Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre

by Whispering Seed Vetted since 2013 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
New girls joining Sprouting Seeds Family!
New girls joining Sprouting Seeds Family!

Dear Friends and Family

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!!

Warmly

The Sprouting Seeds Family

Aye Aung winning PPIC Award for Cafe!
Aye Aung winning PPIC Award for Cafe!
Sustainable Tourism Conference in Kalaw
Sustainable Tourism Conference in Kalaw
New offering of Myanmar Cooking Classes!!!!
New offering of Myanmar Cooking Classes!!!!
Yoga author and teacher visits cafe!
Yoga author and teacher visits cafe!
Aye Aung with others at award ceremony in Yangon
Aye Aung with others at award ceremony in Yangon

Attachments:
    Rainbow over Kalaw from Sprouting Seeds Cafe
    Rainbow over Kalaw from Sprouting Seeds Cafe

    Dear Friends and Family,

     

    It has been a long rainy season here in Myanmar over the last few months. This also means low season here in the Café. We have been using this time to slowly work on some vegetable planting around the outside of the café and planning for the upcoming year.


    We are excited to share that with the beginning of the high season here in Kalaw, starting around mid to late October, we will launch a new menu at the café with many new items! We continue to work on our ice cream recipies, adding several new flavors including two new favorites, Mint Chocolate Chip and Salted Caramel with Chocolate Chunks!

     

    We also are adding several new baked goods to the menu and we are working at the request of many guests to have more vegan items on the menu. We have several new cakes and muffins and also have include several main dishes which are all vegan!

     

    We are also planning to open a new Yoga Studio, above the café starting around mid October or November. We are still in the process of locating a volunteer who can help in teaching the yoga classes.


    We are also happy to share that we will start to offer 3 hour vegetarian cooking classes, Myanmar style!!! These classes will be a great opportunity for guest to engage in a deeper way with us here at the café and to share further about the work we are doing here in Kalaw.

     

    We are excited to share further news with you once the new programs begin!!!

     warmly, 

    All of us here at Sprouting Seeds!!!

    New entrance ready for passion fruit to grow!
    New entrance ready for passion fruit to grow!
    New crafts for sale in the Eco Shop!
    New crafts for sale in the Eco Shop!
    Fresh passion fruit for ice cream and juicing!!!
    Fresh passion fruit for ice cream and juicing!!!
    Aye Aung with new cake designs!
    Aye Aung with new cake designs!
    Growing red & green leaf organic lettuce for cafe
    Growing red & green leaf organic lettuce for cafe
    Ariel sharing with us during the 6 day workshop
    Ariel sharing with us during the 6 day workshop

    Dear Friends and Family,

    We are excited to share our latest news with you from the last few months. The café has been fully open for several months and we are excited to share that we are getting very good feedback from both locals and foreigners about our products and service.

    We now have two new young girls working with us from the local Kalaw area, one is from the Pa-O community and the other from the Nepalese community. They are already managing parts of the café and able to cook and bake almost all of the items in the café.

    French Pastry Training
    In March we were very excited to have a dear friend from Israel, Ariel, work with us for 6 days. During this time we re-worked the menu, re-designed the inside and outside spaces and learned many new items. He trained all of the girls in French pastry baking and over the five days we learned 25 new dishes!

    Some of these wonderful new treats you can now find on the Sprouting Seeds menu include: strawberry pie, lemon pie, tiramisu, quiche, vegan cashew cheese, shakshuka, tziki, hoummus and so much more!!!

    Training 40 youth from Yangon Green School
    In March we also had a visit from our friends from the Green School in Yangon. They came with over 40 students and 30 adults. We worked with them over several days teaching them a variety of new skills, including: ice cream, pizza, cakes, muffins! it was a treat to work with all the kids!

    New Plans
    We are planning to open a yoga studio in the upstairs of the café and we have started several small sewing projects. We are in touch with several yoga instructors and hope to open the yoga classes within the next few months.

    We also are in the planning stages of starting cooking classes. Aye Aung will take the lead and offer basic Myanmar cooking classes and we plan to create the long awaited Sprouting Seeds Cookbook!

    We thank you all for your support and look forward to share more updates over the next few months!

