Chiswick's Catholic community aims to raise funds for Burmese refugees
| LENTEN GOAL – £20,000
3 orphanages help 120 children
Running Cost for 3 orphanages £15,338
One child per year £128
One child per month £10.66
Kindergarten cares for 220 children
To feed all the children per month £200
To feed all the children Per week £50
Income Generating Projects -
Helping 60 families a month by
providing tools, livestock and seeds £30
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Remember in your prayers the people who are
helped by this project, and the people at JRS who
CASH donations can be put in the Lenten Appeal
Box at the back of the Church
CHEQUES need to be made payable to “Our Lady of Grace”
GIFT AID – If you are a taxpayer the Parish can
reclaim the tax on your donation and send it to the
project. This means that your donation is worth
28% more. All you have to do is sign the Gift Aid
envelope that is at the back of the church. This will
make a big difference to the total raised so please donate this way if you pay tax.
up for our free weekly newsletter
Comment on this story on the
This year the parish community of Our Lady of Grace & St Edwards are aiming to raise funds to help orphans, children and landmine victims
who have fled from Burma into Thailand.
Burma is ruled by a military junta that has been
accused of gross human rights abuses. This
includes the forcible removal of people from their
homes, particularly the ethnic minorities. There is
also widespread use of men, women and children
for forced labour. The ethnic groups that are
particularly targeted are the Shan, Karen, Karenni
and Mon. There is also oppression of religious
minorities which includes Christians.
It is now estimated that
691,000 people have
fled from Burma into
countries, and one
of these countries
No parents or home to go back to, an uncertain future
The Shan people who seek
refuge in Thailand are in particularly desperate
circumstances. Historically they have not been
allowed to register as refugees and this means they
have no status, protection or rights. Shan refugees
cannot register any of their children who are born in
Thailand, which in turn makes them ‘stateless’.
They cannot work legally and so are exploited in
dangerous jobs and underpaid. Their children
cannot attend Thai school, they cannot even go to
Thai hospitals for fear of being deported back to
Burma and all that waits for them there.
The Jesuit Refugee Service helps these people who have to live in small
and hidden communities. They help by supporting
small projects that help with education, income
generation, medical aid including landmine victims,
and or course helping the orphaned children who
are particularly vulnerable. JRS have years of
experience and this is a well-run project where your
donations will be carefully used to help the
maximum number of people.
JRS are supporting 3 orphanages. The parents of
these children died while trying to escape or after
they arrived. There are 120 children in the three
small orphanages. The children are cared for,
educated and, given what has happened to them,
managing to grow up in a happy environment even
though their future is uncertain. Mary, an elderly
Burmese lady, runs one of the orphanages. Mary
was an orphan herself and had been cared for and
educated by Christian nuns in Burma. She believes
that it is her duty to care for these children, as she
was cared for many years before. Mary runs a tight
ship and has no illusions about how hard life will be
for these children, particularly if they are not
allowed to return to Burma. They will have to
support themselves in a world where they belong
nowhere and to no one, and have no official status.
Mary makes sure that while the children are with
her they are well educated, and both boys and girls
learn how to weave, grow vegetables and care for
JRS provide food and carers for 220 children at a
Kindergarten. Their parents have to find work of
some sort if they are to survive – the kindergarten
provides a safe place for the children to stay while
their parents do this.
Education is highly valued by the Burmese and it is
important to educate young refugees so that if and
when they can return to their country they have
something to contribute. JRS help by providing
books, building classrooms and training teachers.
JRS have helped to fund the development of
income generation by providing weaving looms.
The Shan have a rich tradition of weaving and
220 children are cared for at the Kindergarten so that
their parents can try and find some kind of work to keep
their families alive.
The Shan value education and full use is made of the
small school that has been built for children and adults.
This little boy has no one left to care for him except his
elderly grandmother. The rest of his family are dead.
Here they are with all their possessions.
produce beautiful cloth that they use for their own
needs and for sale locally. This produces a small
income and also helps to keep their traditional skills
and culture alive.
Your donations will also help to provide tools, seeds
and chickens to new arrivals so that they can grow
some of their own food.
The Shan people arrive in
Thailand exhausted and
terrified after their trek
through the jungle. During
their journeys they
frequently have to hide
and try to avoid army
patrols. When they arrive
in Thailand they literally
have only what they stand
up in or can carry.
Sometimes children are born while they are trying
to escape. These people have to live in small
unofficial refugee camps so that they do not attract
attention and face deportation. When these families
arrive JRS make sure that they are issued with
blankets, a cooking pot and some basic rations.
Bamboo is provided to the community and the
people build their own small huts. The Shan people
work hard in these communities to look after each
other and they have a deep tradition of looking after
their extended families.
March 17, 2006