Founded as a 501c3 in the State of California in January 2007 by Max Harrington, Rita Montes Martin and Susan Steinbach, the Myanmar Children’s Foundation (MCF) is a non-political, non-religious charitable organization dedicated to helping the children of Myanmar, one of Asia’s poorest and most economically isolated countries. Max was living and working in Yangon in those early years and came upon unfinished monastic school buildings in the Mon State with his friend Ko Thura Aung. This experience prompted him to organize a non-profit structure and fundraise for Myanmar schools back in the States. As a teacher himself, Max felt compelled to assist rural children and youth who didn’t have access to educational opportunities that middle and upper class children in Yangon did.
Run by a group of dedicated volunteers in Northern California and Myanmar, the MCF keeps its administrative costs to a minimum. This allows the maximum amount of donations to be directed to those who truly need it – the children of Myanmar.
MCF began by working with Buddhist monastic schools in rural areas of the Ayerwaddy Delta and the Mon State. These schools provide free education to children whose families cannot afford to attend government-run schools. They also provide shelter, care, and education to orphaned children or children whose families cannot provide for their basic needs.
Fast forward several years, the foundation has constructed multiple classroom and dormitory buildings, sponsored the educational costs of hundreds of children at-risk of dropping out of school because of their family’s financial situation, and sponsored salaries for dozens of rural teachers. It has also given emergency relief to families and schools affected by cyclones, built water tanks to provide clean drinking water, provided hygiene trainings and medical check-ups, provided micro loans to local communities, supported the cost of publication of children’s books in ethnic languages, etc. Today, MCF’s reach has expanded into the Kachin, Sagaing and Rakhine states as well as the Mandalay Division.
MCF seeks to actively partner with/fund local grass-roots CBOs and NGOs who desire to better their communities and invest in the future of Myanmar’s youth. All donations are tax deductible in the USA as allowed by law. To inquire with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Former Country Director, Ko Thura Aung, “Mr. King”
was involved with MCF from its inception in 2007 til 2013. He worked closely with Founder Max Harrington to establish relationships with rural monastic schools that were in need, conduct needs assessments, plan, supervise and oversee multiple school building construction projects, as well as manage the Stay in School program. Ko Aung has multiple skills and traits that suit the goals of MCF in providing universal primary education in Myanmar. He was also selected to be a DeBoer Fellow. We are enormously grateful to him and proud of his accomplishments in rural development. Until just recently, as he served in the Mon State Parliament.