On the last day of Myanmar Ethnics Culture Fest on 30 January, mainly organized by the Myanmar Ethnic Entrepreneurs Association (MEEA), a portrait of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and a patchwork quilt woven with traditional patterns from various countries were auctioned off for funding movements towards reducing orphans.
The two items were put up for auction during the ceremony honoring donors by the Orphans Reduction and Protection Association (ORPA) (Myanmar) and the music festival.
Auctions put up for orphans
The portrait of the State Counsellor was painted by artist U Kyi Soe and signed by the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi herself. The patchwork quilt was created together by female ambassadors from ASEAN countries, the wives of ambassadors stationed in Myanmar, and the wives of embassy staff and foreign affairs, mixing different traditional patterns in a unified format. Daw Than Myint Aung, Vice-Chairperson 1 of the ORPA (Myanmar), said: “Our association provided the capital for building construction in Nay Pyi Taw for sheltering orphans and single mothers. We received contributions from donors too. We are also auctioning a handwoven piece combining crafts from 10 ASEAN countries and the portrait (of the State Counsellor). This is all proceeds for constructing a building for orphans. If we have more donors in the future, we will use their donations for single mothers and their children.”
Both auctions won by sole bidder
Both the patchwork quilt and artwork were purchased by the highest bidder, Myat Myittar Mon Company, at K7.5 million and K40 million respectively.
The Managing Director of MMTM Co., Agga Maha Thiri Thudamma Theingi Daw Khine Khine Oo, said: “I’ve always had plans to make donations for orphaned children. I’ve already donated K150 million for the building to be constructed in Nay Pyi Taw at this ceremony. I received the urge to contribute more and so bid in both auctions. I also did this because I respect the State Counsellor. The donation will be used for the actual benefit of orphans, so it evoked my charitable spirit.” Attending the ceremony were Dr. Shwe Hlwan, wife of Vice President U Henry Van Thio, U Soe Aung, Deputy Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and Chairman of the Committee for Constructing an Orphanage in Nay Pyi Taw, U Naing Ngan Linn, Yangon Region Minister for Social Affairs, officials from the Orphans Reduction and Protection Association, foreign ambassadors and their wives, embassy staff, donors and invited guests.
Donors for orphan reduction honored
Deputy Minister U Soe Aung delivered a speech at the ceremony, followed by ORPA (Myanmar) Chairperson, Daw May Yin Tun, explaining the founding of the association and the construction of the orphanage in Nay Pyi Taw.
Next, Dr. Shwe Hlwan, Deputy Minister U Soe Aung, regional minister U Naing Ngan Linn, ORPA Chairperson, and officials conferred honorary certificates to donors of the three-storey building for orphans in Nay Pyi Taw. ORPA Vice-Chairperson 1 then spoke words of gratitude.
Singers Moh Moh Lwin and Sumo sang ORPA’s song at the ceremony and music festival, together with performances by prominent singers Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein, Kaung Myat, Mi Sandi, Aye Thin Cho Swe and others. The Orphans Reduction and Protection Association was established on 18 April 2018 and is an NGO providing support to orphans and benefitting women. Once the orphanage in Nay Pyi Taw, mentioned earlier, is completed, it will be handed over to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement. The orphanage will shelter newborns and children up to 6-months old and has plans to eventually shelter children up to ten years old.
—Thi Thi Min (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)