2014 Update and Overview

From Fred:

Buddha Land garden Eyes to BurmaLast year was both difficult and great. We got some people moved on to a new bit of land and we got a bunch of kids in school and taking classes.

Thanks to our amazing donors and supporters, we’ve been able to pay for school uniforms, entrance fees, and school supplies for 10 children attending CDC. We back it up with making sure they get properly fed as well. We have 5 students we support fully to attend CDC, and there are five other students whose parents only needed partial help for them to attend.

Now there’s a list of students who want to attend CDC next year.

Joe leads computer and music lessons at Eyes to Burma community center every weekend The demand for education is so high, everyone wants to get involved. At our community center at the dump, we have English and Thai lessons on Saturdays and on Sunday we have music and computer classes. Also on Saturdays, we take a group of about 11 regular students to English lessons with Zulu. All the kids have advanced really fast.

I had been concerned that weekend classes weren’t enough time but I was wrong. The kids study together and egg each other on, so the ones who aren’t in the classes are still picking up what the other kids are learning. Their language skills are really impressive.

Watching the kids learn and socialize is a wonderful experience. They’re becoming not people of the dump but regular kids who can ask questions of the outside world.

Then, we’ve been able to rent land that’s off the garbage and has become a safe place for families, where kids play and parents grow gardens. At this time we’ve managed to put 8 families there. We’re sorting out irrigation. The pumpkins and boo dte are getting bigger by the day. The people named it Buddha Land and it’s got trees and its own water source.

We’re helping three moms support themselves and their families by buying their initial supplies for their own businesses in flower selling, laundry, and a shaved ice stand. This is proving particularly rewarding as they’re able to support their children better.

There is more enterprise happening across the community, including more shops and little business in sewing, roof making, and small general stores out of people’s homes.

Working on the new clean water delivery system, now a fraction of the costOur programs with clean water, emergency food, first aid, and check-ins of the elderly are continuing on. We recently started a new system for trucking in the clean water that’s a fraction of the cost of what we had been paying and several young people are already learning how to do it.

This year we’re driving all our programs toward self-sufficiency. It is something we have to do and our goal at this time is to teach people to do more things for themselves. Also, as the children get older we’re starting to look for opportunities to get them vocational training, so they can build skills that they can use wherever they are.

We are truly making positive changes in the peoples’ lives. The people are much more confident. It’s incredible to see. I can’t wait to see their growth through this year.

Thank you for your support and best wishes. You need to know that you are making this possible. Your donations and our work at the dump is working to improve these people’s lives.

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