Mekong Peace Journey participants from five countries meet on the banks of the Mekong River bordering Thailand and Laos.
On the banks of the Mekong River in a place where Thailand meets Laos, a group of 25 young people gathered this year to take part in the Mekong Peace Journey.
It’s a fitting place for these youths to meet, as they come from all the countries of mainland Southeast Asia—Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma)—through which the river passes on its path to the South China Sea.
Poor children who can’t afford state schools can get a basic education at schools started by Buddhist monasteries
Until recently, the government of Myanmar spent less than 2 percent of its gross domestic product on health and education, so Buddhist monasteries started schools to provide basic secular education to poor children who could not afford the official schools. In 2009, AFSC began working to support civil society efforts to improve livelihoods and educate children.
QUNO Representative Sarah Clarke with visiting Chinese scholars to the UN in New York (credit: Jason Tower)
The prevention of violent conflict is one of the principal charter objectives of the UN, yet the prevention discussion remains fragmented and lacking in focus. QUNO continues to raise awareness about local peacemaking initiatives in Myanmar and encourages a balanced approach to the region. The work with China and with other ‘rising power’ Member States continues to make significant progress. QUNO has been an active participant in policy discussions about the future direction of work on the prevention of violent conflict at the UN.
As poverty in Myanmar (Burma) deepens, Buddhist monasteries have started schools to provide basic education and care for the increasing number of poor children who cannot afford to attend state schools. These schools accept students of both sexes and of all ethnicities and religions, and use the standard state curriculum. The monks and nuns leading these schools see education as vital to the future of their country. The state spends less than 2% of gross domestic product on health and education, leading to a serious deterioration in the country’s future prospects.
As poverty deepens, Buddhist monasteries have started schools to provide basic education to poor children who cannot afford to attend state schools.
In Myanmar (Burma) AFSC is supporting civil society efforts to improve livelihoods and to educate children. Myanmar is rich in land and natural resources, but is nonetheless among the poorest countries in the world. The average Myanmar family spends 75% of their income on securing adequate food supplies. Less than 50% of children complete primary school.
Orphans, who lost their parents to Cyclone Nargis, enjoy a game of "chickens and eagles".
Today, 80 Nargis orphans are gathered at a monastery for their monthly get-together. The children are learning to play a game called “Chickens and Eagles”. Young volunteers divide the children into groups of three and tell them to pretend to be “chickens”. Each time they hear, “Eagles are coming,” the little “chicks” quickly run into the arms of their "parents". Those who do not run back in time will be caught by the “eagles”.
AFSC distributed aid through faith-based groups in Myanmar (Burma) after Cyclone Nargis .
Who we are
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has office around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.