History of Direct Help Mandalay

DHM was founded in Spring 2008, when we moved to Mandalay because of Andre’s work. Early on we realized that help was needed in a lot of different places. Through our Burmese friends we got in contact with the Pay Pin monastery, which lies on the banks of the Ayayerwaddy river. This monastery is supported exclusively by donations from the local population.


The monastery takes care of 777 students - of whom 26 are orphans, 200 are novices and 551 are students living outside the monastery - 12 high school students and 4 university students.


A very large number of children come to the monastery around lunchtime to receive a portion of rice, without which they would have close to nothing or nothing to eat.


Given that the novices and monks are able to collect enough rice during their morning processions, we were asked to donate other types of food, in order to vary the meals a little and make them healthier and more nourishing. This is how we started bringing them beans, dried fish, potatoes, onions, etc. on a regular basis.


On one of our visits - during which we are usually allowed to take a little tour in order to see if there are any sick children - we spotted an infant child in a very bad condition. The mother’s breasts were severely inflamed and she couldn’t breast-feed beacuse of the pain. She couldn’t afford to buy any powdered milk, and it became immediately clear to us that we had to offer our help. By helping the mother of the baby which included taking her to another monastery every two days, where a young team of doctors was volunteering, we started to expand our area of activity.

Without the medication we regularly receive from a doctor in Ticino to take back with us, we would not have been able to help the mother and child as well as many other people. By the way, the baby was named Neto Can Go Lucky.


At a later time we were asked whether we would like to help a boy named Aung Joe Joe, who’s wish it was to go to school. Since the father of the boy is in jail and the mother has disappeared, there was no one left to take care of him. After a serious inquiry by the head monk, Aung Joe Joe was admitted to the orphanage of the monastery. In the meantime we are supporting three boys, by financing their books and clothing.


Every time we returned home for our holidays we told our friends of “our children”, and since then they have been generous in supporting us, and we would hereby like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

We are most happy when they come visit us and we can show them everything we’ve been telling them about.


In order to finance our work we continue to be dependent on the generosity and the kind-heartedness of our friends and acquaintances. Thanks to the donations which by 100% inure to the benefit of the monastery, we are able to carry on our mission.


Naturally we have a large number of other plans we would like to put into action and we continue to try and figure out what is possible and what our priorities should be.


There is still a lot to be done.


Thanks to all our friends for their precious help.