World Vision Australia Ambassadors Hi-5 visited our work in Myanmar earlier this year. Photo by Khaing Min Htoo, World Vision
Since 2009, children’s entertainment group Hi-5 have been passionate ambassadors for World Vision Australia, working in partnership to better the lives of children around the world. During this time Hi-5 has visited Cambodia, the Philippines, and most recently Myanmar to see World Vision’s work first-hand. The Myanmar visit was full of energy, fun and singing with five amazing people who genuinely care for the happiness and futures of children all over the world. Through dance, songs, and play Hi-5 is helping World Vision to educate young children about the world around them and how different life can be depending on where you’re born.
Each member of the Hi-5 team has shared one of their highlights from the recent trip to Myanmar. Check them out below!
To put into words the very real emotional response you feel when you meet the children and families supported by the work of World Vision is a difficult task. They are people that despite their adverse circumstances have a strong faith, sense of hope, courage and resilience. In reflection on my recent trip to Myanmar there is the face of a young girl only 14 years old that sticks in my mind.
Without mentioning her name or going into great detail about her circumstances, she is a young woman who has experienced domestic violence, a broken family, life on the streets, loss, violence and death. Walking barefoot, she has travelled kilometres to find safety in one of World Vision’s Drop-in Centres.
When I first saw her, she was dancing, smiling, laughing. There was warmth in her eyes, she shook my hand, then came a hug, instant affection. Give her someone else’s story and she could be a normal, happy 14 year old girl.
No one will understand nor can they change for her the adversity that has come before, but I could sense the start of something, the start of a change, the start of a new direction. With the renewed sense of self-worth, confidence, safety and hope World Vision had given her, I could feel that this young girl was determined to start again.
When Mary met sponsored child Naymin Tun, he helped to paint her face with thanaka! Thanaka is a traditional sunscreen made from ground bark, which has been worn by the people of Myanmar for over 2000 years! Mary said this was ‘such a beautiful moment that I will cherish forever.”
The first place we visited in Myanmar gave me a memory that I will cherish forever. We visited a Drop-In Centre supported by World Vision where kids are welcome to spend their days learning, creating and playing with other children. I met one little girl, I don’t know her name and she couldn’t speak English, yet I felt one of the strongest connections I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime.
She danced for me, introduced me to her friends, taught me how to make origami and gave me plenty of kisses. I couldn’t believe how affectionate and welcoming these children were. They don’t have much but they definitely know happiness. The world needs to see the endless love that these children have to give. It will change the way you perceive life – I know it did for me.