Field Program works with local village in Myanmar

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Communications Coordinator
Feb 24, 2017


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Education, Service, Sustainability

Field Program works with local village in Myanmar

Spring 2017 Voyagers helped water activists in Bagan
Spring 2017 Voyagers assisted water activists in the “dry zone” of Myanmar/Burma. Photo by Khiri Travel.

Bagan, located in the heart of Myanmar/Burma, is home to the most dense concentration of Buddhist temples in the world. A region filled with ancient man-made wonders, Bagan is facing age-old environmental challenges as well.

So when Semester at Sea Spring 2017 Voyagers explored the region as part of the Bagan Experience Field Program, they did not just visit Buddhist temples and go ballooning. Students also learned about the severe lack of water access in what is known as Myanmar/Burma’s “dry zone.”

An estimated 34 percent of Myanmar/Burma’s population currently resides in the drought-impacted region. In Bagan, the best source of drinking water is located 500-600 feet below ground, making wells a necessity.

Students witnessed the challenges facing Bagan’s dry zone first-hand thanks to Semester at Sea’s partnership with Khiri Travel, an eco-tourism organization dedicated to constructing wells in villages that otherwise would have difficulty accessing water. After touring a local village and learning about ongoing water delivery efforts by the Myanmar government and other organizations, 37 Semester at Sea voyagers contributed to the creation of a new well, and participated in a traditional Burmese donation ceremony with monks.

Plaque recognizing Spring 2017
Villagers in Bagan recognized Spring 2017 for their contribution.

The Field Program is just part of Semester at Sea’s larger involvement with local sustainable and humanitarian organizations. Those efforts include Field Programs in every port, as well as IMPACT opportunities that allow students to become global citizens by promoting understanding of what local day-to-day life is like for locals in each port.

For more information about Semester at Sea Field Programs and IMPACT opportunities, click here.

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