Our Burma Book

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“This picture makes me feel sad and angry. They are poor and have no food even though many countries send them food.”

Here’s a picture book with a difference.   Our Burma Book is written by children separated by thousands of miles and living very different lives. Yet the Edinburgh children in schools with desks and homes with toys and food respond with a natural understanding of the injustice of being forced to live without much of anything at all.

Almost exactly two years ago, at the  height of the Burma protests, we carried a story about the efforts children at Forthview Primary School are making to help exiled children at their partner school, Hle Blee, on the border of Burma and Thailand.  While Burma flits in and out of world news stories contact between the schools keeps going.  One of the inspiring results is a book which gives hope for the future. If the next generation shares such a warm understanding of universal human needs maybe the world can be a better place!

This picture makes me feel upset because it shows  how hard it is for children to get water. It also makes me realise how lucky we are because we have taps full of water.

Our Burma Book has been produced by Burmese and Scottish children working together through the Global Schools Partnership scheme under the Department for International Development (DfID).  In simple words and beautiful etched drawings the children from three Burmese share their stories of life in exile with children from four Edinburgh primary schools (Forthview, Pirniehall, Tollcross and Balgreen).

The responses of the Scottish children are direct, perceptive and, as the introduction to the book says, convey a keen sense of injustice.

Today I heard news about Burma. I feel very sorry that they have been made to leave their own homes. This isn’t fair. I am also very sad that Aung Sun Kyi didn’t get to see her children grow up and has not been able to see her grandchildren.

The book is published with the help of lottery funding and supports the work of the Burma Educational Scholarship Trust, Scotland (BEST). It will now be used to help other children learn about Burma. Meanwhile the Global Schools Partnership aims to widen understanding between children of schools through many parts of the world.

You can support the work by sending donations to BEST (click here). And you can follow the work of Forthview School by visiting their wonderful blog (click here).

May the sun dwell brightly on all

May the smooth breeze coolly fall

May beloved friends be well

(Excerpt from the Burmese Text Book, Primary Standard)

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Read more on www.forthview.blogspot.com

www.pirniehall.blogspot.com

www.britishcouncil.org/globalschools.htm

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