Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre

by Whispering Seed
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre
Beginning the herb spiral
Beginning the herb spiral

Dear Friends and Family,

We trust this message finds you doing well and in good health where ever you may be.

After one year of Covid 19 and all the restrictions it has brought with it, we now face new challenges here in Myanmar. As many of you know, the military has taken over the country over 1 and half months ago resulting in a very unstable situation and civil unrest. If you are unaware of the situation please check your international news in order to see the current political condition of the country. We pray for those brave youth that have lost their lives over the past month working to restore democracy to the country. We keep them and their families in our hearts.

Due to this situation, Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre, which was just ready to open has once again been forced to close. We continue to improve the grounds of the learning centre and café project but have chosen to focus our energy for the time being on our 2nd training centre located in the rural village 12 km outside of Kalaw, Whispering Earth Learning Centre (Myanmar Youth Training Centre).

As we continue to work on the physical space here at Sprouting Seeds we just completed our third Herb Spiral! A small garden bed using Permaculture principles to show better use of space and edges for urban agriculture. The area we focused on was a waste pile, typical in Asia, of old debris of rocks, broken bricks, wood and weeds. You can see the progression to our now sprouting Herb Spiral!

We planted the beds with a variety of basil and lettuce, coriander, spinach, passion fruit, papaya and kale. The coming months will bring an abundance of diversity to our new little garden area.

As mentioned above, we have chosen to spend most of our time outside of town, at Whispering Earth, as it is currently a safe location for us to stay and be during the days. We have completed our first treated bamboo house and are currently working on our first mud house and a new water system. Please see the next report for Whispering Earth Sustainability Training Centre.

We look forward to things settling down politically in the country in the near future. And with that, the containing of the spread of Covid so that we can carry on our programs for the youth here at Sprouting Seeds. In the meantime, we continue our work in supporting the people of Myanmar as best we can given the current situation.

Warmest regards from our family at Sprouting Seeds!

Cleaning up the mess!
Cleaning up the mess!
Finished herb spiral with seedlings coming up
Finished herb spiral with seedlings coming up
Waiting for it to turn green and lush!
Waiting for it to turn green and lush!
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Organic gardens are more colourful and growing!
Organic gardens are more colourful and growing!

Dear Friends and Family, 

We hope you are all doing well during these extremely challenging times. 

Closing Training Program and Café due to 2nd wave of Covid
As many of you know, we closed the café and the internship program back in the end of March due to the first round of COVID sweeping through Myanmar. We opened again in June and July, but only with very limited abilities, as international borders were still closed and domestic travel within Myanmar was still extremely limited. 

We took on 2 new local young girls into the training program at the café. During the 2 months that we were able to open we changed the way in which we were serving the local community. More take always and only working with bookings. 

Unfortunately, Myanmar has been hit extremely hard with the second wave of COVID and as a result the entire country is currently in lock down again. This means the café is closed and also means that the young girls that we work with through our internship program who come from remote villages are unable to come. This along with Myanmar elections to occur in November, there is a standstill here again and we are unsure how long it will last. 

New Ice Cream Parlor
We are excited to share that one of our new aims as result of the lock down in the country is to focus on our amazing ice creams as a new source of income generation. 

Slowly we are turning our bakery room into a bakery and ice cream parlor! We have created new ice cream flavors and are now offering banana split, ice cream sundaes and much more rich creamy desserts! 

Some of the flavors now include; Red Raspberry Swirl with Dark Chocolate, Chai Masala, Dark Chocolate Mousse, Coconut, Fresh Passion Fruit, Mango, Strawberry, Mint Chocolate Chip, Pink Dragon Fruit. Thai Tea, Lemon Yogurt and our famous Salted Caramel with Dark Chocolate Chips. All the ice creams are homemade here by the girls and made using local ingredients. 

With this second lockdown we continue to have time to work on the design and shaping of the new ice cream parlor as well as repairs and improvements throughout the entire project. 

Yoga Program
During the time we could open, we were excited to host 2 yoga retreats. We were able to open the café and the yoga studio to two large groups. It was so nice to have the café buzzing again with people, flowers, good food and the smell of fresh breads and sweets and of course many of our new ice cream flavors being tested! 

We are also excited to share that during that time, we met local Myanmar lady who has trained as a yoga instructor. Once things in the country begin to normalize again, we look forward to working with her and starting classes again. 

Organic Gardens
As we have been in lockdown for several months here in Kalaw, we spend our time working outdoors on the organic gardens at the café. We are pleased with the way things are progressing and hope when restaurants reopen, we will be able to sell some of our fresh herbs, edible flowers and salad greens to help support our work. 

