Kyansitthar U Min Kyaung Orphanage monastery – Bagan, Myanmar:
Approximately 89% of the population in Myanmar is Buddhist making it one of the most devout Buddhist countries in the world. Monastic schools assist in providing basic education needs of the country accepting children from needy families who live nearby and are unable to attend government schools. Many of the orphans who attend monastery schools are from remote areas and have been sent by senior monks from their villages and small towns. Here they learn basic educational skills as well as knowledge of the Lord Buddha’s teachings.
On 2 May 2008, Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar, and devastated the Ayeyarwady Delta region killing 84,500 people and 53,800 went missing. The UN estimates that as many as 2.4 million people were affected. These are photos from my visit to Shwegu Orphanage monastery (known by the locals as Kyansitthar U Min Kyaung) an orphanage built to help the children who survived Cyclone Nargis. Since then:
12,404 families have been provided with new homes.
25 schools have been built, benefiting approximately 3,250 school children
19 sub-rural health centers have been constructed
93 Red Cross posts for community-oriented resilience-building activities such as first aid have been constructed
171 community buildings or infrastructure have been repaired
(From the International Federation of Red Cross Societies)
The novices seemed to enjoy interacting with us and were playful like almost any group of school children.