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Myanmar; Laos; Thailand. A Muslim refugee, Rohingya has missed a crucial time at school to help his family, including sending money back to his parents in Myanmar.
Burial Institute for Myanmar Filmstar
Kyaw Thu, a former Myanmar film director, has funerald 150,000 free of charge since launching a memorial ceremony for the needy that brings him the 2015 Magsaysay Award to be presented in Manila on August 31. 55-year-old Kyaw Thu began his grown-up career as Myanmar's most beloved performer, a heart-warming hero, who has appeared in more than 100 drama series.
In 2001, however, he began, motivated by a talk with a friar, to offer free burials, attend many worship masses and make the last preparations for the lives of millions of people from all social classes. "Myanmar has a great deal of need through loss oflife so I' d like to alleviate the grief of the bereaved," says Kyaw Thu about the Free Funeral Service Society, which he co-founded 15 years ago and which held some 150,000 rituals.
He is thankful for the prize, Kyaw Thu says, but he was not motivated by the fact that he won it. Myanmar is known for its appeal and the actor's quest for societal transformation, where welfare ministries were in shambles after years of the 2011 war. Burying both the wealthy and the impoverished and human beings from all sides of the country's conflict, this includes pro-democracy campaigners and Armenian elites.
"that most Myanmar residents like to see me. If I go to a memorial ceremony and the house of the house of the family, they' re glad to see a well-known actress and almost forgot their grief,' he says, and adds that he has been attending a burial for many years, but now attends two a weeks.
Over the past few years, the Free Funeral Services Society, which annually collects approximately US$4,000 (142,500 Bt) in government contributions, has broadened its reach. In addition, it operates education programs, relief efforts, a healthcare hospital and a 24-hour outpatient department from its head office in North Yangon. Eye-catching cars - sometimes drove by Kyaw Thu himself - have a specially designed back section for the casket, which looks like a small, golden Buddhist sanctuary with decorated kites.
Free burial service for the needy includes transportation, preparation of the corpse for inspection and incineration, and arranging everything that would otherwise costs about $100. A well-known author and chairwoman of the Myanmar branch of PEN International, Ma Thida, said the organization provided an important example of welfare activities during the reign of the armies and transformed the attitude in the community.
"The memorial service has been seen in the past as a task for those of low esteem, so it is very important to alter this perception," she said. The 56-year-old man with a pony tail and mustache, who has usually turned gray, wears golden circles with mythic beasts, necklaces and necklaces made of gemstone and praying pearls, as he described the transition of his time.
In 1986, the sibling of a nearby Yangon cinemas was discovered by a filmproduction firm that asked the then pupil to play in his first one. Kyaw Thu felt something was missing. Kyaw Thu recalls that he said they go to a "bad place", "because they make folks smile, cry and be furious during their films", a behavior that does not correspond to Buddhaist ritual.
It was Kyaw Thu who chose to help film-maker Thu Kha, who arranged a free memorial after seeing the poors leave the remnants of their loves in massive burns. The Free Fundamental Services Societies, like many other civic organizations, encountered opposition from the state.
Thu's drama careers were also restricted by the administration after he gave lunches to Protestant friars during the 2007 pro-democracy protest. Until the beginning of the year, the police forbade his films. Since then he has worked on two films. He says that his memorial is" not a religious organization. "He said we gave Win Tin and Aung Thaung's woman a free funeral," or a celebrity pro-democracy campaigner and a former militant leader.