Dream Train is the name of an orphanage for 220 children outside Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the nation’s capital. 110 boys sleep in one room and 110 girls in another. They attend public school, where they are supposed to learn English. This is vital because so many jobs require English, especially in the growing tourism business. Furthermore, English is the language of instruction of all of Myanmar’s universities. These children are in English classes of about 50 students, and teachers in rural Myanmar are not well equipped to teach English. Consequently, only one person who lived with the Dream Train is currently studying at a university, and she is having a difficult time because her English is not as good as it should be. We want to send a university student from the US to the orphanage each summer. He or she will speak English with the younger children and work with the older ones to prepare them for their university exams. You can provide a student for this orphanage for two months during the summer for about $3000. We hope to send two in the summer of 2016.
Myitkyina, in the Kachin State of northern Myanmar, is where my father spent a good deal of time during World War II as a US Army officer. When I visited this city recently, I met a nun who took me to a refugee camp on the city’s outskirts. There is a longstanding civil war in Kachin State; and like most refugee camps, the one I visited contained mostly women, children, and the elderly. The children go to a nearby public school, but they have no books or school supplies. For just a few dollars per child, you can provide those refugee children with supplies that will make it easier for them to learn.