by staff volunteer Wai January 15, 2017
On December 23rd, 2016, the Mary K. Yap Foundation, led by Mr. Peter K. Yap, Vice President and Company Secretary, introduced a team of seven passionate volunteers to help celebrate the Christmas holiday with thirty-one orphan children from the Myittamon Shelter a.k.a Franciscan Sisters Orphanage a.k.a Franciscan Missionary of Mary Sisters Orphanage in Hmawbi, Yangon Division.
Two vehicles were dispatched to carry gifts in Santa Claus bags. These gifts included school supplies, colorful umbrellas, and a collection of books. The Foundation also sponsored a local magician, “Minn Let Yar” (https://www.facebook.com/Minn-Let-Yar-Myanmar-Magician-396265327388136), who entertained the youngsters with amusing illusions and stage performances. A biryani luncheon and soft drinks were also served to more than forty people at the compound.
Sister Rosemary, the Chief Patron Administrator for the Sister Franciscan School for Orphans, expressed her deep gratitude, “I want to offer thanks from the bottom of our hearts to Peter, and the accompanying volunteers from the Mary K. Yap Foundation for spending time with our children during the Christmas holiday. It was a very special moment for them. They never had the experience of an outside organization from the United States attending to their needs by listening to their wishes and filling the rooms with music. It gave them absolute happiness and joy.”
Sister Rosemary explained the history of the Myittamon Shelter and how it started during the horrific period following Cyclone Nargis in 2008 when more than 138,000 lives were lost and many children were displaced, orphaned, or cast into poverty. She also spoke vividly about one orphan child named Than Than Htwe, who was rescued by Sister Rosemary when she was about 6 years old. Than Than Htwe is now a 15-year-old teenager. According to Sister Rosemary, the number of orphaned children under her care grew from two to thirty-two over the past nine years. With little support from outside donors, it has been extremely difficult for Sister Rosemary to shoulder these increasing responsibilities. When the children reach 18 years of age, they leave the shelter to attend higher institutions of learning in other parts of the country. To some degree this constant turnover has helped maintain the existing program, but has obvious limits on the number of orphans that can be helped due to the scarcity of available support and living accommodations.
We welcome volunteers to enroll in our “Lending the Hand”, program to support the greater good and helping orphans to grow up to become dependable and socially responsible citizens.
For more information, please visit http://marykyapfoundation.org.