Mingalar Parahita

Irrawaddy Delta 2006-16

Education project – Child labour & trafficking

We have supported this orphanage for more than a decade, and have launched projects here in each of our Building Blocks of Hope, from fresh water supply to vocational training.

As the largest of our partner orphanages, Minglar Parahita seemed a good place to launch our new child trafficking and child labour awareness project.

The three theatre events, two at the orphanage and one in the local village of Twante, mixed education with fun. The music and dancing helped everyone pay attention to the messages about child trafficking and child labour. A shadow play was quite dramatic, and a cartoon about the abduction of a young girl was watched in near silence by the audience.

Much to everyone’s excitement two local celebrities supported the project: Khine Hnin Wai, a movie actress who is also the founder and chairperson of an anti-trafficking foundation, and Saw Aung Myo, a Burmese pop star.

All the resident children watched the first event and most went back for the evening show, which was also attended by 300 local villagers. As an added bonus, the extensive media coverage saw trafficking awareness and The Mandalay Projects receive front page mentions in the next day’s national newspapers, and on TV.

The theatre production was handled by United ACT, a local group that educates children, families and communities about child trafficking. United ACT are a sister organisation to human rights advocacy group Equality Myanmar with whom we have forged a link.