Reflections from Myanmar
Floundering to Fledgling to Flourishing
In April of this year, with a new country manager on board, Destiny Rescue Myanmar was a fledgling rescue operation. We had two staff members, a houseful of girls…and little else. We immediately identified and prioritized projects for funding from our funding nations and had them posted on the website. Then, we waited…and watched in anticipation for donors eager to fund us! Some of those projects remained on the website for a few weeks; others remained for a few months.
This brings to mind times when, being moved to give online, I easily hit the “Process Payment” button. I then go merrily about my life, giving only a passing thought to the real-life possibilities of how my gift might impact an individual’s life in a distant land.
Donors: the heartbeat of Destiny Rescue
Today, through this blog, we want to tell you about some funded projects and how generous donor giving has impacted the destinies of rescued girls in Myanmar. We want you to know how your extraordinary giving has brought joy into the lives of our girls and our staff. We want to encourage you to give with a thought to the individual lives impacted by your gift. We want to celebrate the many donors who were moved to give to Destiny Rescue’s efforts in Myanmar as well as the broader Destiny Rescue family of nations. We also want to share a story or two of unique and selfless ways by which people have given.
Several months ago we recognized a need for a computer lab—two or three computers that would afford girls seeking computer training a place to practice their newly acquired skills. Because of the generosity of one donor who felt moved to help in the advancement of education and training, it wasn’t long before three girls were able to attend computer classes, then return “home” to practice what they had learned. This lovely senior lady sold something of value to her, but she sold it believing that rescued girls in our care would benefit from its monetary value more than she would by keeping it. Soon, three more girls will be able to receive similar computer training—something they never could have dreamed possible in their previous lives.
Our project for funding of office furnishings had sat on the website for months, the thermometer gauge registering barely a hint of red to indicate giving toward the requested amount. Desks and cabinets do not offer much glamor as a donation option. As we added more programs to benefit the girls in our care and commensurately built capacity among staff, our need to give attention to administrative matters grew. We continued to work in makeshift conditions, but were feeling the pinch of unmet administrative tasks due to an absence of desks, file cabinets, or a place to call an office.
Several people did hear our plea though, and the combination of individual gifts has turned our need into a wish fulfilled. One donor in particular—a gifted artist—held an online “gallery sale,” parting with precious original pieces in order to raise funds for this project.
The girls were clamoring for an opportunity to learn basic sewing skills, but…we had no sewing machines! We even had a skilled seamstress available to provide training, but…no machines! Again, because several individuals were moved by the invitation to partner in a project, we were able to equip our project with three treadle sewing machines. Girls are now queued up, waiting their turns at 3-month stints to learn the basics. We will soon purchase three additional machines for a new class of beginners. The sound of treadles whirring is the sound of destinies waiting to be met!
Scholarship for Tailor Training
Perhaps you are one of several donors who contributed to Bee*, the young woman who was the first to join us in the Myanmar rescue project. After having spent 18 months in our care, she clung to aspirations of being trained as a tailor. Today, Bee is diligently pursuing her dream, made possible because generous donors made it possible to grant her a scholarship that pays for her tuition, the “latest” model Singer treadle machine, sewing accessories, and fabric. When Bee finishes her course, she will know how to design clothes, draft patterns, select fabrics, and construct clothing to the standards of the finest dressmakers. With her machine, her skills, and an indomitable spirit, she will be able step with confidence into a future that holds a promise she never dared to dream, let alone fully grasp.
As the curtain draws closed on 2014, we in the Myanmar Destiny Rescue project add our voices to those in our sister nations. We all look back with gratitude to the many donors who gave. Your giving has made a difference in the lives of individual children in the six countries where rescue and aftercare operations exist. Without your generosity their chances of stepping into their futures empowered to reach their unique potentials would have been diminished. We celebrate you!
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Written by Susan | Destiny Rescue Myanmar & Contributing Writer
Stay informed of current needs in all our project nations and see how you can directly impact the futures of children across the globe. Look at our list of current projects!