Enote 56 – Ruminations

September 04, 2009

Dear Friends,

When your son asks, “Dad can I help you carry that?”, when your wife helps you put drops in your eye after cataract surgery, when you have just finished a quite celebration of 53 years of a wonderful marriage, you begin to recognize that you are getting old. 
I was reflecting on all of this while reading John Wood’s “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World”. There are not many similarities between his quest and ours, but I came across his own reflection in a school somewhere in Nepal, that he was basically a conduit funneling money and good wishes from his supporters to the needy in that area. That struck me as a good summary of what we are doing.

Tom and LizWe are a conduit for thoughtful people to share some of their good fortune with the oppressed people from Burma. Some have been able to support a person through high school and on to college. Some have a chance to travel with us and see how conditions of poverty and oppression produce remarkable responses of dedication and commitment. For some we show a way where a community can work with us to help themselves by building a school. We make a connection between this country and villagers in Burma hiding from enemy troops.

Recent News Articles:
A lot has happened since I last wrote. Refugees continue to come over the border in the thousands. In fact just a few days ago we received notice that:

  • some thirty thousand refugees left Kokang in Shan state to seek refuge in China.
  • Another four thousand came to Thailand, as the DKBA is fighting to exert their control over the whole border.
  • The Karen Human Rights Group have reported on forced recruitment of child soldiers.
  • IRIN, a UN agency reporting on humanitarian news has an article on Landmine victims.
  • The Financial Times of London reviews a play called The Container based on a true story of 54 Burmese who died in a truck while trying to leave their country.

Perhaps most moving is the PBS documentary on people trying to rebuild their lives without help from the government after cyclone Nargis.  It is called Eyes of the Storm. I highly recommend it. 
All of these articles are available at http://www.brackettfund.org/articles.htm. just a click away. Give it a try. 
Just Received:
After I had prepared this enote Liz informed me that one of our students, Buathip, had dropped out of school. In her own words (misspellings and all):
Dear   Judy
       I am very ashamaed to write a letter to you. I am very down hearted of my family. Because last month my elder sister village was caughtow fire of war. my eldersister was in many difficulties.
       When I heard the news I stop my learning program this year. I decieded to try a gain in coming year.
       The money that you support to me I keep it for continue to study in the next year. Now I drop my study because I have to work for help my sister and her family. If I drop my study in this term and about the next term. Do you continue to support me or not?
        So I request you. Please excuse me. Please understand me. Please do not for get my family in your pray.
        God be with you.
                     your loving sister
                      Buathip

The Judy referred to is Judith Noyes a trustee representative who travels and works with us in southern Thailand. So much for how the fighting is affecting our work with refugees. 

Activities:

  • Preparing materials and starting discussions with our trustee representatives for our trip next January.
  • Preparing materials, brochures, and letters for our fall fund-raising campaign.
  • Writing grant proposals.

In this time of economic uncertainty, we are seeking support from everywhere. Please consider giving to us and to our refugee friends who have suffered so much at the hands of their government. Please think also of some of your friends who might be interested in helping us. All of these efforts including your support recommendations in Great Non-Profits can be of great help to us. Thank you very much!

Thank you very much!

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