Enote 64 – Fourth of JulyJuly 07, 2010
We have just survived a very hot Fourth of July, my three children with their families, seventeen people in all counting myself, Liz, and Paulo's mother. (She was visiting us from Brazil, and having watch our small home-town parade, she commeted on the patriotic spirit of Americans.) I have escaped to the office to write this enote to you. In scenes like this of happiness and celebration, particularly of our good fortune to be Americans, I commonly reflect on the poverty on those we serve. Liz received a letter of thanks from Neihi Neihi just a day or two ago, saying: " I may not be able to study further without this scholarship so. I am very glad. We used this money for buying books and other school accessories. May the good lord showered. His blessing upon the Brackett Foundation."
We also get words of support from one who knows discrimination. Angela Kim writes, "Most people will look down if they know that we are Burmese, but educated and good people will never do that. As for that scholarship, the way you carried it out is good because every family has different problem. In my opinion it is good if you distributed to different classes, not only lower or higher classes. But the amount of payment has to differ quite a lot because the higher studies required much more money." Finally that we got another good student. A teacher writes, "Thank you for your kind consideration for Lalthanzika, he is the topper in their department."
By-the-way the pictures are completely separate from the text. The one just to the left is Lumpini Park in Bangkok. The couple below is Joobjang and her brother. Joobjang just finished university and is now a science teacher in her Mon community in Sangklaburi. The other picture shows Alyson and Barbara with Karen dancers at a children's day celebration at Dr. Cynthia's Mae Tao Clinic.
I did want to mention to you the plight of the Rohingya's. They are an ethnic minority people who have lived in southwestern Burma for centuries, but they are denied any of the rights of citizenship because they are Muslim. Liz and I have been trying to find ways to help them for a few years. But we have found that, at least in Bangladesh where some have sought refuge, this is exceedingly difficult. This year some Rohingyas have been able to seek refuge in Malaysia. Because it is also Muslim country it is more hospitable to Rohingyas than it is to other religious groups, and indeed Malaysia recognizes them as refugees and, it is said, allows them to attend school.
Liz and I are considering stopping by in Malaysia on our next trip to Asia, and exploring whether or not we can find a good way to give some help to these people. You can help us by viewing the two videos below and sending us an email with your opinions.
Rohingya Rescue Many times Rohingyas, seeking refuge by sea, are forcefully set adrift without food water or any other support. This 9 min. video shows a rescue by the Indian Coast Guard of such a group.
The Rohingya Boat People This 4 min. video shows some of the same visual images as the former, but is interesting because of the commentary by Greg Torode, chief Asia correspondent for the South China Morning Post. The videos can be seen at our video page.
- Met with Advisory Group.
- Wrote and processed 100 agreements for student scholarships.
- Invited 17 friends to a showing of "BurmaVJ", a documentary on the people's attempts to rebel against the dictators in Burma.
- Continuing to execute agreements with our scholarship students.
- Presented exhibit at Hamilton's Fourth of July celebration.
- Preparing talks.
Remember our invitation to visit us in Thailand next year.
Best Wishes to you,