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Myanmar Values In Action (VIA) trip 2019

On the 4th of April 2019, a cohort of 16 students and 10 staff from Metta School embark in a learning journey to Taunggyi, Myanmar for Values In Action (VIA) Trip. The objective of the trip were as follows;

  • To allow students to embark in a journey of servant leadership
  • To let our students realize they can make a difference in a community with their unique talents and skills
  • To educate students to be more appreciative of their learning environment
  • To develop a sense of volunteerism among our students and spur them on to develop a life-long habit of community involvement
  • To develop skills for self-management;
  • To develop communication with peers;
  • To have opportunities to demonstrate desirable qualities such as respect, responsibility, resilience, teamwork, perseverance, and a better understanding of human dynamics (interacting with others).
  • To achieve National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) criteria.

After approximately 5 hours of traveling via international and domestic flight to the Town of Taunggyi, Myanmar, the ground made a trip to Dharma Rock Mountain Monastery School (DRMMS). DRMMS housed up to 1200 orphans and provide kindergarten, primary and secondary education. Upon reaching, we were greeted by warm smiles and playful Burmese students.

As Metta Welfare Association has donated a school building for the orphans and students of DRMMS to house the large number of local students, Metta Students were task to repaint the old school building as well as to paint a mural on the latter. The first 3 days of the trip was pure hard work for the students. They were divided into smaller groups. While some are painting the murals on the new school building, others are doing class room painting.

While some were busy getting their hands dirty, others had prepared some sports and indoor activities for the younger local students. A group of Metta Students and teachers have craft out a lesson to teach the older local students and teachers, the basic function and usage of a computer. It was a fruitful as the 2-hour lesson has equipped the local teachers and students the necessary skills to power up the computers and use basic programme like MS Words.

During night reflection, all of the students agreed that they felt very lucky and blessed at home and in school. In addition, they also agreed that they have taken things they possessed for granted back in Singapore. They wished that they could do more for the students and the school during the 3 days. One of Metta School students, Franzeska Aw said “I realised how much I have taken for granted the life I had in Singapore. I complained about not having enough while they smile when they don’t have much.”

The rest of the trip was spent visiting tourist spots such as Kakku Pagoda in Taunggyi, Inle Lake, Shwedagon Temple in Yangon. Metta School Students and Teachers spent the rest of the trip, understanding their religion and culture as well as the way of life of a burmese. The trip was a memorable and great learning journey for the teachers and students of Metta School. Service were rendered and friendships were made. It was an eye opener for all. Learning has definitely been impactful for them beyond the four walls of a classroom.  

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