For the past two years, I have visited the Philippines during my summer as a part of my church’s medical service program. However, this year we visited Myanmar for the first time instead and worked with Myanmar Bethesda Clinic in Yangon.
Two Korean missionaries, Cheol-ho Chung and Hyekeong Han, founded the medical clinic in 2016. After spending years in Korea as a pediatrician and a therapist, respectively, Chung and Han moved to Myanmar in 2013. The clinic is the biggest in the city. Its founders also established Yangon KB Korean Language Institute and Tawara Preschool for children who were receiving insufficient academic support from their public schools. In the KB Language Institute, Chung and Han teach Korean culture and language to nearly 150 students each year. Moreover, 60 children benefit from the preschool and afterschool programs at Tawara.
During my time in Myanmar, I worked as my dad’s dental assistant in Bethesda Clinic and as an assistant teacher in Tawara Preschool. Since the majority of the people in Myanmar lacked the money needed to visit hospitals, hundreds of them visited our medical center with severe injuries and undiagnosed ailments that needed urgent surgeries. Malnourished infants and children were suffering from mild colds, since they weren’t receiving proper treatment. Additionally, Tawara Preschool is a safe place for young children to learn, eat, and hang out with their friends rather than spending most of their day outside on muddy roads in front of shanties.
After my week of service in Myanmar, I was inspired to further support these children, so I decided to create a club at Blair called Blair and Myanmar (BNM). By staying connected with Chung and Han, our club will learn about Myanmar’s language, culture, and customs. We will also donate to help provide opportunities for children to receive better education in the hope of breaking the cycle of poverty.
If you’re interested in joining, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright Irene Jung 2019