WE DIT IT! Some time ago FocusCore received a call asking for help to obtain administrative licences and Government Approvals, to allow a new school to open in Mandalay. The Founder of this initiative is Nigel Martin, President, Road To Mandalay Education Foundation.
Nigel Martin – “I employed FocusCore, a private company that gets approvals for foreign companies to set up in Myanmar, a process of overwhelming complexity. (Myanmar is rated 170th most difficult countries to set up a business or charity). Eddy, an Englishman took on my quest and has provided the finest support through a wonderful and very competent lady called Nang Su, who has battled, researched and achieved a final successful outcome. Nang Su and I have worked for 6 months to gain NGO status and negotiate the signing of a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) between our charity RTMEF and the Federal Government of Myanmar. This MOU basically provides the acceptance of our school and its goals and in return they own and administer the Education policy, which we must adhere to. This process has taken 12 months. There have been many emails from Nang Su outlining the complex process and our progress and now a final outcome….. our foundation is the first foreign charitable school in Myanmar to achieve NGO status…..although the final signage of the agreement is not completed at all levels of Government, we can proceed in opening the school. Furthermore I have also received this note,”The DG (Director General of Myanmar is) is happy to support you with everything you need and he welcomes your eagerness with this charity as he is also from Mandalay”.
All of us in FocusCore are delighted. This is an incredible initiative. The school for the poorest families is in a picturesque region of Mandalay called Amurupura. The location of the school was chosen as it is in one of the main concentrations of poor families.
Most live near the many lakes of this region that flood every monsoon and force the families to abandon their homes and live on the higher ground, which are the on the sides of roads. Living in make shift tents for months until the waters subside and then they can return to their ‘homes’.
The school is now completed, phase one, a kindergarten furnished with carpets and facilities that the children and their parents could only have dreamed of before Nigel started his work. Nigel has spent $80,000 to provide the finest school and environment that only well funded private schools in Mandalay could match.
Nigel adds, “What can we do but bring these children to school and do all we can to teach them, provide a safe learning caring environment and hope they can stay with us. The excitement on their faces as they see the ‘bus’ arrive every morning are memories I will always cherish and makes it all worthwhile. So I have graduated from teacher to bus driver.
Nang Su, the school Head Master and Nigel have completed many meetings with local officials. The school is called the ‘Light of Education Primary School’ and the authorities are grateful for all the efforts and will support Nigel “for a long into the future”.
Now the most important news, the web site ‘roadtomandalay.org’ will be launched on June 10