In November 2019, Peach launched its sponsorship program in Myanmar. Myanmar is the poorest country among the ten countries in Southeast Asia. Myanmar's living standard is equivalent to China's in the 70s, with a per capita income of $1300 USD. In a village we visited, among the three hundred households, only two had electricity. Poverty affects everyone and every household.
In 2021, people?s lives in Myanmar were in dire straits, due to the severe pandamics and military coup. People were constantly in danger of either virus infection or bombings. Many have fled their homes. Schools and orphanages could not operate. Daily meals and survival became the biggest challenge. "Half of the Myanmar?s population have fallen into poverty", according to UN report on International Humanitarian Needs.
The candidates for sponsorship will be nominated by teachers from the local Chinese schools and orphanages. The candidates are expected to have good academic standing. The sponsorship is open to all races and ethnicity. Peach will provide scholarships of $150 USD per annum to students in junior high school, and $300 to students in senior high school. Peach will also provide interest-free loans to college students.
Chinese Students:The city of Lashio in Myanmar has a substantial Chinese population. The town is a four-hour bus ride from Ruili in China. There are 105 Chinese schools in Lashio; all are privately funded. Most schools are ill-equipped and primitive. The classrooms are built with bamboo strips and furnished with dilapidated desks and chairs.
Orphanage Students:Most orphanages are in dire straits. The students live together in large houses and sleep on planks. The orphanages take in orphans, children of single parents, and war refugees. The institutions survive on charitable donations. Food is frequently in short supply. Some orphanages manage to grow vegetables with labor from staff and students. The food budget per child is less than $0.72 USD per day. Hunger and malnutrition are prevalent among students.
Peach is working with Chit Myit Tar Foundation to provide assistance to qualified students in the areas of Yangon, Lashio, and Mogok. For the 40 orphanages in the area, Peach will offer financial support to students in their pursuit of study in junior high school, senior high school, and college.