The civil war in northern Myanmar has forced many families to flee into Thailand. Having no money, many children are sold, abandoned, or forced into prostitution. I became aware of the disastrous situation of these children during my trip to Asia in 2005. And at that moment I decided to take part in an ambitious project based in the border triangle of Myanmar-Laos-Thailand which helps give these children a future. Omikron has been supporting various Hope for Life projects for more than three years now. This Christmas it is a great oppotunity to look back.
Together with the children we are testing the new fish farm.
“House of Confidence”
A donation made by us enabled a new hospice to be constructed for needy and mistreated girls. The “House of Confidence” was completed and opened for business in 2007. This children’s hospice has given fifteen girls a secure home and new confidence. Its goal is to provide a stable environment to underprivileged children of the surrounding mountain villages, and to provide appropriate education and training.
The boy in the front is Ase. You can read his story here [PDF].
This ambitious project was followed in 2009 by the construction of a fish farm. We have donated a 400 square-meter fish farm for use by the children’s hospice. The fish farm has two primary purposes: it produces a large portion of the food needed by the children’s hospice (often producing so much that fish can be donated to poor families in the surrounding area). In addition, the facility served to train hospice residents in the art of ecological fish culture. Here you can see a picture of this fish farm.
I really enjoyed testing the fish farm and see: “What a catch!!!” 😉
New school bus
In order to bring children to the children’s hospice, Hope for Life (an organisation that has helped the needy with volunteer work for nearly eight years, by assisting existing projects and local initiatives and organizations) has rebuilt a used pickup truck for its transportation needs. This school “bus” is quite old, and breaks down with increasing regularity. We have provided a donation that has permitted a new school bus to be acquired. This will ensure that all the children can get to classes on time. It will also be used for vital tasks such as transporting supplies, visiting doctors, and assisting people in the mountain villages.
The children on their way to school in the new bus.
Helping with perspective
Just as with our everyday business activities, we highly value sustainable development in our donations. It does not make sense to fill one gap, when another one is opened at the same time.
Projects such as the “House of Confidence” provide long-lasting assistance to the children: they are given a secure and caring home, and they enjoy the advantages of a regular upbringing, learning to read and write, and receive everything that is necessary for a normal life. When children that have been kidnapped know where they can stay in safety, they are more likely to try to escape. This makes the business of the slave traders less profitable, and the risk of being discovered increases with each additional witness.
There is still a long way to go before conditions in northern Burma will return to normal, but I am confident that these donations are an important step in the right direction.
More about “Hope for Life”
[PDF Download] Read the full story about “Hope for life”. (English)
A crew from Germany’s public-service television (ZDF) visited the village supported by “Hope for Life” in the Golden Triangle. Watch the full story about “Hope for Life”, the fish farm and the work of Thomas Albrecht in Thailand (German/ Minute 12:44).
Visit the “Hope for Life” website to learn more. www.hopeforlife.de (German)