Schools

FLYING TEACHERS has built schools in Bitunsu village (near Bogale) and in Kyaik-Lat (near Pyapon), townships in the very heart of the delta. Currently the construction is underway for the third school in Pyinsalu on the remote southern tip of the delta. Hilm originally had the idea to eventually implement a Dutch technology: ‘water houses’. (Info) The thought was, that these so-called amphibic foundations, in case of a future flood would start floating and act as a gigantic ‘survival raft’. Where during the Nargis flood, people in de delta had no chance and drowned, such a floating object would serve as a survival platform. On a surface of 2500 ft2 many hundreds so could save their lives in case of a future disaster.
However, since the design never has been tested under the extreme circumstances of Cyclonic storms and Tsunami like waves, the idea eventually was aborted. (Floods undoubtedly will be a recurring phenomenon due to global climate change).

Instead our schools are being built hurricane-proof, with concrete foundations, pin-in-hole bricks and sturdy metal roofing. On raised mounds of at least 3 meters above the surrounding ground levels. In the most exposed part at the mouth of the delta, where the latest school now is planned, the island of Pyinsalu, 5 meter high concrete pilings will keep the building safely above the extreme waterlevels, experienced during Nargis. Thus giving the buildings the added value of a ‘Cyclone-Shelter’. A place of survival during future natural disasters.

Meanwhile the first school is open and the second and third are under construction !!!

The first school construction, started in January 2010, was realized for only US$ 33,000.- Since all our activities are organized ‘hands-on’ and straight forward, without being slowed down or hindered by local bureaucracy, all funds and donations reach their target at almost 100%! And with super fast results: the first school was ready after 8 months and the launching party was in October 2010 ! On that same day we held the ´groundbreaking ceremony´ for the second school.  See the film report.  In another video you can see the festive groundbreaking by Sitagu for the construction of the THIRD school in the remotest area of the delta, Pyinsalu.

Coördinated by our Burman friends, trustees for the Sitagu Organization, building materials are purchased in Rangoon and transported to the delta. Building plans are also organized locally. The landfill, laying of the concrete foundations and masonry is carried out by skilled locals under guidance of the monks of Sitagu.
Our friends U Win Aung en U Myint, supervise the process.

Teachers

The children are taught by secular teachers (non-religious teaching). Young, often jobless women, travel to these distant and remote areas in the delta. The salaries however are so low, they can not afford to send any money home. Flying Teachers reserves funds to compensate these wages. Again we rely on the expertise of the Sitagu organization.

 

 

 

Spontaneous synergies with Burmese citizen

Meanwhile some beautiful synergies developed in Burma between Flying Teachers and local institutions:
The Myanmar Book Center in Rangoon has donated schoolbooks to our schools and its CEO U Thant Thaw Kaung also has offered to import the photobook in to Burma. It is to be distributed over the major hotels of Burma, all free of charge !  So visitors can buy and so contribute to our school project.
Another lovely initiative was taken by Rikki Cairney, a teacher at the International School Myanmar (ISM), who with her students formed a Community Service.  They collected funds to form a micro credit program, to buy sewing machines for local women living near the school.  Then they purchased the green and white fabric, to have them manufacture the typical Burmese school uniform. Some 300 uniforms were thus made and will now be distributed in the fall of 2011 by  children, representing ISM. We plan to make a video record of this unique occasion.