Feb 9th, 2017:
Edu Net student Chit Oo outside his families small home with his 3 year old sister.
With my days in Myanmar coming to a close, I had one last NGO to visit in Yangon before my 28 day visa expired and I left the country. I was set up to meet Nay Lin by my contact at Partners Asia, and he runs Edu Net, a small organization in the slums of Yangon in the No. 1 Ward.
Nay Lin and his teachers, Phwe Phwe Win and Saw Yu Yu Aung, provide non formal education for children in the Yangon slums who otherwise may not be attending school. Many of these children must start working at a young age to help support their families and are unable to attend the regular government school. Nay Lin and Edu Net offer 2 hours of class each day that primarily focuses is on reading and writing in English and Burmese as well as life skills, self awareness, critical thinking and health education.
In addition to the children education, in 2016 Edu Net also started running a women’s education program. They offer english and sewing classes to local women in 6 month courses, 3 hours a day, 4 days a week. They try to train about 20 women at a time to be home tailors and hopefully learn the skills to start their own small businesses. They are now in their 2nd batch of sewing students and most of the 1st batch are now making some income as a tailor. A couple students have even managed to open their own shops.
The joy of these children and the huge heart of Nay Lin and his teachers became the perfect capstone to my time in Myanmar. The entire country seems on the cusp of growth and change, and it’s heartening to hear the adults all across the country continually preach the value of getting the next generation educated. A common refrain that kept being reiterated is how they look up to Singapore and it’s exceptionally fast growth as a nation fueled by investing in their people and the next generation. I am really wishing the best for the citizens here and hope to make a return trip soon.
A A recent graduate of Edu Net’s women’s education program who has open her own shop.