Always More

Frequently I have the opportunity to work on projects that are immensely rewarding, fundamentally disturbing, uplifting, heart wrenching, joyful, and renewing to the spirit. Rarely do all these emotions and experiences happen on the same project.

When a project does come along that promises to be all of these at the same time I jump at it, knowing full well that it will be massively challenging and take its toll. Not doing so is always far worse.

These images are from one such a project.

About a year ago I posted a blog entry about some of the children I had a chance to know while working on just such an assignment.

Current best estimates of the number of orphans in Burma is almost two million children under the age of 18. Some estimates calculate the percentage of girls to boys orphaned in Burma to be 3 to 2.

This entry is about some of those children, this time I’m focusing on a few of the girls in some of the Burmese Buddhist Monastic orphanages and schools.

Thanks to the new openness and world scrutiny there is an emerging emphasis placed on education by Burmese government. Slowly this push to educate everyone is encompassing these discarded children as well.

Here are a just few of those souls I had the privilege to spend time with.

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young nun with worried expression
“The most influential of all educational factors is the conversation in a child's home.”
― William Temple

young nun staring out a window
“Poor people cannot rely on the government to come to help you in times of need.
You have to get your education. Then nobody can control your destiny.”
― Charles Barkley

young nun studying
“I am often amazed at how much more capability and enthusiasm for science there is among elementary school youngsters than among college students.”
― Carl Sagan

young nuns in the classroom
“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.”
― Diogenes

young nun with distant gaze

“He who opens a school door, closes a prison.”
― Victor Hugo

young nuns touching toes
“Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.”
― Edward Everett

young nun with smile
“Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”
― Plato

young nun with finger in door
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”
― George Washington Carver

tiny child with red shirt
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
― Benjamin Franklin

young nun gazing into the camera
― My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy.
That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.”
― Maya Angelou

young nun by a brick wall
― Give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one but she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody.”
― Jane Austen

young nun in a classroom
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela

young nun squatting on the floor
“The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.”
― Alvin Toffler

two young nuns looking into the camera
“The highest result of education is tolerance.”
― Helen Keller

young nun with serious gaze
“Change is the end result of all true learning.”
― Leo Buscaglia

young nun sweing
“Education is the best provision for old age.”
― Aristotle

young nun looking into a classroom
“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.
The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
― John F. Kennedy

young nun frowning
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
― Malcolm X

young nuns group photo
“No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.”
― Emma Goldman

Burma_2014_02997
“It is our moral obligation to give every child the very best education possible.”
― Desmond Tutu

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I look forward to seeing you out there.

Julian Ray
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