Ready to die, and then his mission started.

self-organizing village
A 100% self-organizing village in Myanmar
July 12, 2019
Stories on the road

Ready to die, and then his mission started.

I What do you do when your wife dies and your life is about to end too? Then you go back to your home country and spend your last moments there. But then something happened.

This happened to Eric, the founder of the beautiful guesthouse Lei Thar Gone 20 years ago. In poor health he returned to his family in Yenangyaung, his native village in Myanmar. He had contracted HIV which had been passed on to him by his wife's ex-husband, doctors in the west could not help him any further. He had surrendered to his fate and stopped taking medicine. He did drink a natural drink made of plants from Myanmar twice a day. "What happened next has been a kind of divine intervention," he said. He started to feel better again and got back to his feet in his own village. It turned out to be the start of a new life destination.

A resurrection from which he has influenced the lives of many very young to this day.

Lowest part of society

H

e started a guesthouse. Because with the money earned he wanted to build a daycare for orphaned children. But the government put a stop to that. It disapproved with his idea. What now? And then yet another miracle seemed to happen. Less than 3 months later the government decided to implement a new law offering individuals the opportunity to start a private school. And that was the beginning of, as it turned out, his life mission. Now he could offer the children a future. He built a school for the orphans who, without their parents, were doomed to grow up on the lowest part of society. The school started with 13 children. Erik hired teachers from former state schools and sometimes he was teacher himself. English, because those teachers could hardly be found.

Against the tide

U nfortunately another problem arised. The income from the guesthouse was not enough to keep the school running independently. Nor to pay for the maintenance of the guesthouse. Myanmar was reasonably closed to travelers. The military regime left a heavy mark on the country, travelers chose to visit other Asian countries and domestic visitors did not come often. Eric started working together with a number of NGOs (non-governmental organizations), because they too recognized the social importance and wanted to support Eric's impressive mission. In addition, there were private interested parties who contributed financially. People who stayed in the guesthouse, visited the school and thought that this wonderful project should not fail. It had so much impact on many futures. Children suddenly had the prospect of further education. On jobs. Opportunities they would never be offered if Eric had died at the time.

Seeing is believing

N ow, 20 years later, the guesthouse starts receiving a little more guests. Eric has turned 74 and unfortunately his health is not as good anymore. But he is assisted by his niece Zoe and a number of very close friends who have believed in his mission from the very first moment. And not to forget to mention, some of the children who attended school 20 years ago, now work at the guest house. And you know what? The school has grown from 13 to 180 students! It’s truly an unimaginable achievement!

I’m so happy to announce that you will also be able to support this special place. We are currently talking about 2 wonderful projects for the employees of the guesthouse. So if you’ll be going to Myanmar in the very near future, you’ll have the opportunity of supporting the employees of Lei Thar Gone and as a return you will get something you will not soon forget.

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Edith