Educational Empowerment (EE) is dedicated to providing access to an educational environment in Southeast Asia that improves children’s future economic opportunities and affords them fundamental reading skills.
Through partnership with local community-based organizations, Educational Empowerment publishes books, develops libraries, and provides teacher training and learning materials. Through sister school relationships between the Southeast Asia schools and Bainbridge Island schools, students in both countries develop an awareness of each other’s languages and lives.
The challenges facing education in Myanmar are large and complex. Decades of isolation combined with limited access to development and minimal government investment in social sectors have resulted in a gradual decline in the quality of education, widening geographic disparities, and inequitable access to primary education.
According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 33% of school-aged children in Myanmar do not attend school, and 70% of those who do are unable to finish at the primary level. Rote learning, as currently taught in the government schools, is the norm. Libraries are literally non-existent. Most children have never seen nor touched an age appropriate picture book.
Fulfillment of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal (MDG) “to achieve universal primary education by 2015” will be especially difficult to attain in Myanmar which is one of the United Nations’ designated “conflict affected and fragile” countries. The UN’s Strategic Framework 2012-2015 Plan for Myanmar specifically seeks improved educational access and quality, as measured through improved learning achievements, retention, and completion of primary education.
Educational Empowerment’s goals, in sync with the current MDG, are to provide access to an educational environment in Myanmar that improves children’s future economic opportunities, to promote a love of reading, and to increase intellectual development of students through the promotion of active learning.
To achieve these goals, EE aims to provide culturally appropriate books for vulnerable children, promote access to books through development of community and monastic school libraries, and provide teachers with the training and materials they need to be successful.
We believe that collaborative relationships with partner organizations and donors, built on mutual trust and transparency, provide the framework for successful achievement of shared goals.
We believe that our success is determined by the sustainability of our SE Asia partners. Therefore, our role is to support, promote, and share resources.
We value the power of education to positively change people’s lives, and we believe everyone should have equal access and quality.
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA