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Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 1st, 2008: Popa Moegyo Orphanage Report


One of the objectives of Moegyo Humanitarian Foundation has been to help the needy children of Myanmar, and Moegyo has worked with some orphanages towards that goal. A core member of Moegyo Humanitarian Foundation also serves as a patron of a forest monastery near Mt Popa in upper Myanmar. The abbot of the monastery is active and enthusiastic about helping children. He’s also knowledgeable about computers, and uses technologies whenever possible. More information about the forest monastery can be found at Buddha Sasana Net.

The monastery was established in 2005, but due to shortages in funding, the abbot was only able to move in to the monastery in 2007. In a prime location at the foot of the popular travel destination – Mt Popa, original plans called for a meditation center and an orphanage in the monastery compound.

When Cyclone Nargis struck the southern coastal areas of Myanmar in May 2008, the abbot decided to ease the suffering of some Nargis orphans by offering a place for them to stay. Accordingly, he approached the Patron and member of Moegyo for funding to open an orphanage.

In July 2008, Moegyo Humanitarian Foundation decided on an initial funding amount of approximately $5,000 to construct a building necessary for an orphanage. In October 2008, Moegyo members in Yangon visited the area for assessing the needs of the orphans. This report is the result of that visit.

No Orphans from the Nargis Area

Immediately after Cyclone Nargis, many orphans were taken to temporary shelters or orphanages by individuals, aid groups or religious organizations (i.e. monasteries or groups led by Buddhist monks, such as Sitagu Sayadaw, as well as Christian groups). Then, the authorities stepped in with an official policy for rescuing, rehabilitating and resettling Nargis orphans. Plans for a large orphanage were made public. Large scale private efforts were deemed no longer necessary. It was in this situation that the Mt Popa monastery’s Abbot and Patron decided to no longer pursue Nargis orphans for the orphanage. Instead, the monastery decided to continue with the orphanage plans, albeit with orphans from other areas, mainly the Chin area. This decision was based on the fact that the Abbot’s mentor is already established in Chin State with orphanages.

Current Situation

Currently, there are 20 Chin children who are defined as a) having no parents; b) having a single parent; c) extremely poor. Some of them were already Samanays before joining Popa Orphanage. Others weren’t. But now, under the circumstances, the Abbott has decided to turn all of them into Samanays, for various reasons, which will not be delved into here. All of them will be converted out of Samanay-hood when conditions permit (budget-wise).


Monthly funds (to feed the orphans) are most important. Toilets are necessary for health reasons. Right now, they are going into the forests. The monastery and the orphanage need the following things:

1. Monthly Expenditure
a. Monthly fund 600,000 Kyats

2. Immediate needs 2,473,550 Kyats3. Near-term needs 1,740,000 Kyats
a. Water tank (10’ x 10’) 1,500,000 Kyats
b. PVC 1” Pipeline 90,000 Kyats
c. Electrical wiring 150,000 Kyats

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you all for giving us the opportunity to help the children in Myanmar who are in great need. Together, we can make a difference in many young lives.

Please click here to see the photos of the orphanage development.

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