Dec 22, 2014

4th Report for Teacher Trainings in Rural Myanmar

Morning at the monastic school
Morning at the monastic school

4th Report for Rural Teacher Trainings in Myanmar

December 1st, 2014

Warmest Greetings for the end of a successful year!      

As the cool weather rapidly falls upon the small town of Kalaw, in the pine covered mountains of Southern Shan State, we are pleased to share the final news with you of our teacher trainings in Myanmar for 2014. It has been a tremendously successful year with our Teacher Training programs and we look forward to your continued support as we make plans for 2015.

Brighten Foundation Training at Shwenadi Monastic School in Dry Zone

For the second year our friend Guisseppe Martinegi from Brighten Foundation based in New Zealand, joined us for another successful month of trainings. Shwenadi Monastic School is home and school to over 400 ethnic children from Chin State on the border with India. The program was a huge success and has started an on-going relationship with the monastery as well as a newly found Montessori Pre-School started in the town of Kyaubadaung. During our time with Shwenadi we offered;

  • Teacher Training
  • Youth Empowerment Training
  • Football (Soccer) Training for teachers and youth

Youth Development Foundation/Football for Hope and Brighten Foundation

For that last 2 years we have also been working with our Myanmar based partner U Ye and his Youth Development Foundation/Football for Hope. Together we held teacher training, youth empowerment and football training outside of Mandalay. Working with a local monastery with over 450 ethnic Palaung children, we also supported the monastic school and orphanage with basic health care and cleanliness of the compound and support better health among the children.

Inter-Cultural Education (ICE) with Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation (PCF)

Whispering Seed facilitated a 5 day workshop on Inter-Cultural Education (ICE) training for PCF participants from Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. Offering training to support ICE programs to be better integrated into their programs in the 3 different countries. Besides ICE, Whispering Seed also introduced holistic education, environmental sustainability and Non-Violent Communication (NVC) to the Pestalozzi team. The training was very successful and future collaborations are being planned together to bring more Inter-Cultural Education ideas and practices into the programs we are working with.

Holistic Education and Earthen Building Workshop in Upper Myanmar with Kachin Education Initiative Group (KEIG)

Over the next week we will be traveling to Upper Myanmar to work with KEIG in Kachin State. There we will working with teachers from various organizations who are working in different regions of Kachin State and Northern Shan State. Following the training we will designing and building an earthen building kindergarten for one of the KEIG members new project. More to come on this in the next report!

Overall we have had a very successful year reaching teachers and youth from all over the country. We are already planning workshops and trainings to start in January and continue throughout the year with our partner organizations here in Myanmar.

We are grateful for all your support and look forward to your continued support in the upcoming year!

Interfaith Exposure Visit to South Korea
Interfaith Exposure Visit to South Korea
Drawing your dreams with ethnic Palaung children
Drawing your dreams with ethnic Palaung children
Traditional monastic school setting in dry zone
Traditional monastic school setting in dry zone
Special training for Palaung girls
Special training for Palaung girls
Soccer training with young Buddhist novice monks
Soccer training with young Buddhist novice monks

Links:

Sep 11, 2014

3rd Report for Teacher Trainings in Rural Myanmar

Traditional Monastic classroom in Dry Zone Myanmar
Traditional Monastic classroom in Dry Zone Myanmar

Greetings Everyone!

We hope you are all doing well. Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who has so generously contributed to the Rural Teacher Trainings in Myanmar program. Your support is greatly appreciated and allows us to be able to support the teachers and students we work with in Myanmar.

Here in Myanmar, the monsoon season has started and is now in full swing. Because of the heavy rains and due to the starting of the Myanmar school year on June 1st , it has been a quiet time for our trainings. For the last three months, teachers have been preparing for the opening of school and fully engaged with their students as the first months of school have started.

However, we still have been very busy working in collaboration with other organizations over the last few months to support various trainings. Whispering Seed provides support training for several Myanmar based organizations throughout the country. Working with teachers, students, parents, community members and Buddhist abbots and nuns that run monastic schools, our aim is to provide support and trainings primarily focused on Holistic Education and Sustainability. The trainings are based in experiential learning and incorporate both theoretical learning as well as hands on practical skills training.

