Freedom to Education for Young People in Myanmar

by Health and Hope UK
Freedom to Education for Young People in Myanmar
FEP Nurse during internship year
FEP Nurse during internship year

We are so grateful for your continued support and commitment towards our work.

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt worldwide, and many of our FEP students face an uncertain time as their universities and colleges have temporarily closed. We hope that they will still be able to sit their exams if the restrictions are lifted in time. In the meantime, we are ensuring that they are being supported through this challenging time with pastoral care, financial support, and continued educational support and advice for their future studies and careers.

YinYin is one of our students who is in her final year of studying a BSc in Medical Imaging Technology in India. She is about to start an internship in Yangon, Myanmar and has written a short update on her time at university and what she hopes to do in the future.

“Before I became a part of FEP, I completed my higher secondary in my home town in Chin state, Myanmar, where there was no internet, libraries or schools teaching English. After I passed my Year 10 exams, I was selected to continue my studies as part of the Freedom to Education Project (FEP). Health & Hope supported me with accommodation, food and finances so I never had to worry. But, I still faced lots difficulty in the lessons and language. Everything was in English, which I didn’t understand very well. Thanks to the support and encouragement I received from the Health & Hope staff and other students, I passed my class 11 and 12.

When the time came, I was able to study my Bachelor’s Degree with the support of Dr. Sasa and Health & Hope. My life has been totally changed because I improved a lot in my studies, and also have grown spiritually - as well as in my English and communication skills! 

We have classes for three days a week at university. We used to participate in class activities and give class presentations, which I never did before. But taking part has helped me to improve my English and confidence. We also have a medical posting for three days a week in MRI, CT scan, and X-ray at Bethany Hospital. In hospital we do patient preparation for imaging procedures, learning how to position the patient and operate the equipment. During this experience I have come to realise how all medical professions are connected and how important each one is for making the right diagnosis, and giving the right treatment to the patient.

As my studies continued, the lessons became harder, alongside increasing  hours at the hospital. It is getting more and more challenging, but I am very happy to say that I have continued to progress in my studies. Not having to worry financially is such a great relief and allows me to concentrate on my studies, and I know this is because of your support.

I am going to do a one-year internship in Myanmar from this coming July. I am very much looking forward to this as I have heard many amazing stories from my senior FEP students about how much knowledge, experience and practical skill they have gained from their internships.

I am thrilled to be studying this course - I feel my life is more meaningful from being part of the medical imaging team, and being able to help others through my work. Thank you so much for supporting me; I am so grateful to be an FEP student!

 

YinYin is the third generation of nurses returning from the FEP to Myanmar. Over the last year, three graduate nurses have been working full-time as part of our staff team, delivering community and maternal healthcare services across our projects. In addition, a further four undergraduate nurses have been serving in a volunteer capacity while gaining crucial experience at Hope Clinic, along with supporting our maternal health projects and working with our partner, Medical Action Myanmar. Below are some photos of these nurses delivering training to local healthcare workers and critical care in the community. 

We have recently updated our website with the latest news on our response to the COVID-19 crisis. As we work with the team in Myanmar to develop our plans in response to the current situation, we will endeavour to update you further on this. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this or any of our other projects, please feel free to email me directly on philippa.wilford@healthandhope.org.

Thank you again for your continued support and partnership. Your giving is making a wonderful difference to our students’ lives who are, in turn, using their skills and qualifications to bring life-saving healthcare to their communities. 

Graduate Nurse supporting Hope Clinic
Graduate Nurse supporting Hope Clinic

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
FEP student nurses graduating
FEP student nurses graduating

It all started seven years ago. A dream to see young women from rural Chin State have the opportunity to train as nurses and then come back to serve their community.  Thanks to the financial commitment of long-term supporters, this dream has become a reality. 

In the summer of 2019, three young women who have been supported by the Freedom to Education project graduated from university after completing their nursing degrees. Their training included:
- a one year internship with Health & Hope
- completing their year 11-12 secondary education in India
- an undergraduate degree in India
- a year internship in hospitals in Yangon

Following their graduation ceremony the nurses received a week's training from our partner Birthlink, took part in supervised outreach work in rural villages and received two months of training in maternal health and emergency neonatal care.

