from World Vision. They want to give back to the community in the future, and I just found this good-hearted spirit really beautiful. – Mr. Chao Chin Hou
The Street Children Centre
At the street children project, we met a group of “wild children” who came from complex backgrounds. They were forced to drop out of school due to poverty and ended up in the streets, causing them to become “untamed”. Thankfully, World Vision set up a street children centre where they can learn basic knowledge, social skills, as well as knowledge about hygiene. A few months after the project began, these “wild children” slowly showed change upon receiving education, they also became a bit more secure. It is my wish that, through World Vision’s help, these children will have a hopeful heart for the future and experience love and warmth in the world. – Ms. Chan Hoi Yan
On one occasion, one of the teachers, out of a simple wish to connect better with the street children, challenged them to a game of arm-wrestling. This triggered the fighting spirit of the boys and an ad-hoc martial arts class was improvised. They were all filled with joy and had a strong desire to learn. They taught me that given the language barrier, as long as there is love, one would certainly be ready to go the extra mile and overcome it, shaping one another’s life. – Ms. Ho Mei Yee
What this tour means...
This tour has given me an extensive experience and deepened my understanding on many aspects of World Vision’s work in Myanmar, including family livelihoods, rural development, education, etc. Seeing how World Vision wholeheartedly assists the local villagers, I have learnt that “helping” is more than just donating stuff and sponsoring children, but allowing them to develop their body, mind and soul. I hope that all sponsors and sponsored children find such fulfilment. I also wish that children’s living conditions would improve, and enable them to help others in need when they grow up. – Ms. Lim Lai Ha
I was really touched as I learnt more about the many projects that World Vision carries worldwide and heard about how the lives of the locals were changed during the trip. After all, these plans are not something that happens overnight, but works that have been running for over a decade, and there must have been a lot of difficulties and hardships along the way. I felt embarrassed to have thought that “what this encounter can bring them” and “what I mean to these people”. I guess we are all a bit too conceited at times to think that we can change the world with very little effort. Nonetheless, if this encounter did light up hope for the children, then it would really be meaningful. – Ms. Li Wing Han
Perhaps the people of each country are unique, but just as the song sung by a group of children from the church the other day, everyone in this world is born the same. It is my hope that poverty and its subsequent family and social problems will be alleviated. I offer my blessings to the children of Myanmar, and may we each be blessed with good health and peace. – Ms. Chow Nim Chi