This experience introduces students and members of the SUNY alumni community to a unique cultural and hands-on experience in Yangon, Myanmar. In this 17-day program involving collaborative work alongside influential people, your service learning assignments could potentially lead to policy that makes a difference at the national or regional levels.
March 2016 ushered in Myanmar's first democratically elected government into office after decades of military rule. Like with all changes of this magnitude, the process will be slow, but exciting to say the least. Buffalo State, by way of its service learning course to Myanmar (also known as Burma), has been presented a rewarding opportunity to offer vital assistance in the development of higher and K-12 education, civic life, economy and environmental practices. It is our hope to again join other universities such as Oxford, Ball State, Manchester, and Queens Mary University of London; they have already begun the work of advancing change.
Although we hope travel to Myanmar occurs July 28 to August 12, 2021, we are adding a virtual component to our class for students that cannot travel but that want to be involved in some manner, and receive course credits for it. The class starts in the Spring semester and is expected to go into the summer of 2021 if travel is permitted. If not, then the class will be completed by the end of the Spring semester.
What makes Buffalo State's service-learning course different is its connections to influential people such as members of parliament, governors, ministers, executives, and directors of non-profits. In short, they are our community partners. A graduate of Buffalo State was born and raised in Myanmar and has worked closely with these influencers. It is they who have opened the door to opportunities for us to work with government, non-profits, businesses, and schools. To that end, our service-learning course can accommodate all majors.
Just imagine our friends and colleagues in Myanmar going live while a class is in session at a monastery school. Or, how about going live at important sites like the ancient city of Bagan whereby you can receive a tour and ask questions of our tour guides while in the comfort of your home? What if you could engage in service learning without having to leave your home? This is precisely what the class provides. Please join us in aiding the development of a more prosperous and sustainable future for all Burma’s citizens.
Yangon, Myanmar (view map), formerly known as Rangoon, is the largest city in Myanmar and the country's cultural and artistic center. The local climate is warm and humid, with much rainfall. Average day and night temperatures are 32°C (90°F) and 26°C (81°F) in July and August. Downtown Yangon is home to some of the most impressive colonial architecture in all Southeast Asia, with the most notable being the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, a more than 2000 year old Buddhist shrine that is completely covered in gold.
Overall estimate of approx. $5,200 includes:
Application Deadline: TBD
Free Funeral Services Society (FFSS)
What started as a non-profit organization that provided free funeral services, the F.F.S.S. has grown to offer free healthcare, free ambulatory service, organic food farming, and free education. The F.F.S.S. was founded by Burmese film director Kyaw Thu, who was awarded Asia's version of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work supporting the poor. Founded in 2001, the F.F.S.S. is headed by many prominent people in the entertainment industry.
University of Yangon
Dha Maw Da Monastery School (for students grades 1-8)
"We promote social justice by helping the people of Myanmar to become more confident in their creative thinking to address the physical, social and economic challenges facing their country today and in the future, and we do so in collaboration with educators, alumni, and students from universities who mentor and partner with first generation Burmese refugees."
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