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Raising funds to help turn a make-shift school in Myanmar into the real deal

When Bruce Francisco was on a mission trip in Thailand a few years ago, he ran into Lian Pu, who had started a make-shift school for street children across the border in Myanmar.

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The Donors: Bruce and Elizabeth Francisco

The gift: Raising $50,000 and climbing

The cause: Tachileik Hill school in Myanmar

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When Bruce Francisco was on a mission trip in Thailand a few years ago, he ran into Lian Pu, who had started a make-shift school for street children across the border in Myanmar.

Mr. Francisco talked to him about the project and gave him the $20 cash he had in his pocket. "He said this is the first time anyone has ever given me any money for my work," said Mr. Francisco, a retired art teacher. "I was quite touched by that."

After he returned home to Mississauga, Ont., Mr. Francisco and his wife, Elizabeth, began sending Mr. Pu $400 a month to help the school, called Tachileik Hill, which is run out of his home. They recently boosted that to $800 a month with the help of some family and friends, and they are now trying to raise $60,000 to build a new school. In total, the couple has raised around $50,000 over the past six years, including securing $10,000 in commitments for the building. Mr. Pu and his wife, Rose No, are now providing food, clothing, shelter and education for 28 children.

"They are such a wonderful couple," said Ms. Francisco who added that the pair doesn't take a salary. "They are living there as though these kids are their own."

The Franciscos are hoping to visit Mr. Pu and Ms. No next year, hopefully in time to see a start on the new building. "It's a passion for us," Mr. Francisco said.

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About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More

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