Our local partner, Child’s Dream, shared this newsletter last week about the coup in Myanmar. We are posting it here for our Classroom of Hope community because we feel it is important for our donors to know how this coup is affecting our local partner and the students and schools we support together.
Myanmar Citizens Need All of Us More Than Ever Before!
Dear Child’s Dream friends,
We would like to update you about the situation in Myanmar. In the early hours of February 1, the Myanmar military, under the leadership of General Min Aung Hlaing, took control of all three branches of government and arrested many elected leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, connected to the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won the elections last November by a landslide. The Myanmar military also immediately declared a year-long state of emergency, but promised free and fair elections afterwards. Hundreds of thousands joined peaceful protests throughout the country, including government employees, demanding the release of their elected leaders and the restoration of democracy. Although the protests are still largely peaceful, the military’s response is becoming more aggressive and heavy-handed, leading to the first casualities.
Luckily, all our staff and the beneficiaries in our numerous projects are still safe, but we are very worried that the situation might escalate and become more violent. Our office in Yangon is temporarily closed and our staff is working from home. All our projects are still running; however, they are taking safety precautions.
The timing of this coup is terrible as Myanmar has already been suffering tremendously from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a survey by the International Food Policy Research Institute, the poverty level (daily income of less than USD 1.90) increased from 16% in January 2020 to 62% in September 2020 and current events are only accelerating this trend.
The last three weeks since the coup have been very unnerving. Besides the uncertainty of Myanmar’s future, we are increasingly concerned that more international donors will pull out their funding, which would be catastrophic for the country and its people and jeopardise the progress made over the last decade. Myanmar citizens needs our support now more than ever. Our priority is to ensure the continuation of our current programmes and projects in Myanmar.
Child’s Dream does not have and has never had any connection with the military, as we have always been opposing their role in the government and their atrocities against the country’s ethnic groups. Our focus has always been on supporting uncontroversial health and education interventions directly or through our community-based partners to promote sustainable development towards a free, fair, peaceful and prosperous Myanmar.
We have been working in Myanmar for over 15 years and we have fallen in love with the country and its people, with whom we stand in their aspiration for peace, freedom, human rights and development. Let us show our solidarity and work together to safeguard these aspirations!