COM (Charity Oriented Myanmar)
Thazin Aung, Program Director
Payartaung village, Nyaung Shwe township, Shan State, Myanmar
Local/ social situation/ needs for the project
Payartaung village is located in Saga Lake with is near to Inlay Lake but the corner of 4 townships. There are over 500 students with age 6-20 coming from different villages, study in the monastery. Because of the geographical area, young people in that area has less opportunity to learn efficient education, knowledge about global world and international language. Hence, they are nearby Inlay lake (the tourist attraction area) the students have dream to become tour guide or open the window of globalization. Therefore, it is fundamental needs to do voluntary work for their education and knowledge.
Name and description of the local host
Payartaung youth development centre monastery is also a young charity development centre and founded since 1982. There are over 500 students stays the whole year as dormitory in the monastery to attend government high school from the village. The villages is located in the rural underdeveloped area of Nyaung Shwe Township, Pin Laung Township, Phae Kone Township, Sesine Township are need to development in several sectors and the abbot from Payar Taung Yay Sein established this charity school. The Abbot has vision to holistically develop the area with educational improvement.
Aims and expected impact of the project
The aim of the project is the advancement of the language skill of young people. It is expected at least 20-50 young people to receive language skill especially Communication in English. Moreover, young people have confident to communicate with foreigners.
Main voluntary work
- The first main task is to teach communicable foreign language (Especially English) to the youth.
- The other will be included cooking, cleaning the monastery area and helping the local community in their field of work.
- Approximate working hours: 6 hours a day (3 hours each in the morning and the afternoon). But please be flexible and ready to do any other work in the field.
- There might be a trial to the hot spring and helping in library construction are optional activities based on local preference.
- There will be a group workcamp in March 4-17 with a university students of Japan, so you can enjoy to work and exchange with them and are expected to help to run it well!
Type of building: In the monastery
- Sleeping: Sharing with other vols.
- Meals: Cooked by vols. & locals
- How and how long to go to work: 5 to10 minutes
- Smoking: Totally impossible
- There is no access to international phone and internet during the workcamp, it takes 2 hours by boat to nearby town to access internet. (if you have emergency access to internet you can go after activity), so please inform your family about it!
- Any other points: By Myanmar law, foreigners can only visit permitted area so we highly encourage them to stay only in the project area and not to travel other area by themselves.
The village tract of Payartaung Yaysate village is Sagar and it’s located on Sagar Inn (lake) that connected with Innlay lake. The monastery is located in the small hill, the centre of the village. Closed to the monastery has Basic Education High school and local people are very simple and honest. They have diverse minority races; Pa Oah, Kayah, Danu, Lisu, Shan and Inn Tha. Since Myanmar lies under tropical rainforest area, the summer times start on March until June and the highest temperature is 39’C. However, the project is located in hilly area the temperature is between 18-25’C during March to April.
- Nearest international airport: The most reliable one is Yangon international airport.
- Transportation from the capital or other major city: It may cost about 70-75 US$.
There is local market visit activity. In Shan state, the local market is opened once only in 5 days so we can visit there. The volunteer can also visit to ancient pagodas that built hundred years ago nearby village by boat. Inlay lake is one of the most attracted area in Myanmar and volunteer can visit around Inlay lake in free day.
April 12th-17th is Myanmar water festival and different area celebrate differently. So you can experience the culture of Shan and festival also called Thingyan festival. The volunteer can visit to natural hot spring nearby monastery. There is hydro electronic power plant that built for monastery.
Qualification for volunteers
Required: Have a volunteer spirit. Demonstrate proficiency in teaching English. Open minded and respect to local and other religious and culture. Demonstrate the motivation and capacity to successfully complete the voluntary work to the end. Be responsible for voluntary service and community work
Attraction for volunteers
Culture exchange, teaching skills to the youth, living with no internet access and enjoy the nature and local people, learning diverse culture in one place
- Participation fee to the host NGO: 795 US$ for 3 months (265 US$ per month)
- 690 US$ for 3 months (230 US$ per month) for those coming from less expensive countries where the annual GDP per capita is less than 10,000 US$.
- On arrival training at COM office in Yangon and also in the project (1 day)
- Special care during Project: Since we have COM sub-office in Taunggyi, COM staff will visit at least once per month. The monks have strong partnership with COM since 2012, so there will be strong support to volunteer by local community.
- Evaluation meeting: in Payartaung. It will take a whole day including farewell.
- Open to Non-Asian if the places are not full at 2 months before the starting date.
- JAVS (Japan ASEAN Voluntary Service) will be also held in 02/01-04/15 where AVS and JAVS volunteers will work and live together.
- For Myanmar’s law, the host has to inform to the local authority for overnight local/ international guest in advance so we can only stay in arranged accommodation.
- Volunteers need to commit to respect on local culture and customs moreover follow and take
- responsible for ground rules that agreed from local community and the volunteer itself.
- There is no hot shower and we recommend not to take shower at night as its cold. There is no washing machine so volunteers have to wash their clothes by hand.