The Campion Institute teaches young people English language skills and critical thinking to enable them to transform their futures.
For decades, Myanmar was controlled by a brutal military regime. The years of oppression resulted in entrenched, widespread poverty; displacement of indigenous people; and severely underdeveloped healthcare, education and judicial systems. Although Myanmar is immensely rich in natural resources, such as minerals, gemstones, natural gas and teak wood, these are being plundered with little, if any, of the wealth reaching the people. There are many ethnic minority groups in this country of 56 million people. Most of the population is Buddhist, and there is a sizeable number of Muslims. The Catholic population is small, only about 700,000 spread across 16 dioceses, and they are principally among the ethnic minorities. Although Myanmar moved to a democratic government early this decade, the military retains a lot of control. Ethnic discrimination prevails, the most obvious being the largescale displacement of Rohingya from Rakhine State. Many people, especially the ethnic minorities, are forced by poverty, increasing landlessness and internal conflicts to migrate or are caught in trafficking networks. The lack of infrastructure and ongoing conflicts have left country’s youth adrift with many lacking employable skills. For more than a decade, the Jesuits have been accompanying youth and providing them with skills to transform their futures and help others do so as well. In Yangon, the Jesuit-run Campion Institute for English Language teaches teenagers and young adults four skills in English (reading, writing, listening and speaking). It has about 300 students of various religious, ethnic and economic backgrounds each semester. As their examination results and “Friday Performances” presentations show, the students make significant improvements in their English language skills, self-confidence and critical thinking within a year. Exemplifying Ignatian values, Campion also provides its students with opportunities to serve in their own communities, outside of class.
Campion Christmas 2018DONATE
"Campion has been upholding a preferential option for the poor since it opened in 2005. Thanks to the generous support from Jesuit Mission Australia, we have been able to offer tuition scholarships for up to 30 students each term."
With a focus on service and social justice, Campion takes students from all over Myanmar. Many of them come from marginal communities. Although Campion charges minimal fees to make the quality education it offers affordable to poorer families, some students still need assistance with tuition and basic living expenses.
Roi Grawng’s Story
Lucia Roi Grawng is a 26-year-old woman from Kachin State in the north, where armed conflicts mainly for natural resources have been going on for half a century. The most recent conflicts forced more than 100,000 people, including Rou Grawng’s family, to flee from their homes and farms. Most of them now live in temporary camps for internally displaced persons and, having lost their farms, have no way to earn a living. They are dependent on aid from the Church and other organisations. Roi Grawng lived in one of these camps with her parents and five siblings. Despite the basic conditions of the camp, she managed to complete her high school and university studies. She also received training in teaching from Jesuit Refugee Service, and taught children in the camp as a volunteer for two years. Roi Grawng receives a tuition scholarship for her studies at Campion, and help with her accommodation and living expenses. She is studying hard, hoping for a better future and to be able to contribute to society.
“I have more confidence than before. I met many friends from different places and culture at Campion so I am getting good at society. I want to speak in English very well and continue studying sociology. After that I want to work in the social sector.”