Focus of BCDC activities for Myanmar Communities in Myanmar and Sydney
(1) As Myanmar has been reduced to a pariah state on the world stage after 60 years of brutal military rule, the common people in the country have been crushed to face desperate impoverished lives with little or no focus on education, health and basic rule of law. Therefore BCDC’s main focus has been to provide funds to assist in the health & education sectors (Vocational Training Focus)as well as help with basic human rights and natural disasters in Myanmar.
(2) 1st Burmese Age Care Provider for the Community
BCDC Trading as “Metta Community Care Sydney”(MCCS) has also been granted Aged Care Provider Licence (NAPS ID 7270) in 2016 to provide support with a Home Care Packages (HCP) program employing Burmese/English bilingual age care workers for the Burmese Seniors community in Sydney.
This has been a direct result of determined efforts of generous volunteers, and a series of community and workshops held throughout the year 2016. Further, the result can be attributed to the monthly community centre-based aged care activities since 2014 and the Burmese community profile and the community consultation report complied in 2015 in preparation for MCCS’s aged care project.
The Australian Government Department Of Health Aged Care program is designed to offer entry level support through Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) for basic assistance and care needs OR the Home Care Packages Program (HCP) which is higher intensity support for a higher level of assistance to help older Australians continue to stay at home. BCDC had applied for the Home Care Packages and from July 2018 we started our Aged Care Provider Business with our first client.
(3) 1st Centre-based Monthly Meeting /Dementia Prevention Program for the Community
In Sydney, MCCS also runs a monthly Centre – based dementia prevention program for the Seniors based on social connectivity and health and wellbeing initiatives .This social gathering program for seniors is part of BCDC’s community aged care program started in December 2014. It covers a range of different things and the opportunities go well beyond just coordinated group sessions such as health talks & exercise activities by volunteer Burmese Doctors. It also includes singing karaoke songs and music entertainment, social outings, birthday parties, inspirational activity ideas to suit a wide variety of different needs and interests.
(4) Sunday Burmese Language School
U Naing Aung, our valued Director of the Board of BCDC & Volunteer is the organiser and convenor of Burmese Language School as well as course convener for the class. The program is open to children of Burmese origin and other backgrounds, from primary school to secondary school age. The class is run every Sunday at:
Berela Community Centre
2-4 Tilba Street, Berala, NSW, 2141.
Burmese language lessons are provided and taught to children who are eager to learn not only the language but the culture and history of Burma. The class consists of learning literature followed by speaking in relation to English being added some cultural information for the students. Families are asked to contribute to the costs of hiring a classroom at Berala Park Community Centre as well as to the cost of purchasing materials for preparation of class and lessons. Fees are $5 per family with one child and a sibling.
Since operating in September 2016, around 10 -20 children have attended Sunday Burmese language at the centre. Almost fifty classes have been successfully delivered. This will continue to grow to 100 classes by the end of 2019.
The program contributes to nurturing culture diversity in Sydney and New South Wales, children of Burmese origin and other backgrounds learning to speak, write and speak Burmese language. The program also enriches children’s learning experience by providing them opportunities to appreciate and relate their learning to the broader contexts they learn at their normal mainstream schools.
More assistance and support are needed for the successful continuity of running the program. More volunteers are invited to contribute to organizing and preparing language lessons and materials, and also to the teaching itself.
(5) BCDC’s application to the Department of Immigration to become an organization that is able to provide visa sponsorship has been successful with five years validity, which will strengthen BCDC’s future activities in promoting community events in Sydney.
(6) As a community organization in Sydney, BCDC continues to contribute to increased participation of community members, both young and old, in community events. BCDC is grateful to the community for this opportunity that allows us to make a contribution to achieve this outcome, not only to the Sydney Burmese Community but the broader Australian society as a whole.