Tue, Jul 05, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Taipei charity to raise funds for Myanmar school project

Staff writer, with CNA

A Taipei-based charity has linked up with Plan International — an international non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting children’s rights — to raise funds for preschool education in Myanmar.

The Zhi-Shan Foundation Taiwan on Sunday signed a cooperation agreement with Gabriel Kazuo Tsurumi, an executive member of Plan International’s Japan branch.

The two groups aim to raise NT$3.5 million (US$108,669) to pay for preschool education for 600 children under the age of eight in Nyaung-U Township in Mandalay Province.

Foundation chief executive Jay Hung (洪智杰) said that early child care is crucial in determining the capability of a child to learn and live in the future, but in Myanmar, only 7.3 percent of elementary schools provide kindergarten education to preschool children.

Less than one-fifth of children have the chance to receive a preschool education, Hung said.

Blair Davis, head of Plan International’s Myanmar office who attended the signing ceremony in Taipei, said that Burmese parents often let their children lose out on education because they believe children will learn and grow up on their own, so many children do not have basic life skills.

Preschool education can affect a family, Davis said.

He told reporters about a child he had encountered at a childcare center in Myanmar who was upset about being unable to locate a garbage can after eating a banana.

When his mother asked him why he did not just throw the banana peel on the ground, the boy said he could not throw it away because there was no garbage can, Davis said.

The boy’s home became the first in its neighborhood to have a garbage can, Davis said, adding that the family later built a toilet, becoming a positive force that pushed its neighborhood to change.

Hung urged President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration and Taiwanese enterprises to not just focus on economic development in Tsai’s “new southbound policy,” but also expand the scale of humanitarian care for the people of Southeast Asia.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top