Working together to provide educational opportunities for very poor children in Myanmar (Burma)

S4SK is a UK-registered charity, No: 1131559

“In the past, when we have tried to send the older street kids to vocational training centres, they lacked the confidence to go as those things are not familiar to them and they did not have earlier experience of trying on it. Many have an inferiority complex, experience loneliness and feel they are of little worth.  They tend to avoid situations where their lack of education would become clear.   We want to give them a really good quality education that can help develop their full potential.  We thought that building confidence should be included in our classes.

Since, in the future, we aim to send vocational training centres, where they will learn skills which will help them find independent jobs, we decided to include a handicrafts component in our NFE curriculum. We hope that the experience of working creatively to produce attractive items can both introduce them to useful craft skills and increase their self-confidence.

Because their experience is so limited, the children in our classes don’t know what their interest is and what they want to do in the future. So, we need to introduce them to some of the trades that they may try in the future. As most of the adults in their environment either scavenge or are unskilled factory workers, their highest ambition is to work in the factory. To expand their vision, we link topics in the handicraft curriculum with many education as to different kinds of jobs they might do in the future.   By observing how they are doing in a variety of craft skills, we can see what are their strengths. Thus, we can guide the children towards appropriate careers.

At the moment, I’m collecting simple project to include in our handicraft curriculum.  Current projects have included paper-work, needle-work, flower-making, bead-work and construction projects.  In the future we plan to employ someone to teach wood work and other local crafts. Exposure to include many different skills and challenges will, we are sure, improve our children’s self-confidence and self-esteem.”

Phyu Phyu: The Importance of Handicrafts in the Curriculum