If you are reading this, chances are pretty good that you, like me, have barely an inkling of the heartache, fear, uncertainty and a hundred other things that make up the minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day existence of refugees. In October, our partner Bright Pink hit a lot closer to home. We’d be hard pressed to find someone among us, whether they realize it or not, that doesn’t have someone close to them affected by breast or ovarian cancer. We set a lofty goal for check-ins in October to help provide screenings to women who otherwise could not get them and we shattered those goals. In November, our target is half a world away. The Burmese refugees have an existence beyond what most of us can even begin to fathom. (read more detail below!) But we can help.
Every Facebook check-in during the month of November provides a meal. That’s right. Every single check-in equals a meal. We show up every day to make a difference in our own life and the live’s of our families. It is almost too simple to do more. After class, please take a moment to check-in on Facebook. It is simple and just takes a few seconds. In a few more seconds, you can make the check-in more powerful. Add the hashtag #meals4kids — this enhances the visibility. Tag your workout colleagues. This expands the reach.
We have the good fortune to live pretty comfortably. We grumble about this and that and yes, some weeks, things are really tight. Sometimes I reflect on this and think what first world problems we complain about. Yes, they are still problems for us and we do need to tend to the obstacles in our life. But sometimes we also need to step back and consider the plight of those who, through no fault of their own, are living lives in desperate circumstances. And then do something about it. In partnering with the Sweat Angels community, we have chosen to very intentionally make a difference in lives beyond our own. And with something as simple as a Facebook check-in, you can too!
Here’s information from our non-profit partner, the Hunger Site, on the specific program we are supporting:
Help Nurture and Educate Young Refugees.
Like many Thai towns along the Thailand-Burma border, Mae Sot is a sanctuary for Burmese refugees in their flight from the upheaval of civil war in their own country. Tens of thousands of Karen and other Burmese minorities subsist on the fringes of the Thai economy and await a brighter future. For 20 years, the Mae Tao Clinic has provided life-saving care to Burma’s displaced population, especially its children.
There are 286,000 Burmese migrants living in the Tak province, and the overwhelming majority are under the age of 19. Parents often send their children to Thailand in effort to further their education and avoid the risks of unsafe child labor. Boarding houses give these children a stable environment in which to continue their education, either in Thai schools or migrant learning centers. However, there is not enough consistent donor support for the growing number of boarding houses, apart from Mae Tao Clinic’s Dry Food Programme (DFP), which provides the children with dry food rations, and hygiene and bedding supplies.
The DFP provides the primary nourishment for 3,000 migrant students via rice, tin fish, oil, yellow beans, salt, and sweet powder. Without these essential food donations, many boarding houses would be unable to provide for the children.