Perhaps the greatest milestone of the ISY-UWS-Wan Kaung journey took place from the 28th to 31st of January, 2020, where a group of ISY students and faculty traveled to Wan Kaung and visited the newly-built school. The two days spent in the village were truly two days of “an experience of a lifetime for the students that went on this trip,” according to Sammy from grade 10.

Students at Wang Kaung School are playing in the playground.

Students prepared various activities for the children at the Wan Kaung school. Both groups of students enjoyed themselves with music and dancing, art and handprints, puzzles, games like Connect Four, and outdoor activities such as frisbee, badminton, and football. The kids were also taught English and read books together. As a partnership, it wasn’t just ISY students teaching the kids; sometimes, it was the other way around. They taught ISY students some traditional dance originated from the village as well as the local native language Lahu. 

ISY students and Wan Kaung School students played ‘Connect 4’ together.

“We had language problems,” said Mahika from grade 10. “We could not understand each other because the words got lost during the translation from English to Burmese to Lahu and the other way back.” However, they were able to communicate at their best possible by teaching English and learning Lahu from them. Mahika added that “we could have a firmer connection with them by learning Lahu. We were so happy when they let us know that the Lahu words we said were correct.” She reminisced about singing  “Baby Shark” in Lahu, having learned several new words in the process.

Students are carefully listening to Dr. Hedger’s story.

There was also a chance for the ISY students to speak to the villagers about their opinions about their new school. One of the villagers, thanking everyone for the construction of the new school, hoped that a secondary school would soon be built so that their children could continue their education. The students listening to the villagers couldn’t be any more fascinated by their strong motivation and passion for quality education, the UN Sustainable Development Goal #4.

Students are showing their joy through a big smile.

And the adventure continues. Even though funds should continue to be collected, ISY and UWS are moving into the next stage of the project: developing a further relationship with the villagers and raising awareness and involvement of the ISY community. 

Published by Global

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