Launched in January of 2014, the myME project is a unique, non-formal education and outreach program that provides school and assistance to children who have been compelled into servitude, by bringing the classroom to them–directly where they work (and live). Because these teashops are concentrated in cities and towns, the classroom stops are planned to maximize participation of many children in one area. The project was initiated by gutting and converting old school buses into mobile classrooms that came to the teashops. At present, due to the large amount of participating teashops and students, several of the teashops are converted into classrooms after working hours. The buses are still used for the most beginner levels and to bring the teachers, teaching assistants, volunteers and supplies to each teashop for that day’s class. Each child spends a minimum of two hours per day every other day learning.
We began with one bus and 60 students in two teashops in Yangon. Our success has been tremendous. Today, we have over 1500 child workers enrolled in the program in Yangon and Mandalay serving 50 teashops and operating 7 days per week providing 10-12 classes per day. There are three buses operating in Yangon, and one in Mandalay. To date, 58 level one students and 31 level two students have successfully graduated.