In 2000, Peter Simmons was happily working as a management consultant in the printing industry when he accompanied a friend on a mission trip to a village in Myanmar, the South East Asian country formerly known as Burma. He was immediately moved by the experience. Eighteen babies had died there in just six weeks and this played on his mind. When he returned to Australia he decided to do something about it. Please read the full article .
The first group of young trainees has been recruited for GraceWorks’ Project Food Mosaic at our Yangon training centre. These students come from various parts of the country and represent a number of different ethnicities. All have had little prospect of furthering their education or gaining meaningful employment in the future. The 10-month course will provide the students with food handling and kitchen management skills, English and computer training as well as personal development and life skills education. The students receive free tuition and GWM has provided assisted accommodation in a nearby apartment for the four female trainees.
At the end of July, Jenny Webb and visiting country Victorian chef, Freya Stokell, completed two weeks intensive kitchen management and food hygiene training with the Project Food Mosaic students. Since then, the trainees have attended a three-day first aid course run by the Myanmar Red Cross Society and a week-long art therapy workshop. This workshop was conducted by the Myanmar Art Social Project and was designed to give them the confidence to appreciate their past and an opportunity to imagine a brighter future. For further information, please see www.mascyangon.wix.com/masc
The trainees are attending regular English classes with Ross Denby and studying for their International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) accreditation. They are also perfecting a number of recipes so that they can begin offering Myanmar cooking classes and market tours to foreign visitors and others in Yangon. Income from these classes will contribute towards the cost of tuition for the course.
A number of students from CLC, one of our nearby children’s homes, have also completed basic computer training at the centre. These students will be offered ICDL training in due course. Approximately $300 per person is required to put these students through this internationally recognised course. Additional English classes will also be offered.
A weekend workshop is planned for parents and teachers at Wisdom pre-school in Hlaing Thayar. The aim of this workshop is to offer parents and staff further early childhood care and development (ECCD) training and to foster positive involvement by the local village communities. $250 will be needed to cover the cost of this training.