BSB built a new primary school in Pane Morn village in Eastern Shan State, 600 km east of Mandalay, and about four hours over tortuous roads from Keng Tung. Most of the villagers are ethnic Lahu. The nearest primary schools were more than 4 miles away, too difficult and dangerous for the young children to travel to, especially in rainy season, when steep and treacherous roads are too muddy to be used.
Villagers constructed a temporary building of bamboo and thatch so that the approximately 40 children could attend primary school (grades 1 through 4) in their own village. Father Francis, the Catholic parish priest of nearby Mong Ping, communicated with BSB about the need for a permanent building. The new building was completed in mid 2018, and is now providing a safe learning environment for 40 students.
Community leaders are now working with the local government education authorities to get approval and recognition as a primary school, so that the government, instead of the villagers, will pay teachers’ salaries.
Pane Morn has no electricity, so BSB also provided solar lanterns to the students in January 2019, so they can study at home in evenings - and they and their families can reduce their reliance on candles and kerosene.