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FAQ

About how to help or get involved

About MBSFP

What is MBSFP all about?

A.  We build and renovate schools in Myanmar. Every year we travel to Myanmar to choose projects to build and visit schools already completed.

 

About Myanmar

How is Myanmar changing?

A.  More tourists.  More cars.  More openness.  Newspapers are starting up.  People who were previously refused entry are getting in.  Foreign companies are looking to invest. Canada has announced the opening of an embassy here.

About the future

How big do you want to get?

A. That’s a good question. Not so big that we spend all our time managing an organization. We also don’t want to over-burden the people we now have in Myanmar. The joy for us is in staying small and being close to those we are helping. We could spend $300,000 a year (a 50% increase) with our current structure.

About the process

How do you choose where to build a school?

A. Our contractor, a local Sayadaw (Abbot), a nun we know, a friend–someone hears of a village that needs a school. Sometimes it is a middle school in a village that formerly had only a primary school. More often now, the Education Official in a district contacts us and asks us to visit a particular site. We go to the site, talk to the villagers, see what they want and ask what they can contribute in terms of labour, materials, land, etc. We find out how many children will come and see if they are committed to the education of girls as well as boys.

At the end of our trip, we decide which of the projects we will take on. We let the other villages know that we will not be helping them this year.

About us

How long have you been building schools? How many schools have you built?

A. With Roger’s meditation teacher and an American friend, we’ve been at it five years now and we have built or renovated 37 schools. We’re now building our third clinic and we’ve also built a nunnery for orphan nuns.  The Canadian foundation, which has only been in operation for two years, has built six schools.

How did you get started?

A. Roger and Sharon met a meditation teacher who had lived in Burma for five years as a monk. He was interested in giving something back to the country that had given him so much freely. Building schools seemed like a good idea.

What inspires you to want to do this?

A. Roger was looking for a way to practice generosity and help others when this opportunity came along.  Being so directly involved with the people of Myanmar brings great joy.

About where to give

Why Burma?

A.  Burma called to us because people we knew and respected were working there and they invited us to join them. Once we went, we were hooked.

Financial questions

What do you do with the money you receive as donations?

A.  It all goes to building the schools, including the purchase of materials and paying for the work of our crews, contractors and our agent in Myanmar. When we travel to Myanmar, we pay for our own airfare, hotels and meals. We have one paid employee in Canada, who is paid by a donor, not by contributions to MBSFP.