Okinawa and Myanmar Friendship Association gives funds for an elementary school to Myanmar

Okinawa and Myanmar Friendship Association gives funds for an elementary school to Myanmar

Children standing in front of the school built with funds donated by Ryosawa.


March 2, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

Shinken Ryosawa, the president of the Okinawa and Myanmar Friendship Association, presented a new elementary school to Labutta, a town located in the southwestern part of Myanmar.
Ryosawa, who was born in Myanmar, donated approximately five million yen towards the construction and furnishings of the elementary school.

Cyclones hit Myanmar in 2008 and 2010, destroying almost all of elementary schools in Labutta and killing many people. “Myanmar has been a democratic country since last March, and this makes it easier to support them.” Ryosawa said. “First, we wanted to help improve the education in Myanmar.”

On February 28, at the Ryukyu Shimpo offices, Ryosawa (middle in the front row), the president of the Okinawa and Myanmar Friendship Association, presented the funds for an elementary school to Myanmar.


The construction started in May and was finally completed last December, just in time for the school to start on January 4, the country’s independence day. Reinforced concrete was the main material used in the construction of the school, which has three classrooms.
The principal of the new school, presented a certificate of appreciation to Ryosawa for all of his hard work. Students, parents, and the people involved with the new school attended this event.

Eighty-seven orphaned children, some of whom lost their parents in the cyclones, are the first priority to be accepted into the school, making a total of 160 students. Ryosawa has important plans for the future of the school, adding a playground and medical support for the students.

In 1966, Ryosawa migrated to Taiwan from Myanmar because of the military control over the government. From Taiwan he moved to Okinawa where he has lived for 44 years. Ryosawa said, “I wanted to be an intermediary creating links between Okinawa and Myanmar. I hope that the children study hard.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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