Friday, May 8, 2009

KRC hpaji wunkat jawng na atsam marai rawng ai ma kaji ni

Myanmar children write book to help their countrymen

By YIP YOKE TENG


WE CAN send water to Myanmar through a very long pipe!” a Myanmar boy living in Malaysia suggested when he heard that his home country was devastated by Cyclone Nargis.

Despite their difficult circumstances, his classmates at the refugee school agreed enthusiastically, and immediately pledged to write letters of encouragement, save 10 sen every day and pray for the victims.

In the end, the group of about 60 Kachin children decided to raise funds through their very own book, titled My Beautiful Myanmar, that reflected their experiences.

Reaching out: `My Beautiful Myanmar’ comprises touching stories and drawings by Myanmar children in Malaysia who want to help Cyclone Nargis victims. The books are available at Borders outlets.

The refugee children worked tirelessly over the next two weeks to tell of their dreams and hopes through stories and drawings. They related the tumultuous experiences of their families, and painted pictures of the country they wished to see when they eventually returned home.

The project has so far raised RM25,000, which was presented to World Vision on Tuesday last week at the Jungle Gym and Roller Sports World in Bangsar Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

The children were treated to games and entertainment at the centre. Project coordinator and volunteer teacher Belle Luer, Miss Malaysia/World and World Vision ambassador Deborah Henry as well as World Vision Malaysia chief executive officer Liew Tong Ngan were on hand to celebrate the achievement with the children.

We did it!: The Myanmar children proudly showing off their book `My Beautiful Myanmar’, produced to raise funds for Cyclone Nargis survivors in Myanmar.

“We are deeply touched by this generous donation. It is quite extraordinary to see young children like these coming together to help their own people. I think this is the first time World Vision has received such a large contribution from an underprivileged group,” Liew said.

The donation was made in conjunction with the first anniversary of Cyclone Nargis that claimed almost 150,000 lives, and will be used for World Vision’s rebuilding efforts and Temporary Shelter Project in the poverty-stricken country.

Luer said the books were initially sold through volunteers until Borders Bookstore offered to distribute them.

“We’re hoping to raise RM100,000 and have promised the children a beach trip if we meet our target,” she said.

The book is available at Borders outlets at The Curve in Petaling Jaya, The Gardens and Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur, and Queensbay Mall in Penang. For details on the book and refugee school, write to my.beautiful.myanmar@gmail.com.

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