Here are some of the things Whispering Seed has been active in collaboration with other organizations in Myanmar.

  • Supporting teacher trainings which focus on Self-Awareness, Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking (RWCT) and Practical Life Skills
  • Teaching classes on History of Education, Introduction of Holistic Education, Child Development and Early Childhood Psychology
  • Teaching practical life skills to teachers and students (knitting, crochet, handicraft projects, baking, cooking, earthen building, Permaculture, Deep Ecology)
  • Preparation for Myanmar Interfaith group to travel to South Korea for 24th annual International Democratic Education Conference and Exposure Visit to Alternative Schools (preparations before and after the program)
  • Travelled to Korea for Democratic Education Conference with 21 participants from Myanmar (21 representatives from Myanmar came together for the South Korea trip, students, teachers, parents, policy makers and a Catholic priest from Kachin State in northern Myanmar along with a group of senior Buddhist monks from all over the country)

Upcoming trainings over the next few months:

  • Providing more support for Myanmar based NGO’s working on education reform and Buddhist monastic education
  • Earthen Building Trainings in Northern Shan State to build schools for Kachin Communities
  • Holistic Education and Earthen Buildings Trainings to be held in northern Burma in Kachin State
  • Support for development of project along the Myanmar-Thailand border in Kayin State (Karen State) with former staff of Whispering Seed
  • Youth Leadership Trainings and Earthen Building Training in Southern Myanmar
  • Support for Leadership Trainings and Advanced Training of Trainers (TOT) trainings
  • Working directly with youth and teachers in monastic schools to develop Children’s Parliaments, small scale kitchen gardens, playgrounds and Permaculture projects
Kindergarten class with new materials
Kindergarten class with new materials
still not enough teaching spaces in monasteries
still not enough teaching spaces in monasteries
Smiling faces, happy students!!
Smiling faces, happy students!!
Teachers using new teaching methods
Teachers using new teaching methods
Interfaith Religious group in South Korea
Interfaith Religious group in South Korea

Links:

Sep 11, 2014

First Update on Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre

Novice monk knitting his first hat
Novice monk knitting his first hat

Dear Friends and Supporters of Whispering Seed’s Sprouting Seeds Learning Center,

We would like to thank you all for you kind contributions to help us start the Sprouting Seeds Learning Center. Your support is greatly appreciated!!!

Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre campaign was started in June and during the first 3 months we are excited to share that we have raised $910 out of the targeted goal of $10,000. We still have a long way to go but we appreciate all your support so far!

Our initial plans to move to Kalaw, a small former British Hill Station in Southern Shan State were temporarily slowed down due to challenges with the new rental.

However, during the last two months, we have continued the planning stages of the Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre and have continued to look for a suitable space in the town of Kalaw. During that time, we also continued some of our training in cooking, baking, and handicrafts through some of our partner organizations, Socially Engaged Monastic Schools (SEMS) and Center for Promotion of Monastic Schools (CPME).

We are pleased to say that we have found a space in Kalaw and are now making preparations to move there in October. Our trainings will continue in October, November and December and we will work during the last part of the year to set up the initial space for Sprouting Seeds if all goes well.

From the trainings we already have conducted, we have received wonderful feedback. Participants are already picking up many new skills and are able to begin, in particular, knitting and crochet projects will they will be able to not only teach their students but also be able to start to make products for sale within their local communities. 

We are very exciting during these early stages of the project and looking forward to share more with you as make our way to Kalaw and begin preparations for the Centre!!!

A huge thank you to all of those that have supported us this far and look forward to your continued support over the next few months.

A busy kitchen learning new recipies
A busy kitchen learning new recipies
Some of the new foods!!
Some of the new foods!!
Monks getting yarn ready for knitting workshops
Monks getting yarn ready for knitting workshops
A variety of bread recipies
A variety of bread recipies
Hand made knit socks
Hand made knit socks

Links:

 
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