Myanmar’s extraordinary diversity has led to decades of political and military violence and has created tension within the 100+ indigenous groups. There is much tribal warfare, guerrilla activity and thousands of children have been sucked into the conflict.
Peaceful indigenous people, especially the youngest among them, are often the most vulnerable to exploitation by governmental armies and armed ethnic groups. This has caused Myanmar to have one of the highest concentrations of child soldiers in the world. Daily more children are at risk of being conscripted into the conflict.
Child soldiering is one of the cruelest forms of modern day slavery. Children as young as eight years old are forced into physical labor, trained to hate and kill, and subjected to war and sexual exploitation. The sad reality is that child soldiers grow into unusually cruel adult soldiers, perpetuating the cycle of violence with increasing barbarity. When all a child knows is hate, revenge and cruelty , they pass these “values” on to a new generation of children. There are girls as young as 8 years old forced into sex slavery to service the guerrilla soldiers in the area. We have an opportunity to rescue these children.
THE OPPORTUNITY BEFORE US:
Shan State North Children’s Center is the only safe home with a school in the Northern Shan State of Burma [Myanmar]. Extreme poverty and a volatile political/military climate place children at high risk for conscription. The good news is that long awaited completion of our first school building in 2011 sparked an overwhelming response from the surrounding community and our classrooms are overflowing.
Education gives the children an opportunity for a different future, an ability to break the cycle of violence. But with our first project already so overwhelmingly full, we are unable to accommodate the many other children that need our help. Without an education, the children on the waitlist are in constant danger of being conscripted. Our expansion project presents the incredible opportunity to bring both safety and education to 150 new children. We have the opportunity to become the central education hub for five villages, which will impact the entire region. Each year, 150 more children will further their education and learn how to create a new future for their region.
As you can see, the most unique and lasting value of this project extends far beyond a physical building and how many children it will hold. It is seen in the restoration of each individual child. The new classrooms will provide the perfect space for children to not only receive a basic education, but to learn about and experience the love of God and the value of human life. We’ve seen that children are inherently resilient. By providing them with a place of loving stability, they can overcome the incredible trauma of their past. For many children, our facilities are the first place they will ever experience the security of daily meals, adult role models, and personal values. In addition to providing children with skills they will need to succeed in the real world, our children graduate with the values of peace, love, justice and hope. With these values, they become powerful advocates of change against the cycles of violence plaguing their country.
To rescue children who are currently serving as child soldiers and sex slaves to the guerrillas. Providentially, the rebel army has said they will give us the children that they are not able to handle because of emotional and mental damage.We need to to raise money so Project AK-47 can continue with the rescue operations of the children.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE