We are a small charity with very low overheads.  The life-changing effects of a donation to S4SK can be enormous.  Please help if you can by donating here:

 Or you can set up a regular payment using our donation form, downloadable here.

Beginnings:

S4SK began with a chance encounter in 2007 between Dr. John McConnell, who was at the time teaching conflict resolution with an NGO in Myanmar, and a young mother, begging with her baby on a Rangoon street:

 

  There, sitting in the street, was a young mother with her baby – Tan Tan and Nwe Nwe.  Coming closer it became apparent that Tan Tan was a victim of leprosy.  Her fingers and toes were all gone and her nose had started to tear.   Her baby rested ponderously in a corroded arm, cradled by the stumps of fingers.  There was a tragic juxtaposition of her love for her baby, and the fact that she had absolutely nothing to give the child.  

 

  She had never been to school.  Medical treatment, education, a house to call home were all things for other people in a different world.  Hers was this dusty patch of road, the shelter of a tree when it rained, and not much else.

 

  Over several weeks, John’s students helped Tan Tan and John to communicate.  John noticed that Tan Tan was often tired, and one day she was so drowsy that she nearly dropped Nwe Nwe.  John decided to try to help them find a place to stay:

 

  I bought a bamboo house for what one would spend on a garden shed here in the UK.  It was the first home she had ever had.  I have a photo of mum holding baby in her own house—looking so, so happy.  But there was to be no ‘ever after’.  After just three months Tan Tan died of a brain tumour.  She probably had had the condition for years, yet would not think to go to a doctor.

 

  It was the experience of trying to help this beautiful fragment of a family, before and after Tan Tan’s death, that brought me into contact with a class of people so poor as to be almost invisible—and led to the formation of S4SK, and later H4SS.

 

  While the state provides free schooling, there are some families who are so poor that their children have to work or beg to support the family income, and so are out of school.  It seemed that the most effective help I could give, to help such very poor people, was education. 

 

  I sponsored an informal education class for street kids in central Yangon.  It began with three girls, two Buddhists and a Muslim, and the number soon rose to seven, then thirteen.  

 

For more information of our NFE classes please click here, and for photos of that first class, click here.

Tan Tan and Nwe Nwe as John found them begging on the street in 2007

The bamboo house

Tan Tan and Nwe Nwe in their new home

This year we expect H4SS to touch the lives of around 650 children in non-formal education (NFE) classes, scholarships and study groups.