We also have been trying our hand at making sun dried tomatoes in our handmade solar food dryer. We have had a huge success and have been able to add our own oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil which we have grown in the garden. 

GlobalGiving Project of the Month
We are excited to share that our other project on GlobalGiving was fortunate enough to win a place in the Project of the Month Club. Our Whispering Earth Training Centre was featured during the month of August as the project of the month. Along with this, we were allotted a set amount of funding coming through the program. We are able to share part of this funding also with Sprouting Seeds! What exciting news this has been!

We continue to search new ways of serving our local communities as we continue to grow and change with the new ways of living which we all have been forced into. We hope things will be able to open here in Myanmar in the near future and that we will be able to take another set of interns for the winter season with several holidays coming up! 

We wish safe wishes for everyone, stay healthy and safe!

Sprouting Seeds Family

Our new approach with family style menu
Our new approach with family style menu
Sun dried tomatoes, homegrown oregano thyme basil
Sun dried tomatoes, homegrown oregano thyme basil
Yummy banana splits and ice cream sundaes
Yummy banana splits and ice cream sundaes
New exciting ice cream flavours!
New exciting ice cream flavours!
A little color to brighten monsoon season
A little color to brighten monsoon season
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A trip out to viewpoint in the outskirts of Kalaw
A trip out to viewpoint in the outskirts of Kalaw

Dear Friends and Family, 

 

We hope that you all are doing well during this challenging time. Towards the middle of March it became clear that we needed to close the café and the training centre due to the Covid situation. We quickly sent all the girls living with us back to their villages in different parts of the country for their safety and prepared for stay at home. 

 

We have been in lock down mode here at the café for the last 3 months. The situation in Myanmar is still a bit confusing to know what is really happening, but it seems that things have settled down and are now somewhat under control.

 

Throughout the country, it seems everything is quickly opening again. We are still a bit concerned about the situation here, so are being a little more cautious. We continue to work on desiging our training program and working to shift some of our products to adjust to a quickly changing world!!

 

Here is a brief update from the last three months. 

 

A growing internship program

Prior to the covid outbreak, our training program was really beginning to pick up momentum. We already has 3 groups of young girls from monastic schools all over the country complete 3 months training. We had such a wonderful experience with the girls here living with us at the café and they were able to learn a great deal and bring the knowledge back to their communities.  

 

We are so thankful for our connection with the monastic schools network across the country and are so fortunate to be able to work with all the teachers. Each group brings so much knowledge and fun which they also share with us. It has been an incredible learning experience for all. 

 

We look forward to our next group of girls to start in the near future. 

 

Growing Organic Gardens

Over the last 3 months we found ourselves very fortunate to be locked down within the compound of the training centre. We had a lot of time for testing out new recipes and also have put a lot of time and energy into the garden. 

We are now growing many new veggies and just starting to harvest them. Some of our local grown organic goodies include; basil, tomatoes, rocket lettuce, red leaf and green leaf lettuce, spinach, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemon balm, pineapple sage, red Russian kale, purple and red corn, butterfly peas flowers, winged beans!!!! We are so happy with how things are coming along here in the garden and hoping in the future we will also be able to sell some of the produce to local markets in the area. 

 

Additions to the family

We also had the fortunate pleasure of enjoying stay at home with 5 new puppies!! One of dogs, Lakota, gave birth to 5 squishy little monsters. We have found homes for all of them and 2 have decided to stay with us…Sweet Pea and Baloo!!!! They have also kept us busy during this challenging time and continue to make us laugh and smile each day! 

 

New Products

We are working on several new products to serve here at the café and new ways of engaging with the public. We are looking forward to the next few months and see how we grow!!

Thank you as always for your support and we look forward to sharing our news with you in the next few months!

Sprouting Seeds Family

Interns having a fun time in the kitchen
Interns having a fun time in the kitchen
Celebrating the ethnic diversity of the girls
Celebrating the ethnic diversity of the girls
Garden space is growing!
Garden space is growing!
Spinach and rocket leaf lettuce
Spinach and rocket leaf lettuce
Sweet Pea and Baloo sharing the love!
Sweet Pea and Baloo sharing the love!
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Meeting with our first group of teacher interns!
Meeting with our first group of teacher interns!

20th Report for Sprouting Seeds Learning Centre

 

Dear Friends and Family, 

 

We are very excited to share our latest news with you from our Training Centre here in Kalaw!!!  

 

We are coming to the end of another high season here in Kalaw and we are happy with the progress we are making here at the Centre.

