Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre

by Whispering Seed
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Myanmar Youth Sustainability Training Centre
Tree planting with Youth Empowerment Trainings
Tree planting with Youth Empowerment Trainings

Dear Friends and Family, 

We trust you are all doing well and staying healthy and safe. We continue our work here in Myanmar despite the ongoing challenges and difficult situations.  We hope for better days ahead!

We are now in full swing of the heavy monsoon season, but have enjoyed the last few months of pleasant weather allowing us to spend as much time at the farm training centre as possible. 

Youth Empowerment Training Camp
Our Youth Empowerment Trainings have been a huge success over the last several months. We have been working with a steady group of about 60 children from the local village, ranging in ages of 4-18 year old. 

Our trainings with the youth have focused on several areas including; on-going English language classes, Play for Peace training, arts and handicrafts, tree planting, mud bread oven and organic gardening, sustainability and hands on skills training as well as cooking and baking. 

More and more youth are joining the trainings each week! We are now working to train some of the older girls and boys to be leaders and help lead activities for the younger children. We are so happy with the progress of the program! 

Holistic Teacher Training
Through Sprouting Seeds Training Centre we are working with teacher training. The teachers are taking time each week to come out to the farm to work with the kids there and share a variety of skills and experiences with the local kids through the Youth Empowerment Training. 

Sustainability Trainings 
The parents of the students in the youth training from the village have also asked us to help support them with some livelihood skills training. We have provided introductory training to the villagers in following areas: seed saving, making natural/organic fertilizers and insect repellents, soaps, shampoos, dish soap and introduction to sustainability topics.  

Development of the Training Centre
Due to the rainy season, we are once again focusing on tree planting and working on the outdoor spaces at the training centre in the farm. Once the heavy rains slow down we will be back to working on the earthen and bamboo buildings. 

We are so excited at the work that we have been doing with the local community and look forward to sharing more news and stories over the next few months! 

Be safe and stay healthy! 

Whispering Earth Family!

 

 

Our Youth Empowerment Trainings having fun!
Our Youth Empowerment Trainings having fun!
Building our first mud brick bread oven with kids
Building our first mud brick bread oven with kids
Planting Herb Spiral with seeds the kids collected
Planting Herb Spiral with seeds the kids collected
Lessons in seed saving with the younger ones
Lessons in seed saving with the younger ones
First set of new fruit trees for the year ready!!!
First set of new fruit trees for the year ready!!!
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Interns working on lime plaster and lime wash
Interns working on lime plaster and lime wash

Dear Friends and Family, 

The cool winter weather of the Shan mountains in Kalaw has come and gone!  

Still we continue to face challenging times here in Myanmar as we are still in the middle of the Omicron wave and a political situation which continues to make life a bit unstable here.  

However, with the good weather over the last few months, we have been taking our time to continue work at our rural training centre. 

Lime Plaster and Finishes
We continue to slowly make progress on our buildings at the centre. We have started the lime plasters and lime finishes and washes. We are happy to have been able to share our skills in lime plaster and lime finish with several other groups in the local region who are interested in building with natural materials. 

With 5 new interns now living with us for 3 months through Sprouting Seeds, we are able to accomplish more at the farm over the next few months. 

Natural lime plasters and paints help the building to stay stronger and more durable while keeping the breathability crucial in an earthen building. 

The interns are working hard so we can finish the building before the rapidly approaching rainy season! 

Wild Bees and Honey!
As we mentioned before, we are have planned to have honey bees at the farm for some time. Finally, we were able to get our honeybee boxes from a local source here in Shan State. 

We have several hives of wild honey bees living at the farm, so we are getting the boxes ready and going to try and move the wild honey bees to the boxes. 

Youth Training Camp
Over the next weeks we will also start our Youth Empowerment Training Camps in the village. We are excited to once again be able to easily work with youth from the surrounding villages. 

We look forward to sharing more news and stories over the next few months! 

Be safe and stay healthy! 

Whispering Earth Family!

Natural iron oxide used to as pigment for the wall
Natural iron oxide used to as pigment for the wall
Bee boxes headed to the farm!
Bee boxes headed to the farm!
The team ready to get to work at the farm
The team ready to get to work at the farm
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Strategic planning session for the next few months
Strategic planning session for the next few months

Dear Friends and Family, 

 

We trust you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy during these challenging times. 

