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
View from into our valley from the village temple
View from into our valley from the village temple

Dear Friends and Family, 

 

Another winter is upon us now, the rains have stopped and cool clear weather is here. The difficulties in Myanmar continue economically and politically.  Slowly we aim to continue our work here in Shan State serving teachers, youth and local communities as best we can. 

 

The situation has been difficult over the last few months and we have had to have a minimal presence in all of our projects. We are happy for the better weather to come and more relaxed times once again so we can start our projects working with youth once again! 

 

We hope for a more stable situation over the next few months and we hope our programs can continue to grow, but we need to monitor the situation regularly. 

We have finished the plaster on the outside of the first mud house and continue to use it for trainings for the youth and also as a model building structure for other local groups working both locally in the area, as well as a low cost, sustainable option for building in Myanmar. 

 

We hope for a smooth winter season and look forward to share our news with you as the good weather allows us more access to work with the communities in the village. 

 

Wishing you all a happy holiday season and healthy transition into the new year ahead!

Youth empowerment training with older youth
Youth empowerment training with older youth
Our little monkey with grandma from the village
Our little monkey with grandma from the village
Final lime plasters on our mud house...almost done
Final lime plasters on our mud house...almost done
English classes with the some of village children
English classes with the some of village children
Open spaces cleaned and ready for Play for Peace
Open spaces cleaned and ready for Play for Peace
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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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Whispering Seed

Location: Penn Valley, PA - USA
Website:
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Project Leader:
James Connor
Penn Valley, PA United States
$17,875 raised of $50,000 goal
 
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