In 2015 - 2016 we supported the Grace Haven Orphanage, Myanmar. Projects supported in other years are:
- 2017 - 2018 Project: Mi Arca Project, Guatemala
- 2016 - 2017 Project: St Cuthbert’s Hospice, Retail Van
- 2015 - 2016 Project: the Grace Haven Orphanage, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma)
- 2014 - 2015 Project: Key Project, South Tyneside
- 2013 - 2014 Project: Kwagala Trust
- 2012 - 2013 Project: Durham Youth for Christ - Mentoring Scheme
- 2011 - 2012 Project: New Hope in Cambodia2011 - 2012 Project: New Hope in Cambodia
- 2010 - 2011 Project: Justice First
- 2009 - 2010 Project: The Kwagala Trust
- 2008 - 2009 Project: Beverley School
- 2007 - 2008 Project: Global Care
The Principle of the establishment is the Reverend Ma Lay who is regarded as the spiritual leader amongst her 50,000 Lisu people that commute to 150 Christian Lisu Churches in the whole of Burma. The church is very poor and supported only from people from remote villages in the Shan, Kichen and Mandalay areas of northern Burma. Because of her position in this community, she constantly receives requests for help in all aspects of her work i.e. helping the poor and disadvantaged by providing shelter, education and a home to orphans, single parent families and those who have lost their parent(s) through malaria, tuberculosis and through deprivation of medical help.
Ma Lay is married to Fred Farley, a retired Detective Inspector in Durham Constabulary who has been an aid relief worker in Burma since the Millennium;
Together they manage the Orphanage and Grace Haven has grown from originally housing 15 children to now supporting 75 children who are aged 3-20 and all attend the local government-run school. They receive afterschool tuition and further education where appropriate and whenever financial help is available.
Fred and May Lay have also funded and constructed 2 ‘Light of Education Centres’. One in the Mogok area of northern Burma, where 75 children live (with another 25 waiting for places in the new academic year). And a 2nd in the Shan State, at a place called Hsipaw (pronounced See Paw) where they have 40 students in the first year of opening with 25 on the waiting list for 2015. Therefore they are currently helping over 200 deprived children receive help in the way of accommodation, availability of education and hope for the future.
Christianity is a big part of Ma Lay and Fred’s mission and in the structure of life at Grace Haven. Ma Lay has been recently rewarded with a presentation plaque for her part in translating the Holy Bible into the Lisu language, so all may share the good news. The children regularly have services and pray several times a day.
Life is hard in Myanmar. The political situation fluctuates and climate changes affect the crops. The Orphanage tries to be self-sufficient, growing vegetables and breeding pigs to sell, but they have few staff members and for every day the children are in the fields planting or harvesting they are missing school.
The Project committee have organised a programme of events to raise money to help with extra rice to feed the children, and a newer, more reliable vehicle to transport the children to school safely.
We were already able to send them £13,000 at the end of 2015. In Ferbruary, they took delivery of a brand new KIA vehichle, shown here.
By the end of the project we had raised over £26,000.
We also support charities with a retiring collection after our communion services.