After a long flight from Johannesburg, South Africa I arrived in Yangon, Myanmar on February 6, 2016. As part of the SAP Social Sabbatical program I am one of 12 SAP employees from across the globe working with one of four social enterprises in Myanmar for a month. Myanmar is strongly connected to the Buddhist culture of giving and because of this tradition of giving, an extra layer of meaning has been added to our work here.

Together with the two SAP colleagues assigned to my team, Alice Liu(China) and Dilip Radhakrishnan(Germany), we are developing a strategic plan for KT Care Foundation for 2016-2020. The foundation was started by the Kyaw Thaung family to assist the millions of people severely affected by Cyclone Nargis, which devastated the Ayeyarwaddy Delta region of Myanmar in May 2008.  Today the foundation is run by 7 employees who are experienced, passionate and dedicated to its mission of restoring dignity and changing lives of rural communities in Myanmar.

The foundation has a scholarship program which provides funding for students in the Delta region to help further their education. I was fortunate to have the chance to talk to two of the students and hear about their experiences. The students were invited to attend a workshop facilitated by our  team to help KT Care staff get clarity on direction on where their foundation should be focusing its efforts on.  Essentially envision  the future of KT care in the next 5 years.

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Cherry Wai is majoring in English and Aye Myint Kyu major is Myanmar – both are awaiting their second year university results from Pathein University. They face many difficulties of living in rural areas of Myanmar and with the financial support from KT Care’s scholarship program they have been given the opportunity to continue their education and improve their lives. They are very passionate about  giving back and contributing to the development of their communities.

Cherry Wai is not yet sure what career she will ultimately pursue and. Aye Myint Kyu is going to be a teacher in her village. She explained how KT care helped her village Thet Kal Thaung after the cyclone with building bridges schools and how they provide health services to her village.As part of their scholarship application they had to write a personal story. They have kindly given us permission to publish the translations to help promote the impact that KT care is having on their community. Read  Aye Myint Kyu’s story in my subsequent blog and Cherry Wai’s story that Alice shared in the comments below

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