January 20th, 2017:
The amount of photographs and content I have been creating the last two weeks has been insane. Since Inle Lake, I have been through Kalaw, Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin and now I am working with another organization in Lashio, in the northern Shan State of Myanmar. Needless to say I am behind blogging all this, but I am going to do my best to catch up in the next couple weeks.
The last stop I made with the Global Community Service Foundation in Inle Lake was to a preschool in Kan Hla Village (which has a population of 620). This preschool is one of the three the Global Community Service Foundation has built around the Inle Lake area, they have also constructed 2 primary schools.
The Preschool in Kan Hla Village employs two full time teachers. Who are paid by the parents of the students, each student pays 4000 kyat a month (approx. $3) and the teacher are paid 70,000 kyat per month (approx. $52). Some months parents are unable to pay and there is unfortunately a shortfall in the teachers salary. The teachers are promised back pay when the village has the funds.
After visiting and photographing the children, I was able to sit down with the village leaders for a conversation and I asked what their greatest need is? They immediately said “Safe drinking water.” They currently have clean water delivered, but that costs 500 kyat ($0.37) for 20 liters. They would like a deeper well as their current one seasonally goes dry and leaves the village without clean water. The village leaders believe they need to drill to 500 feet, but the estimated cost with all materials, tanks, piping, digging, etc would be $30,000 – far out of reach for this small village. There is one subsidized deep drilling machine for the entire country (of 52 million people), but all the villages across Myanmar get on a waitlist to access the machine and then are still required to pay other costs (the sense I got during the conversation was that this option would never happen.)
From everything I have witnessed, Kaythi and the Global Community Service Foundation does astounding work in the Inle Lake community. If anyone out there is looking for a place to send some tax deductible, charitable giving, I highly recommend visiting their site for more information.
Alright, we’ve wrapped up with Inle Lake, stay tuned for more Myanmar stories coming your way soon.