Here in Myanmar, we are still facing a very challenging time. With a very unstable political situation and still threats from another wave of Covid-19, daily life is extremely challenging for all. 

 

We are slowly coming out of a devastating 3rd wave and starting a vaccination program across the country. With rapid opening of everything and limited resources, we are worried about what is still to come. 

Clear winter weather coming our way
Through all we have continued to spend time at the farm training centre as often as possible. With the heavy rains coming to an end, we are getting ready for clear and cold weather. This is the time when we can more easily be at the farm. We will begin starting to make our mud bricks again and designing the next buildings.  Our aim is to start basic youth camps for local children from the surrounding villages in the next few weeks. 

Schools have just opened, but we are uncertain for how long they will stay open and due to the political situation some students are still at home. We are aiming to create several programs for a variety of ages over the next few months. 

 

We have already installed a better road for easier access into the farm and several more rain water catchment tanks. This will allow us a much easier time through the long dry season to keep our gardens and trees happy! 

 

Wild honey bees and lime plaster
We are currently sampling new lime plasters and will paint our buildings as soon as the weather allows. We are also going to start our first time with bees on this land. We are learning new techniques for working with bees. There are so many wild hives of honeybees so we will start to work with them over the next few months. 

 

Life continues to move along slowly with all of the challenges, but we are happy to share that we are still able to continue our work in the local villages. 

 

We look forward to sharing more news with you over the next few months!

Wild flowers in bloom with clear skies
Wild flowers in bloom with clear skies
End of the rainy season means lots of rainbows
End of the rainy season means lots of rainbows
Building of new water catchment tanks at the farm
Building of new water catchment tanks at the farm
Wild honey bees at the farm
Wild honey bees at the farm
Natural lime plaster color samples for new house
Natural lime plaster color samples for new house
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Whispering Earth's newest building & new logo
Whispering Earth's newest building & new logo

Dear friends and family,

We trust you are all doing well and staying healthy and strong.

We are sad to share with you that the situation in Myanmar has only grown worse over the past few months.

As many of you may be aware, we are currently, facing a devasting 3rd wave of Covid 19. Over the last few weeks and days, the situation gets more serious with a lack of oxygen throughout the entire country. With lack of staff, medical supplies and no vaccination program in the country there are so many challenges people here are facing and will continue to face in the upcoming weeks. Along with all of these challenges the country is in its 6th month of political instability. It is hard to imagine things being worse!

The good news is that we are still able to travel to Whispering Earth Training Centre and continue the development of the land and buildings. Although it is still extremely challenging, we are spending as much time out at the farm as possible.

Greening the Training Centre
With a very early monsoon season this year, we have already been able to plant over 500 trees and bushes throughout the 14 acre training centre. With a variety of fruit trees, flowering and medicinal trees, herbs, and veggie gardens the centre is really coming alive with the rains.

Earthen Buildings are back!
After a long time coming, we are so happy to have almost completed our first earthen building on the land!!

As we mentioned, early rains this year (almost 2 months early!), really took us by surprise. We thought there would then be a break in the rains, by the rains kept falling!

After several months working slowly on the few sunny days we have had, we finally have completed the roof. Now with the roof on we are working on the first base coat of lime and plaster and looking forward to choosing fun colors to paint the final plaster coat! This allows us to be able to stay at the farm when necessary.

When the rains stop and all things permitting, we will continue building and start another few buildings on the land including a permanent kitchen and more! We are so excited and thankful for this lovely space and opportunity to have the time to develop the project further during these challenging days.

A New Water Source for the Centre
Due to the situation over the last half year, we were unable to start digging the well at the farm. We hope to raise funds over the next few months in order to start drilling the bore hole in November and December when the rains have stopped.

Having our own water source will change things completely at the farm and allow us to live there more easily as well as be able to plant and care for more veggie garden space and all of our trees throughout the long dry season.

Each year the water source we currently use is drying up faster and faster as the local village access the water. A new water source will ensure more security for not only our farm but also the village we are working with.

