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Project information

Building schools for the Palaung Hill tribe people

The Palaung people live in the hills of Shan state in Burma [Myanmar]. The majority are illiterate and the government provides little education as they are looked upon as second-class citizens.
We have built and run four schools but hundreds of villages need a school.
We plan to construct 10 more.

12 months

Charity information: Heal Kids Foundation

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  • Need


    The lack of education for the Palaung people. Historically they have been just a agricultural society and many of them live in poverty. Without education they have no chance of progressing beyond their hand to mouth existence.


    The country is gradually becoming more accessible and internationally acceptable. These people have no chance of taking advantage of any change in the country's situation without education. Not only will education enhance their lives but will also give them a sense of achievement. In the long term they stand a better chance of improving their position within the political structure of the country if a proportion of them are educated and able to integrate into general Burmese society.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build 10 schools in villages where there is currently no education and supply teachers and books.


    » We have the infrastructure in place to organise the building of schools at lowest possible cost. In most cases the villagers assist with construction.

    What success will look like

    We already have four schools that have been running successfully for a few years. An extremely able Buddhist monk runs them and gives reports. Our project manager visits regularly.

  • Impact


    The future of the Palaung tribe will be strengthened by education. We are not the only education providers in the area but we are aware of at least 200 villages which still have no educational facilities at all.
    Success will be demonstrated by the fact that hundreds of children will achieve at least a primary education. We are already looking at the possibility of extending this to the next level and eventually hopefully right up to high school standard.


    The main risks in this area are political. The situation there is problematical with government forces acting against the local people who are attempting to improve their situation and gain recognition.
    The situation however has been ongoing for many years and it has not affected our capability to build and run the schools.
    No foreign staff members are involved with the building or running of the schools and a good relationship has been developed between our educators and the local authority.


    We are in regular contact with all the schools and with the head monk of the area who oversees them. Our own country project manager visits 2 or 3 times a year. During construction of new schools our building manager stays in the area until completion. Reports can be sent quarterly to donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £60,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 admin Design, travel and building management
      £28,000 materials Cost of bricks, wood, roofing etc
      £23,000 Construction Labour costs
      £5,000 Ancillaries Desks, backboards, books, stationery etc
  • Background


    Shan state is in North East Burma. In the hills live the Palaung tribe where for generations they have been subsistence farmers. Many used to be involved with growing illicit drugs and have little experience in growing other crops. Much of the land is not viable for agriculture or husbandry. This has resulted in levels of poverty.


    The entire population of the area will benefit from increased education standards. The people are poorly represented in the country partly due to the general low levels of literacy. The children who are now going through the education process will have the possibility of employment in a wider field rather than agriculture.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been working in Burma (Myanmar) since 2008 and have so far built or extended. 30 schools in many parts of the country including Shan state. Our staff are dedicated and experienced and we have good contacts in the area able to facilitate smooth process of approval for more schools. We work closely with the local community who in most cases assist the paid builders with the construction.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ni Ni Win

    Ni Ni is our country director in overall charge of our education program. She personally oversees the arrangements for all projects and new schools.

    Maung Maung

    MM has been with us for six years and is in charge of all building projects. He employs construction staff and remains on site during construction.

    U Sasana

    A revered Buddhist monk who left a high position at a top monastery in the capital to move back to his homeland to oversee the running of the schools.