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Damaged monastery forced to turn down students

Jul 2, 2008 (DVB), The Sasana Rakhita monastery school for orphans in Rangoon’s South Okkalapa township has been unable to accept new students due to a lack of funding to repair damage caused by the cyclone in May.

The monastery's abbot, Sayadaw U Zawtika, said about 60 zinc sheets that were pulled off the roof of the monastery’s classroom and living quarters have not yet been replaced due to a shortage of funding at the monastery.

U Zawtika said the school is home to about 150 orphans, around 50 of them girls, who are now lacking shelter.

About 30 students studying 5th grade to 10th grade attend the school, and about 60 others from kindergarten to 4th grade.

U Zawtika said there was no one to provide donations to help the monastery with repairs.

"We don’t get a lot of donations here , sometime we get a donation of a dozen or two books or a small amount of money like 500 or 1000 kyat," U Zawtika said.

U Zawtika said the school had recently accepted 10 new students but had had to turn down another 20 orphans from the Irrawaddy delta as there was no room for them in the damaged building.

"We cannot accept a lot of students now , we have to repair the building first. We had to tell them to go somewhere else," he said.

"If we can get the building repaired we will be able to accept more students, but for now, we just have no room for them."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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