Catholic Mission’s 2018 World Mission Month Appeal is propelled by Pope Francis’ annual World Mission message, which reminds us the each one of us is Mission, and we are called to play our part.

This year students in Catholic schools across Australia are invited to partake in World Mission Month celebrations by supporting the work of Catholic Mission in Myanmar, as we come together in prayer and understanding to help “heal a nation through education”.

Myanmar’s first Cardinal, Charles Maung Bo S.D.B saw a need in his country for a stronger education system and with the support of Sister Grace Chia IJs and lay missionary Jacinta Cardoza, they established a key training institute Pyinya Sanyae Institute of Education (PSIE) in Yangon some ten years ago.

Aspiring teachers at the PSIE

The PSIE program trains aspiring teachers such as Min Min equipping them with skills and knowledge so that they can bring engaging child-centred education to the most remote areas in Myanmar, like St John’s School in the remote diocese of Hakha.

St John’s School in Hakha is in the mountainous north of Myanmar and is now staffed by three teachers who have graduated from the PSIE program. The teachers care for over 50 students at St John’s ranging from Pre-school to Year 1. Feedback from the parents of the school is extremely positive; they are so excited about the new way of engaged learning and are confident that their children are receiving quality education and care.

“We trust they will get quality education…they want to show us what they learned in the school.” Augustine Billiam, parent

The school’s leadership, including Principal Theresa Htua Swe and Chancellor of the Hakha Diocese Father Lucas Tha Ling Sum, are hoping to expand each year to provide holistic, child-centred learning to more students through both their primary and secondary education. We need your help to do this by raising funds and engaging others in your community, so that we can together ensure all the children at St John’s school have the opportunity to reach Year 6 and then onto High School.

Fundraising is an excellent way for students to reach out to children who are not able to attend school in Myanmar and all around the world.

As part of nurturing the Catholic identity of your community, the Bishops and Directors of Diocesan School Administration have asked every Catholic School in Australia to support Catholic Mission’s work with children. Students have the opportunity to support Fr Lucas, Principal Theresa and Min Min by helping children in the poorest communities of Myanmar to receive a quality education..

Take up the Pope’s challenge this World Mission Month to:

‘rise up from the couch with your boots laced and turn your hands into signs of love’.