Updates: Good News to Share
With a decade under our belt, we’ve seen significant changes in our partner villages—the kind of changes that take time, commitment, creativity and constant support. From education that keeps women safe to economic opportunities that ensure future success, we indeed have good news to share! Read a letter from a Shanta-sponsored student, an interview with Tricia Karpfen (co-founder and board member), and learn more about our productive pig farms in this season’s newsletter.
What should have been a joyous occasion for the Shanta staff was instead an experience in heartbreak. After just one year of partnership with Khun Dong village we were about to see their beautiful new primary school, built after several months of hard work throughout the rainy season by the villagers, and funded by 16 year-old Seth Marvin-Vanderryn. Instead we watched as their 139 children chatted and played aimlessly because the Myanmar government had provided only one teacher for all five grades. Read how the problem was solved!
This is Shanta Foundation’s 10th anniversary year! And, we have so many things to celebrate and be thankful for. Especially all of you who have helped us to reach across the world to a people in need and make a difference in their lives for generations to come. To give a child the chance for an education. To comfort and safely guide a young woman giving birth for the first time. And, to help parents earn money for basic necessities by starting a pig farm. You made these happen along with us and we’re grateful. Read more here.
Myanmar has certainly been in the news this year both with stories of growth and change, but also about the persistence of poverty still present in so many communities. Things that I never expected are occurring like excellent cell phone service in the villages, the ability to wire money directly to our staff in their town, being stuck in Yangon traffic jams, and Krispy Kreme opening 10 donut shops in Yangon. Some say these are all signs of positive economic growth, but unfortunately there is still few opportunities in the rural villages. Two of our newest partner villages, Chaung Kaut and Phet Pone, are our poorest villages to date. Click here to read more!
Many of you have been an integral part of Shanta’s success these past nine years and I wish you could know how much I appreciate your confidence and generosity. Together, we have created something amazing – a powerful and sustainable model that enables entire villages, poor subsistence farming families, to have opportunities previously unimaginable to them. Click here to read more!
Our dream since the outset of Shanta Foundation has been to improve the lives of as many villagers in Myanmar as possible. We’ve become very good at what we do and their needs are serious Through the years we have fine-tuned our sustainable development model and it is making a substantial difference for thousands of families. We are now poised for significant growth. Click here to read more!
Our Annual Fall Fundraiser was a success! More than 230 people were inspired, entertained, enjoyed wonderful food and contributed to Shanta at our annual fundraiser in Durango, CO this past October 2nd. The special guest of the evening was Zaw Zaw, our program manager, who came all the way from Myanmar to tell his story and say thank you to our donors. He wowed us all with his charm, smiles and stories of life in the villages. Click here to read more!
Notes from The Field
In November 2013 during our annual fall trip to visit the staff and villages in Myanmar we were in an awful automobile accident. Nge Nge, our regional manager, sustained major injuries and was flown to Bangkok for treatment. We are forever grateful to the donors who stepped forward to assist us with $50,000 in hospital bills, air evacuations and related expenses. Click here to read a full account of the accident and updates.
Creating sustainable change: Durangoans support work in Myanmar villages, Durango Herald, October 3, 2013.
“It only took one week to change Durangoans Mike and Tricia Karpfen’s lives, and in the subsequent nine years, they have changed the lives of hundreds of others with a lot of help from the Durango community.” Click here to read the full article about Shanta in the Durango Herald.
The Fall Fundraising event was a success! Priscilla Clapp, the event’s keynote speaker from Washington D.C., and former Chief-of-Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar, said that the Shanta Foundation is “Myanmar’s most effective sustainable change organization”. Click here to read more about the event and program updates.
A big thank you to the Cohen, Karcher, Petrello families, the extended Carson family, the family of U Po Tinto and Daw Ma Ma Lay, and the Dannenberg/Singer family for their sponsorship of four of our new villages! Mike had a great trip to Myanmar and witnessed many successes such as the building of a clean water system and a community lending fund entirely managed by women! Click here to read more about more the great developments occuring in our villages.