NLD Launches ‘Sharing’ Program for Poor Schoolchildren

By Tin Htet Paing 1 February 2016

RANGOON — The National League for Democracy (NLD) has launched a nationwide “sharing project” aimed at providing classroom supplies to Burma’s underprivileged schoolchildren, according to a statement released on Monday and signed by senior party member Nyan Win.

“As per party chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi’s ‘Sharing Project,’ please kindly implement the donation program of unnecessary school textbooks, uniforms and notebooks to NLD offices at respective townships, quarters or villages so that each office can share these school materials with students who are in need, and can’t afford to buy [them],” reads the statement from the NLD central committee member.

The project will prioritize impoverished students in remote parts of the country and in constituencies where the NLD did not win seats in Burma’s Nov. 8 general election, the statement says.

Suu Kyi expressed her concern for the struggles of poor students in a “request to the public,” published in the party’s D-Wave journal on Monday.

“In some villages, remote areas and areas on the outskirts, most students are having difficulties buying notebooks, school textbooks and even daily [school] uniforms. I want to fulfill their needs with the help of the public,” she was quoted as saying.

“We can balance out the situation by sharing one’s unnecessary things with others who are in need. I want a system that flows from people of wealth to those in need, and a system in which the whole nation can participate,” she continued.

NLD executive committee members from each township and village or quarter have been instructed to inform the public of the project and collect lists of underprivileged students, with a focus on kindergarten through 11th grade.

Party chapter heads at the township- and village-level have been told to forward the lists to state and divisional NLD leaders no later than the end of March, with instructions to donate the materials to impoverished students’ homes during the month of April.

NLD members from state and divisional offices will accept offerings from individuals but have also been asked to request donations from stationery shops and stores selling school uniforms, in order to meet a given township’s need.

Students from areas affected by last year’s widespread flooding and those who are victims of Burma’s long-running civil war will also be given consideration and placed on a separate list managed by the NLD, according to the party statement published Monday.

Burma’s new Parliament, the members of which are overwhelming NLD, convened for the first time in Naypyidaw on Monday. The party vowed in its election manifesto “to implement education programs which prioritize children who are physically or intellectually disabled, poor children and those from remote areas.”