    Warmly,

     All of us at Sprouting Seeds

    Lemon Pie with sweet pea flowers
    Lemon Pie with sweet pea flowers
    Teaching 40 children from the Green School, Yangon
    Teaching 40 children from the Green School, Yangon
    Aye Aung making cakes with Green School students
    Aye Aung making cakes with Green School students
    Our new strawberry pie!
    Our new strawberry pie!
    More of our creme patisserie desserts!!!
    More of our creme patisserie desserts!!!
    Renovation of Sprouting Seeds interior
    Renovation of Sprouting Seeds interior

    Dear Friends and Family….

     

    We are delighted to share our latest news with you. Things have really picked up over the last few months. We have been fully functioning during the highest tourist season here in Kalaw. For the last three months that café has been bustling with people and lots of energy in the kitchen and the bakery!

     

    We finished the inside seating area, designed in a comfortable U shape for lounge sitting and several new tables were finished. As it is still the cool season in Kalaw, people are enjoying the outside seating in the garden area and we have planted a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers around the yard.

     

    We also have been very busy with several new products, including the very popular Passion Fruit Ice Cream and new Salted Caramel Chocolate Chunk ice cream. Our whole grain breads are a huge treat for everyone, locals and foreigners.

     

    Char Tate and Hanni who were living with us as interns for the last 7 months have now decided that they are ready to open their own shop. They started with a small shop selling recycled products here in Kalaw and now they are planning to open a small café and ice cream shop in Meiktila, the small town down the mountain in the dry zone. They feel they have learned all they need and are now ready to venture out on their own.

     

    This opens more space for a few more young girls to come in and get training in the café and bakery. We are excited to share more news about their progress in the next report!!!


    Warmly,

     

    All of us at Sprouting Seeds

    The girls learning muffin making
    The girls learning muffin making
    Comfortable lounge seating
    Comfortable lounge seating
    Pizzas are now for sale!
    Pizzas are now for sale!
    Passion fruit ice cream!
    Passion fruit ice cream!
    Our old fashion ice cream machine
    Our old fashion ice cream machine
    New Face of the Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
    New Face of the Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre

    Dear Family, Friends and Supporters of Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre,

     

    Thanks to all of your support we are now entering our busiest period for the café with a renewed sense of confidence. We took the time during the rainy period to further improve the interior of the café and are delighted with the natural look and feel of the space. Pine tables and the earthen counter blend beautifully to create a calming environment for weary travellers and locals alike to rest and enjoy our culinary delights! We also took the time to experiment with new ice cream flavours and a range of exciting baked goods including …… , the response to which have been fantastic!

     

    As many of you know the café supports the Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre which is a collaborative environment in which young people can join us and learn what it takes to run a small business. We work to empower individuals and groups such as monastic schools to set up social enterprises of their own. We are therefore delighted to announce that our interns Hani and Char Tae who have spent the last nine months with us have launched their own venture here in Kalaw. Their business Clover is a shop for traditional and innovative products such as bags, cards and natural soap all made by differently abled individuals who struggle to find employment. The girls have done an amazing job and are providing a much needed market for these beautiful products. We wish them all the best with their venture and hope to see it go from strength to strength.

     

    In October we hosted a small group of young people from all over Myanmar who were meeting in Kalaw and Pyin Oo Lwin to learn about social enterprise. Exposure visits like this are key in helping educate young people about the power of business to do good and, to inspire them to believe in their potential to make a difference. The group was incredibly engaging and are interested in starting a café of their own so we gave them a baking lesson.

    We look forward to a busy few months for the café and thank you all again for your support. It’s a been a long journey but the pace of change in Myanmar is now accelerating and we are excited to be part of a movement for a stronger more democratic and equal Myanmar.

    Our family!!
    Our family!!
    Adobe & Lime Plaster Coffe Counter
    Adobe & Lime Plaster Coffe Counter
    Making our natural lip balm
    Making our natural lip balm
    Homemade natural ice cream & gelato
    Homemade natural ice cream & gelato
    Natural Lime Plaster & Iron Oxide Painting
    Natural Lime Plaster & Iron Oxide Painting
     

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    Organization Information

    Whispering Seed

    Location: Penn Valley, PA - USA
    Website: http:/​/​www.whisperingseed.org
    Project Leader:
    James Connor
    Penn Valley, PA United States
    $14,764 raised of $45,000 goal
     
    286 donations
    $30,236 to go
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