Who are receiving shelter?

Children without both parents or one parent or children whose parents are so poor that they cannot but leave their children to living on the streets, are accepted and given shelter, food, clothing, and education in government schools. In short, ST.MARY’S HOME is a home for such orphans and poor children. Since this Home is run by Sisters, the Home accepts only girls. Many years ago, the Sisters accepted young boys also but over the years, they found it impossible to handle the discipline for boys. Besides, when the boys became adolescents, the Sisters found it almost impossible to find alternate placements for them. Hence, only girls for the last 30 years.

Children in their school uniform
Children in their school uniform
The youngest group of St. Mary's home
The youngest group of St. Mary's home

From where and how do the poor children get to ST.MARY’S HOME?

The Servite Sisters in Myanmar are working in 30 convents, spread all over the country. The Union of Myanmar comprises of ethnic States and Divisions. Those poor or the less fortunate children contact the nearest Servite Sisters’ Convent and ask for assistance. The Sister Superior of the convent concerned will study the request in order to make sure that it is from genuine orphans, or semi-orphans or from the utterly poor. When the Sister Superior together with all the Sisters of the community is sure of the genuineness, the over-all Superior for Myanmar Servite Sisters, called the Servite Provincial for Myanmar, who now happens to be Sister Salette Mary OSM (acronym for Order of the Servants of Mary) will study each request and accept (or) reject.

How many children are at St. MARY’S HOME right now?

Right now, there are 120 children belonging to different ethnic races, like Burmese, Arakanese, Chins, both plain Chins and hill Chins, Kachins, Wa, Kaya, Karen and Indian.

our children

From what age are the children accepted?

Normally,children in Myanmar got to school from the age of 6. So the Sisters accept children from the age of 6; but there are girls who are 9, 10 and above who have to be accepted because they may have lost their parents when they are of that age. One girl was brought to us when she was around this age because suddenly both the parents were thrown into jail for drug crimes.

our children

Up to what age does ST.MARY’S HOME look after the children?

Children arrive at St.MARY’S HOME when they are 5 years old. At times exceptions have to be made. Why? There are two girls who are sisters; both became orphans; the elder one was able to be admitted in the school and the younger had to stay at home with the Sisters till she reached 5. After Nargis, a younger sister of a girl already at the HOME, had to be accepted even though she was not of age because the parents had been swept away by the flood. By the time these children finish their high school, they will be any where between 16 and 20 years of age. Some girls manage to study well, pass the examinations and become eligible to go to college. The East Yangon University is situated between Thanlyin and Kyauktan and fortunately the Sisters have a convent near this university. Those wishing to go to university are housed in this convent and the Sisters look after them till they finish their university studies. Once they finsh their university studies, the Sisters help the girls to find jobs and stand on their own feet.

The aim of St. Mary's home is to help the girls to stand on their own feet and to get them settle in life.
Two girls from St. Mary's home got married and are leading a happy married life. One of these as already got a lovely baby girl. Many of our alumni got employed as nurses, teachers, staff in offices and NGOs and shop assistants. Now and then they come back to St. Mary's home to express their gratitude. Recently, St. Mary's home has given opportunities to few girls to be trained as how to look after the boarding children who are less fortunade. Three grops have already been trained and practically working at St. Mary's home. This is one way, the alumni express their gratitude they owed to St. Mary's home throught the voluntary service. Some of them are engaged in self-support projects of St. Mary's home.

Girls being trained for Sewing
Girls being trained for Sewing

For those who cannot make it up to the high school pass certificate, the Sisters at the HOME, provide them with technical skills, like sewing, knitting, embroidery, computer courses and English courses in order to help them find some jobs, most likely in rural areas.

some are trained for nursing
some are trained for nursing

A great tragedy came to our lives at St. Mary's home on 27 th April 2010. It was the sudden death of our great patron Fr. Singa Rayar who was the founder of St. Mary's home and who worked so hard with his sweat and blood for the systematic, standard and well-estabilished of St. Mary's home. We were totally devastated and still have been mourning over the great loss of our dearly beloved Father. His departure indeed left us like sheep without a sheperd.
We do believe that his spirit is still leading us in many ways. We will work harder to mantain the wonderful legacy left by our founder and patron Fr. Singa Rayar. The dream of our patron and his aim will have to be fulfilled. One of his famous saying is "God helps those who help themselves". He pratically lived accordingly. St. Mary's home is journeying ahead with his encouraging words and with all your support.
Many thanks to all of you for your continuos support, appreciation and encouragement.

Fr. Singa Rayar
Fr. Singa Rayar