It is an extremely challenging time here in Myanmar and we hold all those suffering in our hearts. We hope that the situation will change soon and people can begin to move forward with their lives.

We are grateful for all the support we receive and the opportunity to continue building Whispering Earth Training Centre to better serve the people of Myanmar in the upcoming years.

Warmest wishes and best of health to you all!

Whispering Earth Family

Our first bamboo and earthen cottage at the Centre
Our first bamboo and earthen cottage at the Centre
Experimenting with sustainable roof materials
Experimenting with sustainable roof materials
Our treated bamboo meeting lodge on the hill
Our treated bamboo meeting lodge on the hill
Next steps-natural lime plasters and paints
Next steps-natural lime plasters and paints
Views into surrounding villages from bamboo hall
Views into surrounding villages from bamboo hall
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Playing in the mud-building our house!
Playing in the mud-building our house!

Dear friends and family,

We hope you are all staying and healthy and that the situation in your country begins to improve.

As many of you know, towards the end of January, Myanmar was beginning to contain the 2nd wave of Covid which has spread through the country. Unfortunately, Myanmar now faces new challenges. On February 1st the military gained country of the country resulting in a very unstable country 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 have lost their lives of over the past month working to restore democracy to the country and keep them and their families in our hearts.

Due to the current political situation and unstability in the country we have chosen to focus our energy and time in the village at Whispering Earth Training Centre.  Regular phone, internet and power outages contribute to the many challenges we face once again here in Myanmar. 

Treated Bamboo Viewpoint Meeting Hall
We are so pleased to share that we were able to build our first treated bamboo house on the new land over the last 2 months! The building was the first experiment with treated bamboo, a technique using borax treatment to prolong the life of the bamboo. We also worked with local village carpenters to teach them new techniques of building, joining and working with this treated bamboo.

It took some persuasion to convince the villagers that the bamboo would be strong enough with the new design, but they have been quite pleased with the new learning and the result of the building. We still have some finishing touches to put on the building over the next two months before the rains come.

First mud building at Whispering Earth
We are also so excited to share with you that we have started our first mud building on the training centre. Due to the political situation and uncertainty of security, we have chosen to start with a smaller building in order to ensure the completion before the rains in case we cannot easily travel out to the farm.

Together with the villagers we have been making bricks over the past year and have over 5,000 bricks. We have completed the foundation and are almost complete the first floor of the building.

It has been so fun to see their faces as we tell them that no cement, concrete, steel or wood support beams are needed….only mud, straw, rice husk and sand!!

We have been inserting recycled glass bottle windows and teaching them a variety of techniques in working with natural building including; adobe, cob and much more.

We are so pleased with the result so far! We will continue to work for the completion of the building for the next two months prior to the coming of the rainy season. We cannot wait to share with you the final result in our next report.

Dry Season Fire Break and Struggles with Water
As some of you may remember, we have at forest fires over the last two years at the farm. This year we have been working hard to plant a green or living fence around the property and to create a small fire break to combat the fires during the few months of hot dry season here in Kalaw.

Because we have been unable to stay easily in town and run Sprouting Seeds, we have spent more time out at Whispering Earth. With more people staying here and building this year, along with an exceptionally dry hot season, our water source which we borrow from the neighboring farm has almost completely dried up.

For the last month we have been researching and visiting various sites around the farm to see what options we have to get more water.

We are pleased to share that we will start digging a bore hole in the next weeks! This is process becoming more popular in the local villages.

This will guarantee us a sustainable and endless source of water on our farm. This will completely change life on the farm! We are so excited as we will not only have more water for building and simple living on the farm, but we will be able to care for our trees much better and also will be able to grow more vegetables, fruits and herbs on the farm throughout the entire year!

Although we face extremely challenging times here in Myanmar once again, we are focusing our energy as best we can on the development of our training centre. Our aim is to be able to continue to support the people of Myanmar as best we can and make our small contribution to the development of the country.

With warmest regards,

Whispering Earth Family

Fun for all ages
Fun for all ages
The building is going up!
The building is going up!
Building the walls with glass bottles
Building the walls with glass bottles
So many things we can make with mud
So many things we can make with mud
Making cob is lots of fun!
Making cob is lots of fun!
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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
$17,075 raised of $50,000 goal
 
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