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  • Joe Sims

Home and Away...

Hello to our amazing group, we are sending love and best wishes as always and hope you are all doing well. Thank you to those of you you who are on the frontline of this Pandemic, so many thanks and to everyone stay safe and patient, we will get through this with each other.

Just a reminder that if you want to add a nomination at any time then simply e-Mail us with NOMINATION written in the subject box.This week we are making two payments and they both relate to COVID-19. So, put the kettle on, here we go!
Firstly we got a nomination from Sam Sly and we knew we had to help straight away, here’s nomination no 1:
I would like to nominate someone this week.He is called Jack Lowater from Nottinghamshire and his Mum is Michelle Pilkington and put this on Facebook. I have contacted them and they are delighted that I am putting them forward. He is an autistic young man who has tried hard to get employment and been constantly rejected and so instead has set up this amazing project using his skills to help others. Fantastic!
His Mum wrote' Could I have a proud moment please, my 17 year old boy has autism he's computer mad and loves engineering. He's applied at every supermarket since covid19 hit us because he wanted to help, nobody took him on so he decided to help make face shields. He's used his own money to fund a 2nd printer and 3kg of filament, he's contacted hundreds of companies to support him with discounts and donations, he's set up a crowd funding page with constant updates and also had support from an online business who has made a donation. He now owns 6 printers and works 12 hours a day every day, his dedication and drive has made us so proud and wanted to share with everyone a positive story. He donates these free to nhs hospitals and gp surgeries, all he asks if any business or private individuals wants any, if they could make a small donation to his crowdfunding page to purchase materials to make more'…
Our second nomination is for an International cause and made by Rose:Hello,I've never nominated before, so hope this is the right way to go about it!My friend Rob works for a charity based in Myanmar. Recently he posted disturbing pictures of what is going on there whilst COVID-19 distracts us all. I am nominating this charity because Rob's post reminded me that atrocities still happen at a time like this, and also because I believe in education for all. Anyway, Rob has put it far more eloquently than I ever could, so I have attached his comments below.Hope that is ok?Let me know if not!Stay safe,RoseRob responded to Rose’s nomination with some more information about the situation in Myanmar:Hi Rose,It is so kind of you to offer to nominate us for 500 Reasons. Our charity is Mobile Education Partnerships (MEP)We are a very small charity, but we offer hope to teachers inside the refugee and IDP camps on the Thai/Burma border and the remote areas of north and south Burma. We don’t “give training” to teachers; we work alongside, build relationships, mentor and try to find the best solutions for teaching children in the most meagre of surroundings. We also help them learn English and pay for them to do Cambridge English exams – in almost all cases the only recognised certificate of education they will ever have hadSo, why are we making the case for people living so far from our everyday lives? Imagine – Covid19 arrives …… while the world looks the other way, your own government takes the opportunity, not to help, but to increase its persecution.I want to explain why we try to help.I was scared, so scared, so scared. They were burning my village; my home, my parents; burning everything. I never saw them again. I was taken by my neighbours and we had to run. I didn’t know where we were going. I just cried and cried.”This young refugee teacher was sitting next to me, telling me why he could never go home. He had no home to go to. His village was destroyed, his parents gone, and the family’s land taken by the Burmese army. As we sat together and looked out across the border, it all felt deceptively peaceful and beautiful. For me it was an experience, but for him it is life. (see news film)We are a group of volunteers who have one thing in common – a desire to see stories like these returned to history. It began 25 years ago when a young teacher, Bob Anderson, found himself in Burma during a brief opening of the borders, listening to Aung San Suu Kyi speaking from her house-arrest to a crowd. A plea for help from an ethnic Karen survivor to support their teachers was the start of his lifelong effort to help, and he is still helpingAt MEP, we work on a shoestring, getting enough money on a project by project basis. The help we give might seem insignificant, but MEP are one cog in a bigger movement in Burma, changing attitudes through education. Our strength is in our size – we can be mobile, flexible and find our way under the radar into the most remote and sometimes dangerous parts of Burma.Sometimes things go wrong, we despair, and wonder why we do it; but spend just one day with the teachers and children we work with, and you’d know why. We expect a lot from our volunteer trainers including a commitment of time, money, isolation and hardship, but in return an experience that will stay with them for life.The money will be invaluable for MEP. Due to Covid19 we were unable to complete our most recent project. As soon as travel restrictions allow we will return and give our young teachers a chance to gain their Cambridge English Certificates. These young people are currently teaching in the refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border and £500 will pay to bring them back together for an intensive revision course and to take their exams.For many, hope is at a premium and so the little we give goes a very long way.Thank you.
Our website: We are always interested to hear from anyone with skills to share or wanting to volunteer for long-term (6 months) or short-term (2 or 3 weeks) placements.
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