Orphans at the Thukhitayama nunnery in Rangoon sit on the floor at breakfast chanting their appreciation to the people of Kendall.
The Kendall Community Op Shop and Kendall Public School contribute funds to local woman, Tin Hta Nu, to care for children left orphans by cyclone Nargis in 2007.
After the cyclone boys were taken to monasteries and girls to nunneries.
“There are 80 orphan girls aged 3 to 16 in the Thukhitayama nunnery in Rangoon,” Tin said.
“The girls have to wear robes and do a bit of meditation and chanting, but they also study at the public school near their nunnery.
“After they finish their high school education they can disrobe and can be lay people again and go into workforce or attend university (if there are sponsors).”
The donations collected by the school ($300), op shop grants ($1500) and Tin and Ian Oxenford’s Aung Mingala farm produce at Kendall covered education and clothing expenses for 2016 and food for the orphans and 30 nuns for four months.
The chief nun expressed they never received such large donations before.
“Funding from the op shop, Kendall Public School and sales from our farm covered four months of food, lighting for study at night, school books and stationery, robes, umbrellas and thongs to use for walking to school especially in monsoon season,” Tin said.
“Every morning at breakfast before going to school the orphaned girls will be sending their loving kindness to their donors.
“They will be chanting: ‘May all our donors be healthy, be happy, have peaceful living, and all their wishes be fulfilled’.”
Tin, Ian and the community of Kendall also support students beyond their high school education by sponsoring university scholarships. A number of students, over the past years, have graduated as teachers and doctors to go back to their small villages and serve their communities.
Donations have also resulted in the construction of a high school in 2010 in the village of Kadaw under the Kendall-Kadaw Friendship project.
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