Since 2013, Mondo supports a local organisation called Centre for Rural Education and Development (CRED), formerly known as Rural Development Foundation of Shan State (RDFSS). This local partner organisation focuses on the northern areas of the Shan state, which is mainly inhabited by the Shan minority ethnicity group. CRED is focused on establishing primary schools in village communities, training teachers in Shan communities and managing student housing in order to enable village children access to primary and secondary education. They also place strong emphasis on advocating for an educational reform in the Shan state.
Despite some political opening of the country and the Aung San Suu Kyi government, the country still strongly prioritises the Bamar majority ethnicity communities while the areas of minority ethnicity communities have not witnessed much improvement. Some locally initiated community organisations have emerged here and there, yet many of them lack sufficient funding and the skills and knowledge necessary for development. The same applies for the organisations looking to improve the educational landscape of Shan state. NGO Mondo is one of the very few organisations active in the area as it focuses on the issues in improving and empowering local organisations through deployment of Estonian experts.
In addition to that, the central government of Myanmar has for decades been focused on developing the educational system of the Bamar communities in central Myanmar, leaving the minority ethnicities in the peripheral areas without adequate education and healthcare services. This situation particularly affects the minority communities living in rural villages, where insufficient infrastructure and finances deny access to state educational facilities and healthcare services. These are the communities that CRED focuses on by developing the educational network and establishing student housing. NGO Mondo has offered relevant support by deploying expert volunteers, who have worked on introducing contemporary learning methodology, teaching English to local teachers and youth in the village as well as contributed to creating an educational reform for Shan state.
NGO Mondo also supports young people studying in CRED student housing with donations to Mondo Brilliant Fund. These young people are clever and outstanding children from the villages, whose parents unfortunately do not have enough resources to support their education in Namlan High School. Since 2019, NGO Mondo supports 10 students with a stipend to make sure their education path could continue.
In 2019 NGO Mondo launched its first environmental project in Myanmar. We are providing renewable energy solutions for the remote areas in Northern Shan State as well as for the office and student housing of our partner organisation. This enables the school to continue activities even after daylight hours and have continuous electricity supply throughout the day.
We have also been focusing on raising awareness about environmental issues in the local context in order to improve the community’s capability to protect their own natural resources and to support their fight against climate change.