Monday, 2 August 2010

Living in a CDC Boarding House Part 1

CDC school has 520 boarders, children and young people whose parents have died in Burma or whose parents have sent them to Thailand to avoid hunger and worse or to get education. It's a mammoth task to find the funding to care for these children and young people. CDC seeks funding from many places to care for the children in large boarding houses. The CDC teachers live in the boarding houses, caring for the children after teaching them all day. Say Hei is the housemistress of a boarding house for 80 girls and young ladies. She invited us to the boarding house. This is the view from the 3rd floor of the 3 storey boarding house.
Say Hei and Sheila Laing with their daughters and with Say Hei's adopted son. Say Hei runs a very loving and nurturing boarding house. Pi Say Hei... grandmother Say Hei is what the girls call her. These girls cannot leave this house except to go to school. They can't go out to play as they are at risk of being arrested. They live their lives in this home and in school.

The girls are relaxing on a Friday evening, sitting about in groups having a blether....

Below you can see how much space each girl has to sleep in. They sleep side by side on their mats. Their bedding and mats are rolled up daily. Not much privacy or personal space here.

Each girl has a box for her personal possessions. Imagine girls, getting all your possessions in one box. Despite such little space, the girls take great care over their appearance and their belongings and they always look smart and well turned out.

Everyone's shoes are lined up, ready for going out. Shoes are taken off in Burmese homes.

There are toilets on each floor. Miss MacNaughton used this toilet, but then Miss MacNaughton used every toilet we passed!

All the girls are on a rota to clean, cook and care for their home.

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