Baan Unrak creates opportunities for the children to expand their horizons even after they leave our foundation and start their own family. Learning something new brings vitality and improves our society and their individual lives. Over the past two months, some very special sponsors have helped four kids and one dedicated staff member to visit various countries such as South Korea, the United States and Bali.
Janako and Tawit in South Korea
Janako is a 24-year-old former child of Baan Unrak. He graduated two years ago and has stayed with the foundation to help other children and be our trusted driver. He is also saving money to expand his small motorbike business. He has a strong connection with nature, so when the chance arose to go to Korea for agricultural training he jumped at the opportunity. He is being trained by a Korean farmer in the production of herbal tea. We hope this is the start of a business partnership between our Korean sponsor and Baan Unrak.
Tawit arrived at Baan Unrak when he was a 2-month-old baby. Now aged 26, he has studied music and is a talented musician. We are so proud of him and regularly enquire about his progress and the wellbeing of his wife and two children. Tawit was eager to spend 3 months learning about agriculture in Korea in the hope it will benefit him, his family and Baan Unrak.
Janako and Tawit are doing a great job in the field. They are learning the value of working hard and this experience is teaching them many things about themselves.
Prema in the United States
Prema is a 19-year-old girl studying English. It was an incredible opportunity when she was offered a scholarship to study in the USA for two months. It’s something she will never forget. She is also a tremendous inspiration for our children who are trapped in Sangkhlaburi because they lack documentation to travel outside our township.
Prema experienced that problem herself. But through the dedication and extensive research of the Baan Unrak team, she can now fly anywhere around the globe. She was extremely lucky that among 4 candidates, she was the only one that had all the requisite documentation to go. Since the summer scholarship started Prema has made many friends and has travelled to many places in the United States, learning about American culture and being an ambassador for Baan Unrak.
Melek and Kushuma in Bali
Didi, the founder and guardian of the foundation, was going to a yoga meditation conference in Bali. She decided to bring along Melek, a senior member of the Baan Unrak team, and Kushuma, a former child of our Home.
Melek has dedicated her entire life to be the pre-school education at Baan Unrak. Her sole ambition was to be teacher and establish a pre-school in her beloved Myanmar. She has accomplished both goals. She has been a wonderful asset for Baan Unrak while sacrificing everything from her personal life. Every small child and care giver at Baan Unrak comes under Melek’s direct supervision. Without her, Baan Unrak would not be what it is today.
On her own, Melek would never be able to leave her native land of Myanmar and the border town of Sangkhlaburi. But we were able to secure a passport for her so she could experience another culture. Bali was ideal as she has a deep love for temples and meditation. In Bali she received encouragement and strength and learnt many new things. She still considers herself a student. However, Didi could only stay 3 days in Bali for the meeting as the Children’s Home was in a state of emergency with many of our children becoming sick with either Dengue or the Chikungunya viruses.
Kushuma is a former child of Baan Unrak who was sent to accompany Melek. Kushuma needed a boost because she was feeling discouraged about life. For the last year she had worked hard for little salary in Bangkok and it took up all her energy. She felt trapped because she could not express her brilliant creative potential.
Bali was such a balm on her troubled soul. Every corner of the street, every building, every temple was a masterpiece of art, and every person at the meditation retreat was a witness to the peace within that enables one to overcome adversity.
Melek and Kushuma proved to be the perfect match. Melek got to see many large public temples and many small family temples. And she could do all the meditation she wanted. As for Kushuma, her eyes were filled with the beauty and simplicity of Bali.
The inspiration they received from these experiences is still alive. We see it in the new purpose and grit in Melek’s teaching and the flow of creativity from Kushuma that is benefitting our Bakery and Weaving center.