My name is Kaitlyn, and I have always been facinated by the variety of ways that people live their lives despite the many ways that we are similar. We live, we love, we experience heartache, and we overcome obsticles, but no two people come out of that continuous process exactly the same.
Our life is an ongoing education, where everything you learn about yourself teaches you about the world you live in, and vice versa. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, but I want more from this life than to proceed directly to a field that requires a higher degree. Eventually I would like to work in social policy, but in order to do that well, I want the kind of perspective and experience that a substantial change in my life (and surroundings) could give me.
I have recieved my TEFL (Teaching English Foreign Language) certificate, and am now working with GeoVisions to teach in English in Myanmar (formerlly Burma) for one year. This is incredibly important to me because everything I learn cultivates more questions than answers, and I have never lived a moment without the desire for knowledge. I want to be a part of the kind of active change that can come from a culmination of adaptive knowledge.
I support equal education for boys and girls, and am fortunate enough to live in a time and place where I have been able to obtain that. Many people, especially girls in many countries including our own, are denied the basic right to fully learn about the world they live in. They are denied an education, and in severe circumstances, physically threatened should they try to obtain one.
I am only one person, but throughout the year I would be teaching an entire school of students. In Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, there are 4 Million residents, and this is primariliy where teachers are placed. Myanmar, the second-most isolated country in the world, is a country that until very recently, has been heavily guarded against outside influence, and which has experienced more than its share of internal conflict.
I hope to be one small drop in a great wave of change. Part of that is accomodating a global need for prioritizing good, effective communication.
Myanmar is a country with a wealth of individual peoples, and part of global education is a willingness to learn about cultures different from your own, like the little girl pictured above, wearing traditional Thanaka face paint. Learning the value of traditions and their importance in the larger cultural bubble is just as important as learning differences in cultural details.
Though the openness of education, people learn how to think, instead of what to think, and that makes all the difference.
How You Can Help!
My listed goal to raise is $1500, but it will actually cost about twice that, due to fees and airfare; the fees allow me a certain amount of connectivity to the placement organization should I have an emergency, etc. as well as providing healthcare coverage to me for the year.
Once I arrive, I have a weeklong orientation in Hua Hin, Thailand, and then I will be living with other native English speaking teachers, and the fees help to cover this as well.
I have set my financial goal at the half-way mark, because it seems prudent; I want to do this, and I will find a way to make it work. But asking for an extra boost is sometimes just what you need to propel yourself into your goal. Right now, the funding option I've chosen through IndieGoGo has a 4% fee of funds raised if I meet my goal, and a 9% fee if I do not. So all the more incentive for me to set a more obtainable goal! However, there will certainly be unforseen expenses, so anything above my set goal is also appreciated. I promise to use all funds obtained in a way that contribues directly to my trip with GeoVisions or to related human rights organizations.
Your contribution will make it possible for me to travel halfway around the world, to a country where I know no one, where I do not speak the language (yet, I'm working on that!), and where I will be entirely alone, save the new friends and students I make.
Every little bit helps.
For some perspective: the average family in Myanmar (Burma) has an annual income of less than $200. I welcome any amount, but if you donate $200 there is an additional incentive. See the pre-set bundled amounts I've set for more information.
Other Ways You Can Help
Recently I became aware of a documentary about Myanmar, available on Netflix, and would encourage anyone to watch it to get a better idea of what this corner of the world is like.
Here is a link to the trailer: http://www.theycallitmyanmar.com/trailer/
Even if you cannot donate to my project, please share my fundraiser with friends and family! We are globally connected, so the more people who see my desire to make a difference, the better!
For many people who know me, they know that coffee is one of my personal passions; for the cost of your daily latte, you could be making a huge impact halfway around the world. So if nothing else, skip your coffee for one day, and instead help me teach children for an entire year. :)
Kaitlyn Huisinga Munro