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Scholarships For Street Kids

+ Hope For Shinning Stars

Some of the staff and students.
An overview of the organisation/group:

How Covid and Coup are Affecting the Education of Out-of-school Children in Myanma
John McConnell - 05/04/2021

Seeing the news from Myanmar, and hearing the fear in the voices of friends there, I live these days with an aching heart. On top of the year-long pandemic, Myanmar society is presently convulsed by a military coup on 1st February which,friends there say, is much harder to bear and has thrown up a new set of risks. Widespread protests have been met with harsh measures by security forces, including live gunfire, often with little warning. At time of writing, nearly 600 have been killed, around 50 of them children. Covid and coup together have affected both security and the economy.

S4SK is still raising funds for the work of Hope for Shining Stars and we very much hope that our work will be able to resume.

In response to the pandemic, Scholarships for Street Kids (S4SK) along with our sister organisation Hope for Shining Stars (H4SS) had adapted how we provide education so as to ensure Covid-safety. Some classes were taking place in shifts of small socially distanced groups, while others were operating with a combination of self-study worksheets and home visits. Following the coup, it became perilous for teachers and children even to travel to and from their classes. Also, there is a risk of groups of young people falling under suspicion, and coming to immediate harm as a result:

"We do not know where or when the danger will come – bullets, fire, random arrests. We cannot sleep at night.”

Thus our non-formal education classes, in all but a few areas, have had to be suspended for the present. However, teachers still keep contact with students and their families by phone and home visits.

As for the older students attending college and residing at our Learning Centre, routines were adjusted to be Covid-safe. The college provided online education, and we were able to continue with a good learning environment and homework support. A donor organisation from Australia provided extra online computing classes. Following the coup, the college suspended classes, and restrictions imposed on internet providers severely limited online provision. We have provided students with laptops, and transport them back to their villages until the situation improves

As to Myanmar’s economy, with many banks and government departments not functioning, it is nearing paralysis. This is having a devastating effect on families who were on the breadline, even when things were good. Not only are they losing their incomes, but food and fuel prices are increasing wildly. Economic failure can push families deep into debt, or precipitate decisions that could devastate their children’s lives.

From the beginning, the strategy of S4SK and H4SS has included social protection along with education, and our response has been to rebalance these to meet the current situation. Thus, we have increased our emergency fund, and are providing families with food hampers and whatever else they need to survive. At the same time, we are encouraging parents to be patient and to support their children’s study during this period.

Staff have at various times taken initiatives to avert street violence, and where families of our students have suffered persecution, we are ready to support them. We keep regular contact with each other, though with the closure of mobile data provision, group meetings take longer with successive phone calls.
This all might seem rather bleak, and indeed it is. However, we have been experiencing and engaging with problems from the outset, and we are determined to do the best we can for the benefit of our students and their families in this situation too! Please hold our staff, children and their families in the light at this difficult time. Please follow this link to read the pdf page with ways that you can help us. Thank you.

Official Site
full details and how to suport.

Keighley Meeting involment with the group over the years:

A list of appeals the meeting has had for this group.

May 2012
Scholarships For Street Kids
Introduced by: John M.
June 2014
Scholarships For Street Kids
Introduced by: John M
April 2015
Scholarships For Street Kids
Introduced by: John M
September 2020
Scholarships For Street Kids
Introduced by: John M
April 2021
Scholarships For Street Kids
Introduced by: John M.

(Please note that any un-titled image could be of any Quaker meeting in the north of England)

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