The nurses will now support the delivery of the Maternal and Neonatal programme, in addition to working in Hope Clinic and responding to emergencies through a newly established mobile medical service for remote villages.

Last month, two volunteer midwives travelled from the UK to run training workshops and mother & baby clinics in Lailenpi. The midwives wrote this summary about the nurses in their trip report: 

"One extremely valuable outcome of working with the Nurse Team throughout the week was their own development in midwifery knowledge. By working continuously alongside us in the clinics and during training, their knowledge increased substantially. On several occasions the nurses reported how their knowledge of antenatal, intrapartum and post-natal care had increased by hearing it from us in English, translating it into Mara, facilitating the questions and explanations and practising enthusiastically alongside all the trainees. Confidence and language skills increased and they thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the training.  They became competent in all the skills and fostered a positive, interactive learning environment. They grew in confidence in their organisational and teamworking skills throughout the time. When a problem arose, they were quick to admit it and efficient in finding solutions. They were very committed to the smooth running of the course and worked long hours to achieve this. We felt that positive and lasting relationships were built between us all and that very good teamworking was achieved."

It's wonderful to see the real impact that has resulted from the Freedom to Education project in just a few months after graduation, with the nurses full of hope, passion and knowledge returning home to serve in their communities. 

Your support is not only changing the lives of the individual students, but also having a wider-reaching impact on local communities through providing the skills and expertise needed to reach out and sustain our work amongst the most vulnerable in western Myanmar. 

Internship at a hospital in Yangon
Internship at a hospital in Yangon
Participating in mother & baby clinic
Participating in mother & baby clinic
Care of the newborn training
Care of the newborn training
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
FEP Graduate
FEP Graduate

Mis Ramthangi is a recent graduate who has benefitted from the support of Health and Hope's Feedom to Education Programme. This is her story... 

"My parents had six children, three girls and three boys. We lived in a very small village called Pasaitlah, which is near Lailenpi, in Chin state of Burma. I studied in my village from class 1 to class 8. As there is no high school in my village I had to take my class 9 and 10 in Lailenpi. As we are poor family and my parents cannot send me to a good school, I failed my class 10 in the first year. I was so hopeless when I failed. On top of that I got health problem.

As my health was not good, I could not continue my studies and I dropped out for one year. However, I dearly wanted to continue my school again but that year we faced lots of financial problem, and I had to carry food from my village weekly by foot which is 8-9 hours journey. My parents did have not enough money that year for tuition fees, or for the problem I had with my eyes. It was impossible to get a medical checkup. Later on my eye sight became worse and I could not even see the blackboard.

After struggling for a further three years I was able to pass my class 10. One side is full of happiness and another side sadness followed me because there was no money to continue to study, and as all the universities are located in the city, it takes one week to reach there and lots of money is needed for travel.

The time when I and all my family were hopeless, I heard a very good news from Dr Sasa that he wanted to help those who passed class 10 to take further study in India. I came for an interview and I was selected to be a student of Freedom to Education Project (FEP) run by Health and Hope Myanmar. All of the selected students signed and promised to come back to our country and work for our people. I have a very strong desire to work for my people and with the help of Dr Sasa I continued studying in college in India.

After this, I was able to get a job working in a government hospital as a technician in Chin state. Without Health and Hope this would not have been possible. It is only because of the hard work and the effort of my parents and Health and Hope, that my life is beautiful and I am so proud of who I am today."

 

Thank you so much for your support of this project - it really is making such a difference! 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Khai Rili
Khai Rili

Khai Rili was born in Lailenpi Town, Chin State, Myanmar. She is the second eldest of five siblings. Her father is a church leader and her mother works in the post office. As a little girl, Khai Rili dreamed of becoming an arhitect, although she didn't know that was it was called at the time. Thanks to your support for the Freedom to Education project, Khai Rili is on her way to fulfilling her dream - this is her story... 

