1st Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre Report
Dear Friends and Family
We are so excited to share the latest news about our newest project, Whispering Earth Sustainability Training Centre (Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre).
For the last few months we have been actively exploring the surrounding villages around Kalaw in search of the perfect piece of land to start the new training centre. The aim of the training centre is to have a hands on living and learning centre where people can come and experience in a hands on way about natural building, Permaculture and appropriate technology. The new centre will act also as a demonstration farm and will be a space used to host a variety of trainings.
We have found the most scenic and pristine valley starting just 10km outside of Kalaw. The valley has roughly 14 different villages and diverse range of ethnic groups including Danu, Pa-O, Palaung, Thaunyo, Shan and more. It is the perfect location to start the new training centre!
After much efforts, we have also now located a 7 acre plot just outside of the highest village in the region, Sha Bin. We have explained our plans and aims for the land and the villagers are happy to sell this piece of land to us to start the training centre.
Our goal is now to raise the necessary funds to pay for the farm, and all the necessary documents and permits to legally build on the land. As part of the deal, the former owner will build a basic road for easier access for us.
Once the land is paid for, we will be able to start designing, planning, as well as planting the land and getting the first adobe bricks ready before the monsoon season comes.
We have very limited time before the rains come and need to secure the land immediately. Once the land is secured we can begin the next phases of the project.
We thank you for all your support and look forward to your kind contribute to help in these early stages of development of this new training centre!!!
Albert, Aye Aung, Jim and the rest of the team!
We hope you all had a happy holiday season and a happy transition into the new year.
Things here at Sprouting Seeds Café, Bakery and Eco Shop are really moving along. Unfortunately, due to the press Myanmar is receiving about the conflicts in Rakhaine State, there are many less people coming to Myanmar. It is extremely noticeable here in Kalaw.
However, we are very excited to share that we received an award here at the café for our work with the local community. We are now starting to focus on small trainings to expand our natural products through the Eco Shop part of the project. Trainings in sewing, knitting, crochet, lip balm and hard soaps is now expanding to reach more people.
We are also so happy to welcome 3 new staff to the project, Thandar Myo, Shwe Yi and Chaw Kalyar. There are an amazing addition to the family here at Sprouting Seeds. We have had a few chances to take our days off to travel around Kalaw to have fun together after working hard all week together!
We also had the chance to share about all our work here at Sprouting Seeds at a Regional Sustainable Tourism Conference here in Kalaw. Aye Aung had another chance to practice her public speaking.
We launched a new menu at the first of the year and have had a wonderful response to all the new items. After a week or two of the new menu we have moved from are regular place at number 2 on trip advisor to now be several weeks at #1! We are so proud of the girls and all their hard work…its paying off!!!
We are also excited to share that we have the space above the café ready to begin teaching yoga! We are waiting to find the right teacher to help us who will be able to work with the girls in the centre, local community members as well as some of the tourists passing through town.
And we have been offering cooking classes now for over a month and also have received a huge response from the groups that have attended.
With the end of the cold season approaching we are also starting to plant more vegetables around the café and grow more fruits including several passion fruit vines.
We are excited to share more with you as we grow over the next few months!!
The Sprouting Seeds Family
We are happy to share that we were able to offer a teacher training at a Buddhist monastic school in Shan State working closely with the Socially Engaged Monastic Schools (SEMS) teacher training program. I am also very excited to share that now my eldest daughter, Aye Aung who is the manager of Sprouting Seeds Café, Bakery and Eco Shop was the trainer! We now have a new generation doing the trainings!!
Aye Aung worked with a group of teachers from all over the Southern Shan State to train in cooking, baking and ice cream making. The monastery is now offering delicious baked goods and lovely ice cream to their students and teachers will be able to go back to their home monasteries and share their new skills.
We are in the process of planning more trainings for the next few months!
We thank you for all of your support!!