Dear Friends of Shan Refugees:
I returned to Minnesota March 1 after an interesting and productive winter with Shan refugees from Burma who have escaped to Thailand. In November 2010, I wrote to you about the orphans we support, who had been described by their caretaker as “a little bit smart and try hard.” We trundled them into the back of a pickup truck and took them to a nearby market, where they chose items they needed or wanted, bought with money donated by New York Mills 4th, 5th, and 6th graders. Here are five of them―we are now supporting eight orphans in this area, all of whom originated from a displaced persons camp.
They had to sign their names to a receipt form to get the money, and to my dismay I saw that many of the beautiful young mothers could not write, had to ask the teacher to sign for them. If we should have a fortunate fund-raising year, I would like to start a literacy class for the mothers in this camp. First, of course, we must find out how many could attend. Just writing about them brings tears to my eyes.
I will attach a 2011 budget to this mailing, so you can see where your money is going. The last item on the budget, which is designated “Miscellaneous Education Projects,” has now been allocated to the production of semi-annual newsletters in the Shan language for the education and enlightenment of the Shan migrant community.
Many thanks for your verbal and monetary support of our projects for Shan refugees from Burma. I wish you could all meet them and see how hard they try to learn so they can live better lives than their parents and help to support their families!
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