Our Myanmar Missions

Myanmar Mission

Sittwe was the first RNDM mission in Myanmar, established in 1897, and was visited by our Foundress Euphrasie Barbier. Myanmar has had a chequered history; war and years of invasion, political and social upheaval. In 1966 when all expatriates had to leave there were 13 Burmese RNDM’s. Today there are 70 professed Sisters working in a number of Diocese. Originally their mission was education and they had many schools until all schools were nationalised in 1965. In more recent years the Sisters have opened Pre-schools and in 2018 they had the joy of opening in Pyay their first Primary School in the new era of Myanmar! Their main missionary outreach today includes education, health care, HIV Aids clinic, Leprosarium, anti-trafficking project, women’s empowerment, care of children in hostels and orphanages.

Region: Myanmar
Featured Projects: 4
Number of professed Sisters: 68

Project 1 Weaving Centre Dantalon

At the Weaving Centre in Dantalon women learn the traditional art of weaving and are paid a salary for what they produce. Their fabric is also sold to the RNDM sewing centre at Kawthaung where it is made into bags and other garments for sale.

Project 2 Thayet Orphanage

St Therese’s Orphanage, Thayet, Myanmar in 2020 has 36 children ranging from 6–15 years of age.

The stories of the children are varied, some come from broken families, others have no parents, while others have been disowned or abandoned. Therefore, many suffer from psychological trauma, abandonment issues and very poor self-esteem. Counselling is offered to these children to enable them to cope and to integrate into the community.

The Sisters provide a welcoming and loving home for these children so that they can grow spiritually, psychologically, intellectually, physically and socially.

Most of the children are healthy as they have regular physical activities and sport as well as enough food and a nutritious diet.

Zuu Aung was left at the orphanage when she was three years old. She was very sickly, after a medical check up she was found to be anaemic. She needed special medication and nutrition. She also needed blood transfusions once a month. Originally, she could only attend school three days per week, but the Sisters gave her extra tutoring. She is an intelligent girl who is now in grade 3 and received the academic excellent award for her class!

Project 3 Anti Human Trafficking Kawthaung

The Anti trafficking project on the Thailand/Myanmar border was established to provide opportunities for young women to develop skills to enable them to have a source of employment and thus not be lured to the sex industry in Thailand. It is only a 45 minute boat trip from Kawthaung to Ranong in Thailand and people traffickers take advantage of this and the poverty of the families. The sewing centre offers a six-month introductory course in all aspects of tailoring. Once they graduate the young women are invited to attend the workroom in the afternoons where they are paid a salary for the goods they make. As they develop their skills, they also improve their self-esteem and many have been empowered to set up their own small business. We purchase a variety of bags and children’s sun hats when visiting Kawthaung and promote their sale through parish/market stalls etc. They are also available through this website. Lenity Foundation, Australia, is a valuable Partner in this project.

Project 4 HIV Aids Program Kawthaung

Since 2010, the Sisters have been caring for HIV Aids patients, their families and children. Currently there are 46 HIV patients, 31 women and 15 men. While the children of some of these patients are also HIV positive ranging in age from 2-14 years. The Sisters offer home based care for many patients; they provide nutrition as well as medication and listen to the stories of these people and offer counselling and support. Every three months there is a self-help group where the sharing among themselves is also a source of encouragement and support. This is also the occasion for education in prevention and awareness. As many of these people cannot work because of their poor health, rice and food products are distributed at these education classes. Through donations the Sisters also support the education of the children of HIV patients, otherwise these children would be deprived of an education.

Invitation to donate to our missions

Barlow, Shelley

Sr Shelley Barlow

Shelley Barlow was born in seaside Mordialloc in 1941 and grew up in Oakleigh Victoria. Shelley taught at her Alma Mater Sacred Heart Girls’ College Oakleigh, but her teaching, parish and motor mission ministry was mostly in WA. Short-term Ministry in the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar was a great joy for her. The heightened experiences of interculturality and finding the face of God in the other, have been bright highlights in her life. Currently Province Vicar she also enjoys pursuing her passion for creation spirituality through retreats and book clubs.