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Myanmar has been one of SONNE’s focus countries since 2008


The long-standing political and economic isolation of the country has led to the complete impoverishment of large sections of the population. The constantly rising costs of living in combination with scant possibilities of earning an income make life extremely difficult for a great number of people. Another major problem is the high degree of corruption.

After decades of stagnation, however, the country has entered a period of political, social and economic upheaval and development. A transition towards democracy has set in. These positive changes, though, have not yet reached the poor people of Myanmar and it will probably take a long time before our support work is no longer required.

SONNE projects in Myanmar

At present SONNE-International administers or supports several projects in and around Yangon. Like in all our project countries, we focus on education, skills training, medical care and the (re-)integration of marginalized children into society. Our principal beneficiaries are vulnerable children and adolescents and their families, ethnic minorities and other marginalised groups.

Educaction and reintegration for vulnerable children

We support altogether 500 school schildren, among them the destitute, homeless girls who have found shelter in a monastic school near Yangon (by providing learning materials, toiletries etc.).  Moreover, we run three day care centres for altogether 120 of Yangon’s vulnerable children and adolescents and a reintegration programme for children who are detained in a state-run reformatory. The children’s families (if they have any) receive assistance from our social workers. In individual cases they also get a micro-credit.

Mobile health camps

All our beneficiaries (approx. 1500 children and adolescents) have access to our mobile health camps. There they are checked regularly and receive medical care if necessary. In case of severe health problems, our SONNE emergency fund provides the money for medical emergencies, long-term treatment, operations and hospital stays. Moreover, these youngsters have the possibility to take part in our sports programme (football, badminton, table tennis, athletics, gymnastics, regional sports), an approach that has produced excellent results with regard to reintegrating marginalised children and adolescents.

With this integrated approach we aim at improving these youngsters’ living conditions in the long term and at giving them a fair chance of finding a job and leading self-determined lives.

We care for Myanmar’s street children

In our three day care centres, which are located in the slums in and around Yangon, we look after approximately 150 vulnerable children and youth: there they can take a break from their hard life in the streets of the city, they get two meals a day and have access to medical care if they need it. Our social workers see to it that they are clean and properly dressed. Those who go to school already receive extra tuition if necessary, while the street children and the younger ones get informal education. Moreover, our social workers do everything in their power to ensure (re-)integration into a regular school.

A dream has come true – the SONNE Street Children Centre has opened its doors

After a long, eventful and sometimes demanding building phase, our very own SONNE Street Children Centre was finally inaugurated in October 2019. Since then it has been providing day care and education for out-of-school children, income-generating training for vulnerable adolescents, health and hygiene care, tuition classes, a sports programme and a playground – all under one roof!

More than 100 children have already been admitted and we will not tire of extending the range of our activities and of filling the centre with life so as to reintegrate as many street children as possible into society!

This post is also available in: German