Cathy and Carly’s Myanmar Trip Experience
Cathy and Carly, our amazing Hessel Group workers won a scholarship through their University to travel to Myanmar last month. They worked with children that have a disability and delivered programs to parents that have children with Down Syndrome!
Here’s an update of their inspiring trip.
What would your day generally entail?
“As part of the Scholarship group, we all attended a variety of special education centres each day,with all of us having the ability to engage in educational play at each special education centre.
A general day would consist of breakfast at the hotel, then being transported to the educational centres at around 8am, and returning at 5pm. We were lucky enough to engage with one of Myanmar’s only social workers. This consisted of partaking in social work home visits, creating educational activities, and supporting the facilitation of educational workshops to Burmese educators by our leadership team—a professor and lecturer from Flinders University.”
This is Cathy and Carly at one of the special education centres, Montessori, where they observed the usual educational day of Burmese children with a wide range of disabilities including autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and a wide range of behavioural disorders.
A beautiful experience where they were lucky enough to visit a traditional Burmese cultural centre called Karaweik, which served traditional food, and had beautiful shows of Burmese traditional dance.
How has this trip impacted you and your career?
“The trip has had an enormous impact on me, particularly in the sense of observing educational methodologies in other countries, and how in Australia, we are lucky to have services such as the NDIS, SSO’s and carers specifically for children with disabilities. The founders of the educational centres in Myanmar, who are all heavily educated individuals, brought it upon themselves to improve the educational situation and equality imbalance regarding children with disabilities. They achieved this by creating these centres, which in addition, have no government funding.
The founders of all the special education centres are individuals that I am extremely admirable of, as they show so much compassion, generosity, have a strong ability to think outside the square and promote equitable change in Burmese Society.
Working with children in state care with Hessel Group, and being part of the Scholarship group to Myanmar, has concreted my goals in my career to help those who are disadvantaged, and perhaps one day the beginnings of an NGO.”
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