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The $920 Kitchen

The orphanage directors standing outside of their old bamboo kitchen
Zion Orphanage’s bamboo kitchen looked a lot better on the outside.

Walking into their kitchen was like walking onto a Louisiana cow field during the summer—it was unbearably hot, very stuffy, and there were flies everywhere.

I was visiting Zion Orphanage in Yangon, Myanmar, last December when they invited me to see their kitchen. About 15 children crammed into this muggy kitchen/dining area for every meal. I left that day wanting very much to help change this horrible situation.

When I returned home I asked Tha Cung Bik, the director of Zion Orphanage, how much a new kitchen would cost. Soon afterwards he sent me plans for a kitchen that would only cost $920. He planned to add the kitchen to an exterior wall of their orphanage, saving money by only having to build three walls instead of four. At Zion they also have many strong older boys. Tha Cung Bik said he would use their strength to build the kitchen themselves, giving them some valuable lessons in construction in the process and saving several hundred dollars on labor costs!

Tha Cung Bik’s plan sounded perfect, so I sent Zion money from donations to the Orphan’s Tear Special Projects Fund.

As you can see from the photos below, the kitchen is well made and so much nicer than their previous one. I am looking forward to returning to Zion Orphanage in November to see how much the children are enjoying their new kitchen!

Inside and outside pictures of the orphanage's new concrete kitchen
Zion’s new kitchen is more spacious and can accommodate them during the rainy season


Elisabeth Walter
Director, Orphan’s Tear division

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