History of Eden
How ECDC Came About
The desire to do something for disabled children in Myanmar was rooted in the heart of the founder, U Tha Uke, when he was working as a Physiotherapist in 1995-96 at the Spastic Children Association of Penang, Malaysia, and after volunteering twice a week at the Eden Handicap Service Centre. He continued to work as a Physiotherapist at St. Luke’s Hospital for the Elderly, Singapore, for another two years but came back to his mother country for good in August 1998. He took nearly one year to finish his project proposal for the Eden Handicapped Service Centre (EHSC), Yangon, Myanmar and during that time he met Daw Lilian Gyi, the principal of the School for Disabled Children, who has dedicated her whole life to children with disabilities. She helped him as a mentor for this project from the beginning.
How ECDC Has Grown
After giving the services to 14 disabled children for more than a year, at their own residences. U Tha Uke (Hta Oke) opened the centre twice a week at the residence of co founder Daw Lilian Gyi in Yangon, by May 2000 and he had used the residence for four months. The first site for the Eden Centre was rented at No. 13 (A), Daw Hla Pan Street, Ward 2, Mayangone Township, Yangon from September 2000 to December 2001, with the help of the chairperson of the organization. The ex-colleges of Tha Uke from St. Luke’s Hospital for the Elderly, Singapore came to visit Myanmar at the time and later helped finance the land. A one story building was financed by the ‘Grass-root Grant Assistance Scheme’ through the Japanese Embassy in August, 2001. In January 2002, they moved again to David Shwe Nu Street, Ward 2, Mayangone Township, Yangon, they remained their for ten months before finally moving onto their current site, Phawkan Insein in November 2002. Their first four staff were recruited in October, 2001 after the ‘Association for Aids and Relief (AAR), Japan’ started to foster our ten children through the ‘foster parent program’ in August 2001. (A grant from AAR through the foster parent program is and was our main source of finance in the early stage) This foster parent program reached its height in 2009 and slowly faded out as agreed from the outset. Since 2013 the foster program has formally ended but still offers general support.
Since 2007 The Eden Centre has started making partnerships with other International NGOs and has implemented various projects on “Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR)” and “Inclusive Education (IE)” around the country.
Today more than 160 children with disabilities are benefiting and receiving the necessary services, both in the centre and at their own residence. At present there are 60+ full time staff working at the centre and in projects.
Our Vision ,Mission & Values
A Myanmar where all people with disabilities fulfil their potential…empowered in their identity, rights and capacity, enjoying equal opportunities in communities free of discrimination and dominated by love
Eden strives to create a caring, inclusive and empowering environment for disabled children by:
- providing services and support which values, respects and accepts disabled people and supports them to fulfill their lives with dignity, and on equal terms with others and
- providing direct services, Eden also promotes awareness and provides technical support to community, local and disability support organization’s and advocates for change
Equal rights: People with disabilities should enjoy equal rights and opportunities and be included in mainstream society with respect and dignity. Through empowerment, knowledge sharing and capacity building, we believe these changes can become realities.
Love: Love, empathy, patience and understanding create the foundation for everything we do. They make personal joy and happiness and social progress possible.
Family Spirit: Our family spirit is central to our Eden community –our staff, students, caregivers and supporters. We seek to build long-term, healthy relationships to best support people with disabilities.
Team Work: We make the most of opportunities and overcome challenges by working together as a team. Our strength comes from unity and collaboration, supported by humility and open-mindedness.
Trust: Building trust and being faithful to our promises are essential to our work as we are entrusted with the privilege of supporting people with disabilities and their families and communities.
Quality: We maintain a client-focus in our work, investing in providing the highest quality services and helpful support. Our vision and passion enable us to continually improve our quality and sustainability.
ECDC understands disability as the exclusion of people with impairments from family and social life, equal education, employment and access to basic services because of discrimination. This is also known as the social model of disability. ECDC uses the social model because it has been developed by disabled people, and best represents their experiences and perspectives.
The social model of disability is often contrasted with the medical model, which says that disability is the same as impairment, and so disability can be fixed using medical treatment or therapy alone.
Whilst ECDC is committed to supporting appropriate clinical and therapy services for people with disabilities, we believe that this is not enough on its own. It is essential to address the specific needs people have as a result of their impairment. For example, a Deaf person needs to learn to sign, and a polio survivor may need crutches. However, a Deaf child who can use sign language still cannot communicate if her parents, teacher and classmates don’t learn it too. A child who has crutches is still unable to benefit from education in a mainstream school if the school and staff do not accept them, understand them and barriers to entry and participation are not removed.
More than 200 children with disabilities are registered and are receiving quality services at Day Care centre by experienced and qualified professions regularly.
- 250 children with disabilities are supported to access mainstream, regular, education under Ministry of Education (MOE).
- Implement four disability related projects around the country and benefit more than —- persons with disabilities, more than —– community members are gaining disability awareness.
- Successfully completed six months project, —–, which is funded by Canada Embassy.
- Successfully start the first ‘Conductive Education (CE)’ at ECDC with the support of ‘Silver Lining Foundation (SLF)’, our new partner from Chin
1. To ensure disabled children fulfill their potential, by providing them with high quality therapy and social care, education and vocational training.
2. To equip families and caregivers with the skills, knowledge and experience to fully support the development of the child
3. To raise community awareness of the worth and capacity of people with disabilities, leading to their increased inclusion in mainstream life
4. To strengthen the disability support sector (from grass root to national government level), improving services through awareness, training, evidence based research, networking & advocacy activities
5. For Eden to be a benchmark centre and leading resource for people with disabilities, through extensive and sustainable operations