HOPE FOR AN ETHNIC MINORITY
Their lives have been disrupted for more than 70 years, since the end of World War II when they were promised a state in Burma, the fulfillment of which never came. Pressure on the nation's Karen ethnic minority turned violent when Burma became known as Myanmar and government soldiers torched villages, killing residents, raping women, and forcing people to flee to Thailand where the United Nations set up refugee camps.
Still today, 35 years later, more than 150,000 remain in nine refugee camps, many of them at the largest facility at Mae La. In this sea of darkness, a light shines brightly at what is known as the Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School and College. It is here that countless men and women have been trained as pastors and Christian leaders, and all who attend are provided with an educational background to help them meet an uncertain future. While repatriation to their country of origin may come in years ahead, the government in Myanmar already has failed to honor a ceasefire agreement, and unrest continues.
The school, known KKBBSC, continues to serve in much less than ideal conditions, with teachers who work without being paid, and with a minimum of supporting equipment and materials. Of major concern is lack of an adequate library. Six years ago, the library was severely damaged by fire, with books and publications lost. Recently the make-shift room housing the revamped library was damaged by a major break in a water main, again causing loss of precious study materials.
We are seeking help through GoFundMe to build a larger library and replenish damaged books and publications. Cost for this is estimated at $12,000 (U.S.). We are reminded of the words of Nelson Mandela who said, "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." These words ring true anywhere, including the Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School and College in a refugee camp thousands of miles away.
Contributions for KKBBSC library project will be channelled through Arizona Karen Baptist Church, a certified charity organization with 501c(3) status. Your gifts are tax-deductible.
May God bless each of you in a special way.
- AungZaw Win
- KwaSoe Kaw
- Htoo Bway
- Serbu Beney
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