Extreme poverty, natural disasters and poor teaching have led to only 8% of children passing Grade 10 in rural areas of Chin State, Myanmar. This project supports talented young men and women who carry a vision for the long term benefit of their people to pursue higher education. Once completed, they return to their communities in western Myanmar with the skills to take up positions of responsibility and to pass on their knowledge to the next generation.
Children in rural areas of western Myanmar face challenges in their attempts to access education, including: rugged geography; a scattered population; natural disasters; food insecurity; teaching in non-ethnic languages and a lack of qualified teachers. These challenges, combined with the highest levels of household poverty (73%) in Myanmar, have led to a school drop-out rate of 18% by grade 5 in Chin State, and only 8% of children passing grade 10 in rural areas, where poverty is the greatest.
We offer students, who carry a vision for the long-term benefit of their people, the opportunity to pursue higher education. They are provided with accommodation, subsistence, mentoring and support towards educational fees. In 2016, 74% of our Year 12 students passed their final exams, and our medical students achieved between 86-91% in their year-end assessments. This was a significant achievement for students coming from subsistence farming backgrounds, many with illiterate parents.
Health & Hope believes that education is crucial in building long-term sustainable development in Myanmar, raising levels of social awareness and preparing future leaders to be the catalysts of a fair and equitable society. We have so far supported 85 students, with four graduates returning home in 2017 to take up positions of leadership in their home communities. Our graduates have the skills to impart knowledge to the next generation and to play an effective role in civil society.