“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”
- Chuck Swindoll
As the world deals with the Global pandemic of COVID-19; Myanmar, with its limited health care system, has not been immune to the consequences of the virus that the world is struggling with it. As a result, The Esther Project has made significant changes temporarily to how we deliver our programs until we are once again confident that it is safe for the children to gather together to learn the life-changing skills we provide.
Unlike many training programs and schools, The Esther Project was not caught unprepared for the outbreak and subsequent legal restrictions on schools and training programs. Beginning in the last week of January, with the guidance of our country manager, our staff began to prepare contingency plans for online training in the event of an outbreak. How it would be conducted and what additional equipment and infrastructure would be needed.
As we began a new program year in early March, we were able to conduct classes at our centers using our traditional methods. However, with the number of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar climbing rapidly: the decision was made that beginning the first of April, The Esther Project would conduct classes online. In support of that decision over 50 laptops were dispersed to the 35 orphanages that partner with us in our 9 locations, additionally The Esther Project absorbed the cost of providing a data internet connection to enable each orphanage to have access to our instructors as they teach our English language courses online.
As a result of our laptops being utilized at each of the orphanages to conduct English lessons, we have temporarily suspended the computer education classes. We expect this situation to be temporary and when we are confident that we can once again conduct our classes at our learning centers with minimal risk to our students and staff, we will resume our traditional method of instruction and restart the computer training courses.
In support of helping the orphanages do what they can, to reduce the spread of the virus the Esther Projects’ new sewing program will begin the task of producing over 2,000 masks to supply each child, and caregivers at all of the orphanages that partner with us with at least 2 masks. In addition, we will supply 2 masks each to the children and caregivers of the orphanages who are on our waiting list to join the program when we are able to accommodate them. To manufacture that number of face masks will require time, so as a temporary solution and in an effort to provide the sewing program time to produce the masks, several thousand face masks are being shipped via DHL to Myanmar, these will then be distributed to each of the orphanages.
During this time, we are reminded that in life, each of us has battles to fight. But it is in those battles when we are most alive: it’s on the frontlines of our lives that we earn wisdom, create joy, forge friendships, discover happiness, find love, and do purposeful work. Or, as we tell our students, remember to be like a little rubber duck…
I Will Be Like A Little Rubber Duck,
I Can Not Be Crushed,
I Can Not Be Broken,
I Bounce Back,
I Will Always Rise to The Surface.
Our Esther Project, a non-profit program in Myanmar provides vocational training to orphans. We currently serve over 200 children in 29 orphanages in 6 locations.