 

Extension of Teacher Training Project

Here at Sprouting Seeds we have taken on a new focus over the last few months. Our café, bakery and eco shop is now serving as an extension of our Teacher Training Program. Together with our partners SEMS, we are now offering teachers from our teacher training network 3-6 month internship positions here at Sprouting Seeds. 

 

We established the project 2 months ago and have had our first batch of 7 teachers coming from all over the country. We are first focusing on teachers from our networks schools which we have a long term relationship with, in order to have the most impact. 

 

Our internship position aims at full emersion in a hands on learning environment. The teachers are learning by doing! Our goal is to support them in practical skills development and also will have follow up support once they return back to their schools. 

 

As part of the program, the girls all live here at the café now, so we have been busy with renovations of space for them to live. 

 

We are very happy with the program so far and are excited to share more news as the project continues over the next few months. 

 

 

Exposure Visits

As part of our new focus and training of teachers here at the café, we have been able to enjoy many exposure trips for the teachers into the surrounding areas. We have taken the teachers to local temples, caves, mountain sights, and have had several trips out to our farm project in the village. 

 

Visit from Board Members Thom and Melita

For most of the month of December, our dear friends and board members Thom and Melita from Holland were able to join us here in Kalaw. It was a wonderful time, full of meetings, hard work and good laughs! 

We look forward to their visits each year, as we have time to review the following year and also time to plan ahead for the upcoming year. 

 

We are happy to share our latest news with all of you and look forward to sharing more in the near future. We are grateful for all the support we receive!!!

 

Warmly, 

 

Sprouting Seeds Family  

Our first exposure trip to Kakku temple
Our first exposure trip to Kakku temple
Always fun heading to farm in the new truck
Always fun heading to farm in the new truck
Visiting the local temple and caves around Kalaw
Visiting the local temple and caves around Kalaw
A trip to visit the girls temple school
A trip to visit the girls temple school
Another fund day out at the farm!!
Another fund day out at the farm!!
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Sewing training for local youth
Sewing training for local youth

Dear Friends and Family!

We are happy to say that we have made it through another soggy monsoon season here in Shan State!!!! The sun is out now as we make our way into cold season which means more tourist will be coming to Kalaw!   

New Internships
As we prepare for the upcoming high season have opened several new positions for young girls to come in for internships with us. We are fixing up one of spaces here at the new café for the girls to have a place to sleep. It is a time of big changes, as all the girls we have previously trained are now moving on to other jobs and work. We are excited with the new group and they are ready to learn all they can!!!

Sewing Training with village
We offered a sewing training to a small group of girls from one of the villages outside Kalaw. They learned several new techniques for sewing and all have left know how to sew small bags which we will sell here at the café. 

Sustainable Urban Kitchen Garden (Permaculture Workshop)
With support from our dear friend Cheryl, we offered our first Permaculture workshop last month. The workshop, Sustainable Urban Kitchen Gardens was a huge success. We brought in local organic farmers from the area, local farmers and many participants were from local hotels and restaurants in Kalaw looking to start composting and small scale organic gardens. 

The workshop was a huge success, so we have decided next rainy season to offer a series of workshops on Permaculture, Sustainability and Organic Gardening. We are starting the planning for these workshops now. 

Organic Gardens Continue
Our organic gardens here at the café continue to grow. We are focusing on different varieties of lettuces, edible flowers, specialty herbs and kale. These will be able to be supplemented and accentuate some of our dishes at the café and can be used in our organic tea and soap making. 

Cooking Classes, Trekking and Mountain Biking
With the weather clearing and more guests coming to Kalaw, we continue our cooking classes, as well as offering trekking services and our mountain bikes. There is much room for these areas to grow in the café and we are looking forward to some of the new interns to step into leadership roles in some of these areas. 

We are busy here for the next months and looking forward to sharing more news with you over the next months!

Warmly, 

Sprouting Seeds Family

Sustainable Urban Kitchen Garden Workshop
Sustainable Urban Kitchen Garden Workshop
Traditional Myanmar Cooking Classes at Cafe
Traditional Myanmar Cooking Classes at Cafe
Advanced sewing training for trainers
Advanced sewing training for trainers
Our amazing organic red russianpurple kale
Our amazing organic red russianpurple kale
Training of trainers from Rakhine and Shan State
Training of trainers from Rakhine and Shan State
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Organization Information

Whispering Seed

Location: Penn Valley, PA - USA
Website:
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Project Leader:
James Connor
Penn Valley, PA United States
$27,220 raised of $45,000 goal
 
573 donations
$17,780 to go
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