"I went to primary and middle school in Lailenpi. In Myanmar, Grade 9 and 10 are very important as they are considered the gateway to college or university. Due to this, my parent’s worked very hard to support me to undertake my studies at the age of 15, in Hakha, the capital of Chin State. This was because, in terms of school facilities and teachers, the education system in Hakha is of far higher quality than in Lailenpi. I was able to work hard and, because of my parents' support, I passed grade 10 with good marks.

After passing my matriculation exam I was very enthusiastic to continue my study in India, so that I could improve my English. As I am from Lailenpi town, where Health and Hope Myanmar's office is based, I am very familiar with their work,  and seeing the returning students speak very good English, receiving university education, gaining in their confidence and skills whilst remaining humble and with so much love for others, inspired me and made me determined that one day I will also be like them.

However, education costs are so high that we could not afford it. Even though my parent’s are both employed, their salary is very low and with it they have to provide for all the basic needs of the family, as well as to support the education of my other brothers and sisters. Thanks to the support of the Freedom to Education Project (FEP), I was able to study in India and I have now completed Class 12 successfully. This is possible only because of the love, support and prayer from my family, FEP students, the Health and Hope team and many more who have given me the opportunity and inspired me to work hard. Now, my dream is to continue my study in Bachelor of Architecture. 

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been interested in drawing and designing houses and gardens. I used to try building small house with sticks, but in these days I did not know that engineers or architects existed, it was just a way I enjoyed playing and having fun in my free time. When I was a little older, I saw my grandfather building roads and houses in and around Lailenpi Town. I used to help by serving tea to the workers and carrying lunch to my grandfather during the day. I really enjoyed spending time on the construction site; helping the workers and watching them build the roads and buildings. At that time, when asked what I would like to become, I used to say ‘Engineer!’, but my friends and relatives always told me that engineering is a manly profession and not for girls so I should consider going into a different career, but it never stopped me from knowing what I wanted to become.

As I got older I heard about doctors, nurses, teachers, business men and engineers but I did not know that these professions have so much branches and sub-specialities. I came to know about Architecture only after studying here in India.  I started researching this profession and finding out about the work that they do. Now I know this is exactly what I would love to do and was similar to what I used to play at when I was a little girl! 

No-one from Lailenpi is trained in engineering or Architecture. We build roads and houses without any planning and as a result we sometimes destroy the landscape and natural beauty of our land. My future plan is to help plan the development of villages, towns and cities from the initial stage and onto transforming them into beautiful liveable areas, enhancing the landscape and natural beauty of our land. I want to ensure roads and houses are built which will not be easily destroyed by landslide and earthquakes and to preserve and protect our rivers, streams and forests etc.  My elder brother and four of the other FEP students are also studying civil engineering in India and in China. Together I believe that we will be able to make a huge contribution to the development of our land, state and country."

Thank you for your continued support. It is making such a difference to the lives of young people like Khai Rili!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Miss. Elizabeth
Miss. Elizabeth

Through the help of our Education for All project, Elizabeth has been given the opportunity to study for a university degree in medical laboratory technology, a vital medical discipline that is lacking in western Myanmar.

Having grown up in an orphanage she is grateful for the opportunity to receive an education and is looking forward to using it to serve her community. Elizabeth is undertaking her internship year in Myanmar and is due to graduate in August 2019.

“My future plans have not changed since I first had this opportunity to study. Chin State in western Myanmar is an area which is under-developed because of its geography and difficult history. We need to inspire the people and provide education on health as well as on the prevention of disease. By cooperating with communities, we can share knowledge and improve lives. We need the participation of the rural people themselves to meet the needs of their own communities. It is my future plan to serve the people in Chin State and I pray and hope I can share the knowledge I have learnt throughout my studies with my people when I return.”

With your help, Elizabeth and many others like her are on track to receive further education equipping them to serve their own communities in the future 

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Health and Hope UK

Location: Chorleywood - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Chris Jones
Chorleywood, United Kingdom
$113,232 raised of $140,000 goal
 
11 donations
$26,768 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Health and Hope UK has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.