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It takes a village

(2/23/16) What a joy to be back in Myanmar with our partners and friends here! Instead of staying in Yangon right away for my week of meetings and appointments, I headed straight up to Bago to visit our village programs there. First stop, the very sweet primary school. Many of these children are orphans, and some are just too poor to attend the government school, which requires payment for supplies and uniforms. They are all beautiful children sharing the universal qualities we love and cherish in our own: innocence, curiosity, the need for approval and affirmation, smiles that just melt your heart.

Every single child drew a picture and proudly delivered it to me personally.​After a rousing clapping and counting game, I was treated to a stellar singing performance of the English alphabet!

The two teachers do an amazing job with their students - all of the children are attentive, polite, and respectful. Besides teaching, both young women also perform other duties in the village. One helps monitor our microfinance loan program there, and the other works next door in the clinic's pharmacy.

The clinic is truly an amazing place, open every Saturday for four hours. The waiting area is furnished with donated chairs and tables. There are two small examination rooms and a room for people needing injections. Two doctors out of a larger pool of rotating volunteer physicians see an average of 65 people in need of medical attention. Two nurses are on hand to administer the injections. A group of trained people dispense the prescribed medications in the pharmacy, a table set up in the waiting area. Another team of trained local volunteers manages the waiting list of patients and handles the administration and finances of the clinic. Any monthly costs not met are voluntarily covered by this kindhearted team.

These villagers may not have much, but that does not stop them from sharing with each other and giving back to their community.

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